September 20, 2015 ZA Board Meeting Minutes

September 20, 2015 Zimfest Association Board Meeting Synopsis

Members in attendance: David Simon, Tsitsi Hantuba, Paul Mataruse, Jacqueline Fallon, Dana Moffett, Daniel Lockley, Alex Weeks
Non-voting member in attendance: Claire Jones

Highlights of the Festival

Claire reports that people liked the closeness of the outdoor area/registration, the shadiness of the grove and the camping area. She says that the onsite staff was really nice and helpful. An interesting observation was that the same tuning was used all the late night parties. The rules seemed to be followed. Suggested late night party guidelines were written in the festival guide and they were well received. Dana thought everything looked like it was running smoothly. Everything was close together, which was nice. The attendance seemed small but good. Jacqueline had similar thoughts. She also commented on the community being friendly. Paul liked having a lot of Zimbabweans at the festival and being involved. David had similar thoughts as well as from a cash management side, room setup was good. The Village meeting had good participation and attendees seemed to care and take ownership, engaging in dialogue. The main street was close with outside options for eating. David had a chance to interact with Don at WOU and was accommodating. Daniel was grateful to be able to drive the instruments around on campus for transporting times.


The lobby was not set up when we arrived and the area where the late night party was held was dirty at the beginning. There were not enough chairs in some of the workshop rooms. David heard comments from Zimbabweans that they felt underpaid and not enough support from Americans. Some would like a full teaching schedule. The Zimbabweans expectations might be different at the village meeting than what we are expecting. How do we improve the lines of communication? Having a workshop coordinating team would be helpful. The farmers market and other concert series will be easier for us to connect with the community before Zimfest this time around. We need to coordinate transportation for teachers, performers and participants next time. It could be possible to arrange for a shuttle, similar to what WOU uses for students during the year.

Review of Village Meeting Minutes

Reviewed and approved. Post as is.

Review of July 12th Meeting Minutes and Synopsis

Reviewed and approved.

Preliminary Survey Data (Claire)

We will review and discuss at the next meeting.

Preliminary Financials

If Alex’s preliminary calculations stand true, then we could be making about $11,000. Tsitsi is looking at the bank account as of today, we will be in the same spot as we were the year before, taking everything into account as a cash perspective. Alex was only looking at the festival numbers. The next meeting we will review the financials further. The good news is the festival made some significant money.

Status of New Board Members

Janis Weeks would very much like to join the ZA board. David had extensive discussions with another individual at Zimfest who could be a possible treasurer. David had a discussion with another two people who are thinking about joining the board.

Review of Proposal to Make Policies Available Online (Claire)

There are policy documents on google drive. Sometimes they have been publicised and sometimes not. Could the refund policy to be available online? In the past some previous board members didn’t want some of the policies related to Zimbabweans to be posted publicly. Claire will provide us with a list of policies to review and see which ones we will post online. Advocate for membership and how to make things transparent. The move to publish a synopsis of the board minutes was a step towards being more transparent.

Review Invoice from WOU

Some of the line items are not specific enough for us to completely understand. We will continue reviewing.

Zimfest 2016 Location (David)

Rujeko very eloquently implored us to stay at WOU for 2016. We would already have relationships made to help things run smoother. Our energy could be placed to more important areas. The board is in agreement to go back to WOU. One of our goals has been to find a location to go back to more than once. So many things are already set up for us. David made a motion, pending final review of the invoice, to hold Zimfest 2016 at WOU. Daniel made a 2nd. As soon as we have the final data we will let the membership know of our decision. Our first choice would be the 2nd weekend in August 11th-15th.

Areas of Focus for 2016

A board retreat occurred about a year ago where some good ideas were generated. Should we meet in the next month or two for a retreat?

A few brainstorming thoughts……. Daniel – Jeff’s class performance idea for the evening concert is idea was good but needs more coordination and better timing to make it work. Claire- The board needs to be more involved in outside fundraising. She needs more help and a commitment. David – Do we want to return to our roots of supporting Zimbabwe? Tsitsi – Would like to see the musicians paid more before we support Zimbabwean organizations. Claire comments that we have been shortchanging ourselves by contributing more to other nonprofits than to our nonprofit. Jacqueline – Will work at reaching out to teacher organizations. Claire reported that only one WA teacher registered for clock hours. Jacqueline could reach out to classmates involved with other teacher organizations to help promote Zimfest.

Fundraising should possibly be the main focus for the year. What are ideas of raising funds? Everyone should search fundraising and see what they can come up with. There are many avenues towards raising funds.

David will look at possible weekends and see what we have available for a retreat.

We will interview Janis at the next meeting.

Next Board Meeting

October 11, 6-8pm PST

2 Comments on “September 20, 2015 ZA Board Meeting Minutes

  1. Petra Siemion says:

    I’d like to comment about a statement in the Highlights section of these minutes which says “Suggested late night party guidelines were written in the festival guide.” In actuality, the article I wrote was more about my personal vision for the mbira gatherings rather than a specific list of rules or guidelines that should be followed (as had been done in some previous festival guides). I do think my comments in this year’s guide were generally well received, but there were a few people who told me they disagreed with some of the ideas included in the article.

    • Claire Jones says:

      Thanks for pointing that out, Petra. I probably should have made sure the minutes did not imply that your article was intended to be interpreted as guidelines for the late night parties. This year’s organizing committee did not want to set out hard and fast rules for these parties as has been done in the past, and we thought it would be a nice change to have one person who has attended many of the late night parties to present his or her view of an ideal late night gathering. In asking you to write such an article, it was our hope that people would understand this to be the view of one person, as are many of the articles written for the festival guide. My own personal view is that I like to see the gatherings as being open to other activities besides mbira, as in 2014 when there was a lot of singing, and at least one night with electric guitars. If there are people feeling excluded, let’s talk and work it out.