August 8, 2014 Zimfest Association Board Meeting Synopsis
Members in attendance: David Simon, Jennifer Kyker, Paul Mataruse, Alex Weeks, Amy Robinson, Dana Moffett, Jacqueline Fallon and Tsitsi Hantuba
Non-voting member in attendance: Claire Jones
1) Review of July 13 meeting minutes and synopsis—approved.
2) Celebration and sharing—We went around and listed highlights of the festival: Mokoomba, the sound quality for the evening concerts, level of communication including dinner w/the Zimbabweans, UPS facilities, and financial management went smoothly. Some people said it was “the best-organized and sweetest Zimfest ever.” Workshops and concerts generally went well.
3) Proposal regarding festival coordinator position—Change from having a paid staff employee to a 1099 position would be advantageous from a tax perspective. We need to file a form with the IRS explaining our intent. We don’t provide a physical office, so that would also be consistent with a 1099 position. We will need to investigate the proposed change from the perspective of Washington state if the IRS approves this.
4) Zimfest 2015—Declining attendance has been observed. Perhaps people would be more willing to come every other year festival. The OC felt strongly that it is time to leave Tacoma. UPS was expensive and challenging to work with. There is not an adequate audience base or community there. Location for next year is under discussion. Changing to Zimfest every other year might cause us to lose momentum. Perhaps it would be more special if held every other year. On the other hand, partner organizations might be affected if we change to every other year. Perhaps we would be more successful if we had the same dates every year so that people could plan ahead and make this a habit for attendees. What would a festival coordinator be doing if we held the festival every other year? Perhaps fundraising could be the focus.
–A decision was made to hold the festival next year. We will strive to come up with a consistent date and semi-permanent home.
–The paid festival organizer seemed to be beneficial. We will continue the paid coordinator discussion at a future meeting.
5) Village meeting follow up—David—Detailed minutes were posted to the board folder. Discussion:
–autorenew process for annual membership might be implemented.
–What can we do as a board to address the issue of marimbas? If we had more resources, perhaps Zimfest could buy instruments for use at the festivals. This is probably not an option with our current resources.
–Is the volunteer process working? No changes needed for now.
–Not holding a workshop at the time of the village meeting might deprive the festival of income but eliminated any scheduling conflicts.
–Communication—Larry will send a note to blog subscribers when the synopsis is posted to the blog. Amy will post a notification on Facebook
–Issues of inclusion brought up—this gets back to the mission as to who the festival is for—this discussion has been going on for 15 years. We do want to find ways to reach out to the greater Zimbabwean community. Hiring a publicity or PR person might not be effective. Use of teachers and social networks might be more effective. We need more discussion later.
–We might also consider adding a workshop or activity for kids every session so as to make the schedule more family friendly.
6) A list of topics that might be discussed at the next meeting was compiled.
Next meeting, 6-8 pm PST, Sunday, September 14, 2014
Additional notes: Paul created the certificates for the teachers from Zimbabwe–these are being distributed.
I was at Camp PaGungwa this year when Claire Jones presented Cosmas Magaya and Musekiwa Chingodza certificates of participation and appreciation for Zimfest 2014. I never imagined how meaningful and appreciated such a gesture would be to the Zimbabwean teachers and performers. Thanks to whomever thought of this and to Claire for carrying it out.
Thank you to the board for continuing throughout the year, carrying the Zimfest torch to a new season. It makes sense to bring back the plan of having a kids’ workshop every session of the festival.