August 16, 2015 ZA Board/Village Meeting Minutes

August 16, 2015 Zimfest Association Board Meeting Minutes — Village Meeting at Zimfest, Columbia Room, Western Oregon University, Monmouth, Oregon

Welcome and Thanks

Board members were introduced. A new treasurer and secretary are needed.

Members of the organizing committee thanked, including:

  • Online Registration and Tech: Alex Weeks and Jake Roberts
  • Concert production: Michael Beardsworth
  • Concert scheduling and performers: Eric Miller and Jeff Brahe
  • Volunteer coordinator: Carla Starck
  • Marketplace coordinator: Rob Corrigan
  • Instruments, Workshops and teachers: Mark Hoskins and Craig Staude
  • Graphics: Simme Bobrosky
  • Zimbabwean guest coordinator: Marilyn Mohr

Heartfelt thanks also to:

  • Website: Larry Israel
  • Marimba wranglers: Daniel Lockley, Craig LaFolette
  • Photographer: Karen Wolf
  • T-shirts: Toni Corrigan
  • Festival guide: Betty Weiss
  • Festival guide layout: Graham Burdekin
  • Tech Team: Gretel Baumgartner, John Hatten, Alex, Jake and Larry are also thanked for their help on technical aspects

There are many others who put time and effort into the festival who are not named here. We thank you all!

The mission statement of the Zimfest Association was read aloud and attendees were asked to reflect as to the extent to which we are meeting the objectives.

We are also grateful for a grant of $2000 in support of the festival from the Tulalip Tribes.

Treasurer’s Report (David Simon)

We may not be living up to our goals in the mission statement. Last year the Association had a net loss of $9,000. This was driven by the line item facility fee for the 2014 festival. For example, UPS wanted to charge a $10 facility fee for concert attendees who were not registered for the festival. On the plus side, we received $10,000 in donations last year. Some companies give matching grants or donations if you volunteer your time.

Volunteerism is key to the success of this organization. It has helped to have a paid coordinator to sustain this festival. Our paid coordinator still volunteers most of her time. One participant estimated that she probably makes 25 cents/hour given all the hours she works.

In the past, we were able to give charitable contributions. If we have any surplus, we will consider whether we may pay more to teachers or performers.

Membership Report (MyLinda King)

We became a membership organization in 2011. In order to apply for grants, we need to be able to attest to the number of members that we have. We currently have 9 lifetime members among 65 members total. We had over 300 participants in the festival this year, so everyone is encouraged to become a member.

Ideas to increase membership were discussed.

What’s New?

  • The technical aspects of Zimfest are complicated. Currently, Alex and Jake are essential to these aspects of Zimfest.
  • Tsitsi Hantuba has made improvements to our financial management and should be easier for the next treasurer.
  • The paid coordinator position is reconsidered annually. The board will have this conversation again after the festival.
  • In 2013, we started the Plaque Project to honor our teachers who have moved on. Lucky Moyo has been working on that with authorities in Harare.

Zimfest 2016 and Beyond

Many sites have been considered including Seattle University, University of Oregon and
others. Western Oregon University is an option for next year. Legacy clients tie up many weekends. Non-university sites have also been explored. PLU had meal plan issues.

Criteria for a venue — need to accommodate 200 people; concert venue; no early curfew; and others.

It was suggested that we consider booking out several years in advance. Also, some festivals occur every other year. We could consider that. This might impact the Zimbabwean guest artists. Another proposal is to do the festival in the same place, two years in a row.

Currently, WOU and U of O are options for 2016. If we returned next year, we might need to address transportation. One Monmouth City Council member spoke with Claire and seemed encouraging about our return. Pluses have included on-site camping, close proximity of marketplace and outdoor concerts to the evening venue. The WOU staff has been appreciative and welcoming. The concert staff have been accommodating as have other staff. Claire notes that you can review their menu online and make suggestions.

The festival survey is available as a link online — go to the website.

Claire will collaborate with Tsitsi to consider the budget option for U of O. for 2017.

Community Input and Feedback

Julie Ishihara is recognized for her contributions–she could not be here today.

Craig L. noted that we need 7-8 sets of marimbas for each festival. We rely upon bands and communities to provide marimbas. A set is at minimum: one bass, one baritone, two tenors and 3 sopranos. Ideally, we want F#s on the sopranos. Jaiaen Beck is thanked for bringing two full sets to Zimfest this year!

Zimbabwean Guest Panel

Kurai thanked everyone for coordinating the festival. Guests introduced themselves: Zivanai Masango, Rujeko Dumbutshena, Kurai Blessing Mubaiwa, Patience Chaitezvi Munjeri, “Samaita” Vitalis Botsa, Chaka (Chakaipa) Mhembere, Patience Musandirire, and Tafadzwa Mutamba. Some of the topics raised include the following:

This year, severe drought led to significant crop failure. Donations can be made to Kutsinhira to help purchase food for the 700 orphans that go to the school where Patience Munjeri teaches. She has seen students faint, because the come to school after having not eaten. Purchases through MBIRA also help feed artists’ families back in Zimbabwe.

Patience Musandirire encouraged us to sponsor P-3 visa applications in order to facilitate other artists opportunity to share their music. Erica Azim explained that the P-3 visa requires that the artist be of ‘exceptional” credentials and require published works.

Rujeko advocated for keeping Zimfest in the same location at least two years in a row. This would allow for more energy to support the community of Zimbabwean artists and their families. She also encouraged considering 3 rotating locations.

Thank you to all who attended the Village Meeting!