March 13, 2016 Zimfest Association Board Meeting Synopsis
Members in Attendance: David Simon, Jacqueline Fallon, Chris Halaska, Alex Weeks, Janis Weeks, Daniel Lockley, Rujeko Dumbutshena, Paul Mataruse
Members Absent: Dana Moffett
Non-voting member in Attendance: Claire Jones
Approval of February 21st Minutes/Synopsis
2016 Organizing Committee Update (Claire)
13 individual Zimbabweans and three performing groups including Chinyakare (8 people) have applied. Maybe 12 or 15 over from what we can accommodate. Have been looking for a homestay for one group but unable to find one yet. Prefer to cut back on people rather than travel. How do we ask some not to come? Anyone interested in camping? Organizing committee will make final decision on how many people.
Send a very specific message out for Project Kudzana, and a reminder, and adding that we have this many that have applied but we don’t have the funds to support them all.
Submitted grant proposal to Siletz Tribal Charitable Contributions. Decision late April, mandatory distribution reception at casino in Lincoln City May 6.
Pursue sponsorship – David, Groups with complex sound needs to schedule a sound check before hand. Seated arrangement so people don’t get blocked by dancers. Some classes to be scheduled for a highlighted performance on the afternoon stage. Volunteer page is back up so that members can already sign up. Site visit for Oregon changed, Save the Date card – design represents the painted Ndebele houses
2017 Site Research Report (Claire)
PLU payment policy has been changed, a deposit is due at the beginning and full payment due 2 weeks ahead of event, neither of the 2 concert spaces allow dancing. The dance theatre would allow for dancing, stage set up and chairs. We get a feeling that they have some changes due to the last time they hosted us. Seattle Pacific, could accommodate for housing and dining, don’t have a concert hall larger than for 200, UW probably too expensive and more regulations, should we consider conference centers? Reach out to membership, don’t list give us any of these sites but do you have other ideas? Include a list of criteria. Shoreline Community College, no housing
Strategic Gathering Follow-up (David)
Follow up at the next board meeting
Bringing New People to Zimfest
Follow-up and Actions from document – finish flyer with save the date for teachers, reach out to them, still need to work on local contacts for help, OC – bring a new friends to register for 2 workshops and get into a concert for free. Zimbabwean Diaspora – really pushing the teachers who are coming to try and draw others into Zimfest, look who and how many Zimbabwean artists we have coming, come hang out, take a workshop, see them perform, the people should be what gets them excited to come. Voice Department in DC who broadcasts in the states and Zimbabwe and satellite radio in NY. What about ethnomusicology, music education departments and professors in areas. How can things get posted to these larger groups?
Increase Average Workshop Enrollment
Follow-up and Actions – how to appeal for new people and old-timers, a free class offered for newbies announced at the afternoon stage (a few teachers have been approached about this), have a focus group discussion from old-timers at Zimfest to get an idea of what they feel like is missing from workshops and contact before hand for with a blog post call for ideas.
Improving Volunteer Participation
Follow-up and Actions – next time dive in and invite Carla
I’d like to chime in about plans for future Zimfests. I believe we are at that point where we need to skip a year and possibly go into an every 2 year cycle. I know this has been brought up many times in the past with varying opinions. I think it is getting harder and harder to maintain this large yearly festival in terms of: getting members for an organizing committee and getting a venue that is affordable and checks most of the boxes for what we require. I really do not think that we will “lose our brand” or have people not return the following year. My personal experience bears this out in that I missed last year’s festival (health issues) and am even more excited to be returning to this year’s festival. I think most of our community would feel the same way.
The one down-side is the group of visiting and resident Zimbabweans who really look forward to the community of Zimfest and seeing friends that they only see at Zimfest. For the visiting Zimbabwean artists, most of them are also touring the US and that is where they really make most of their money while here. And there are more camps being put on during the year which frequently host traveling artists as well as provide a weekend experience of learning and playing together.
Before making any decisions about 2017, I would ask that you please put this on the agenda for the Village Meeting (it usually is!) and I hope that we can have a fruitful discussion about this.
Julie’s points make sense to me. I agree that there could likely be even more enthusiasm and ability to participate either in the organizing committee and/or in Zimfest if there was a 2 year cycle.
Camps and weekend workshops could, hopefully, fill in the gap in-between the festivals as support for visiting and resident Zimbabweans, – a very important consideration both financially and in terms of community gathering. Other opportunities between festivals might also emerge. Perhaps, a festival held every two years could be a little longer than the annual one.
As I am not sure if I will be able to be at Zimfest this year and was unable to come last year, I am sending my thoughts now. Thanks very much.