October 12, 2014 ZA Board Meeting Minutes

October 12, 2014 Zimfest Association Board Meeting Synopsis

Members in attendance: Jacqueline Fallon, Tsitsi Hantuba, Jennifer Kyker, Paul Mataruse, Dana Moffett, David Simon, Alex Weeks
Members absent: Amy Robinson
Non-voting member in attendance: Claire Jones

Approval of September 14th Minutes and Synopses

The board reviewed the minutes and synopsis from the September 14th board meeting, and approved them as written.

Treasurer’s Report

Tsitsi Hantuba presented the combined annual and association financial reports, which she distributed by email prior to the board meeting. Including donations, the Zimfest Association final balance is estimated to be $17,000. This year, Zimfest raised more than $10,000 in donations, far more than in previous years, which helped substantially with the budget. Additionally, some of these donations were matched by employers, providing additional benefit.

David Simon, Claire Jones, and Tsitsi Hantuba met after the previous board meeting to analyze the financials carefully. Excluding losses due facilities fees, Zimfest 2014 would have been profitable. The board agreed that this is a good sign.

Selecting a Zimfest 2015 Site and Dates

Claire Jones reported that attempts to fit Zimfest 2015 into the schedule at Reed College next summer were unsuccessful. Other events are already planned at Reed College during all reasonable Zimfest dates for the foreseeable future.

Fort Worden State Park is not available for 2015, because every weekend is already booked. Reservations for 2016 open in November, and Claire Jones will attempt to secure a slot. However, legacy users get priority, which will complicate this process.

July dates at University of Oregon might be available if Zimfest were to use a gym for evening concerts. Bud Cohen is checking on the suitability of the gym for concerts, but Claire is not optimistic. August dates are also available, but these dates often interfere with Colorado school district schedules.

Claire Jones did a site visit at Seattle University, and is waiting to hear back with more information. July dates are not likely to work due to other bookings, and the University is currently checking on late June, and early August dates.

Dana Moffett, Paul Mataruse and Claire Jones visited the Whidbey Island Fairgrounds, which is available for the last weekend in July. Claire Jones reported that a package deal would be available to Zimfest that would substantially decrease facilities fees, but due to an upcoming transfer of management, these rates would be subject to increase in future years. 50 camping sites are available for $10/night, or $15/night with an RV. Furthermore, there are hotel and bed and breakfast options available nearby.

As a downside, there are few services available at the Fairgrounds, and Zimfest would be required to organize many services for participants that are normally provided by the host institution. These include:

  • Restroom/shower service
  • Trash/recycling service
  • Food catering service
  • Internet access (required for registration)

The board will attempt to contact whomever is responsible for routine cleaning and maintenance at the Fairgrounds, and consider contracting them to organize these services at Zimfest. Additionally, because Zimfest would not be associated with an academic institution, providing B1 visa sponsorship would be much more difficult.

In the next few weeks, Claire Jones, Dana Moffet, and Paul Mataruse will prepare a cost analysis of holding the festival at the Whidbey Island Fairgrounds, and distribute it to the board for review.

Claire Jones will continue following up with the University of Oregon and Seattle University. Additionally, she will continue soliciting information about possible 2016 sites, with the goal of selecting a 2016 Zimfest venue as soon as possible.

Communicating Decisions Regarding Donations

The board discussed how best to contact previous recipients of Zimfest donations to advise them of the decision–in light of the association budget–not to donate to external organizations this year. Additionally, Jennifer Kyker will prepare an email to send to the extended Zimfest community that explains this decision, and urges recipients to donate directly to organizations that Zimfest has supported in the past.

Zimfest Survey Summary

The board made a few final edits to the survey response summary that was prepared for previous board meetings, and David Simon will ask Larry Israel to post it to the Zimfest blog in the near future.

Festival Coordinator Discussion

Claire Jones left the meeting briefly, as the board discussed its decision to hire a paid festival coordinator in 2014. The board continues to support its decision to hire a paid festival coordinator, and plans to continue with this practice for Zimfest 2015.

Board Membership

The board discussed recruitment of new members, given the presumptive retirement of several board members in the near future.