February 20-21, 2016 ZA Board Strategic Retreat

Summary of the Zimfest Association Board Strategic Retreat – February 20th & 21st, 2016

The board met for a weekend in February on Whidbey Island to brainstorm ways to strengthen Zimfest. We had great discussions around improving volunteer engagement and ideas for bringing new people to Zimfest, as well as many others listed below. By no means do we have answers for all these points or know the best way to see them out, but we hope that together as a community we can work through more ways of strengthening Zimfest.

  1. Ideas for improving volunteer engagement in both organizing committee and festival related activities.
  1. Ideas for bringing new people to Zimfest.

    Potential groups to draw from include:

    • Teachers and students
    • Local community people
    • Random newcomers
    • Zimbabwean diaspora
  1. Key Opportunities for Strengthening Zimfest
    • Improved workshop programming for old-timers and new members
    • Bringing new people to festivals
    • Improved volunteer engagements – both at festival and on organizing committee
    • Improved Social Media and Marketing Presence
      • Improved FaceBook presence
      • Posting of videos, discussion topics, etc.
      • Teasers for festival
      • Teasers for individual classes
    • Improved Teacher Engagement
      • More opportunities for teacher jams and time to connect with each other. Make instruments available.
    • Broader understanding of and outreach to key stakeholders
      • In particular Zimbabwean attaché. Consider outreach. Check with several Zimbabweans first.
    • Improved family opportunities
      • Family package for festival / concerts
      • Information on more cost effective accommodations
      • FAQ for families
    • Opportunities for non-musical engagements
      • Cultural activities
    • External Fundraising
      • Fundraising by bands, etc. In process.
      • Pursue opportunities as they present themselves. May need to get a bit further at booking 2017 or 2018 venues to apply for certain grants.
    • Welcoming of New Participants
      • Can we have a FAQ on the Website or Festival Guide?
      • Recognition during the festival?
    • Be more open-minded about the nature of the music
    • Wider appeal of evening concerts – and in particular being open to the possibility of more popular Zim music.
    • Creating a stand-alone registration system and developing independence from Jake and Alex.
    • Pay Performers More
    • Return to investing in Zimbabwean non-profits
      • Consider both when our financials improve