August 12, 2018 Village Meeting, Zimfest Association Board Synopsis
Members in Attendance: Daniel Lockley, Jacqueline Fallon, Chris Halaska, Evelyn Mukwedeya, David Simon, Mandy Walker-LaFollette, Alex Weeks, Janis Weeks
Members Absent: none
Non-voting member in attendance: Claire Jones
Welcome and Introduction of Board Members
- Mission Statement (David) – And thank you to David for having served for 8 years
- Introduction of board members
- Plug for new board members
Peter and Paul Hayes had a booth at the marketplace. They were raffling off a quilt, djembe, tenor ukulele, and a nyunga nyunga. All the proceeds will go to support Tariro, Ancient Ways, Portland-Mutare Sister City Association, and Zimfest. They raised over $800 during the first 2 days of the festival. Drawing for the nyunga nyunga and winner is Louisa Jones. Thank you Paul and Peter.
Recognition of Festival Committee and Tech Committee
- Tech team – Chair Nora Holmquist, Alex Weeks, Janis Weeks, Larry Israel
- Core Organizing Committee –
- Workshops/Teachers Coordinator – Nora Holmquist
- Registration Lead and Concert Programmer – Mandy Walker-LaFollette
- Volunteer Coordinator – Carla Starck, Volunteer Intern – Heron Stombock
- Concert Production – Michael Beardsworth
- Zimbabwean Guest Coordinator and Workshop assistant – Zack Moon
- Performer Liaison and stage managing – Bud Cohen
- Support team
- Paul and Peter Hayes – marimba procurement
- Margie Smith – marimba donations
- Marketplace Coordinator – prefest Diana Chamrad, onsite – Jan and Helen Six
- Onsite Marimba Wrangling – Jory Christiansen, Lucas Earl
- Zimfest Booth Coordinator – Carrie Rodlend
- Acknowledging Larry Israel for all of his work and presenting him with a shirt
- Evelyn thanked Claire for all of her work on the festival.
There was a new element added to pre fest this year, Gretel helped set up a community outreach workshop which was suggested by Lucky Moyo.
There was a plug asking for help loading marimbas after the Sunday session.
Board Updates (Team)
- Work achieved since Zimfest 2016 – Some of the behind the scenes work that we as an association do is taking care of the legal obligations and making sure that infrastructure and operations are in place to hold a festival. Zimfest is a festival for the community, by the community. We get out of it as much as we put in. Financial sustainability, registration system software and volunteering were the main things that we worked on during the off year. Thank you to Alex and Jake for their past registration work. One goal was to determine a registration system that would work for Zimfest so as to not rely on the same people year after year writing our registration system. There were lots of hours spent doing research for new registration software, testing, selection, working through the bugs and having it all ready in time. On the financial side, there is the revenue and expenses, supporting the teachers, performers and renting the space. We had a committee looking at revenue and brainstormed ideas around fundraising. The matching challenges for fundraising have been a success these past few months helping us try to reach our Zimfest 2018 campaign goal. There is a new $1000 matching donation starting today from 8/12/18 – 8/26/18. On the volunteering side, we have a lot of recurring volunteers, but we are looking for fresh blood in the Organizing Committee for Zimfest 2019. We have sign-up sheets for volunteers in several locations around the campus, consider signing up.
- This year we meet with some of the Zimbabwean teachers and had some great discussions. The cultural appropriation panel was a wonderful new addition to this year’s festival. Thinking about ways to continue to have an ongoing discussion. We would like to figure out how to meet with Zimbabwean teachers throughout the year instead of just at Zimfest. Thank you to the board members who had to step away within the past few years, Rujeko Dumbutshena, Dana Moffett, and Tapiwa Kapurura.
Treasurer’s Report (Chris)
Overall the festival is in good health. It looks like we will be in the black with what has come in so far. There are two different part of the festival, the association and the festival. It costs us about $2,000 whether we put on a festival or not. The festival makes money if we don’t include Claire’s salary and count it in the association funds and the festival loses money if we add Claire’s salary in to the festival accounts. There are some different ways of looking at it. We need about $10,000 to make the festival run, with donations, sponsorships and memberships. We are not in a position yet to be able to support other organizations. We try to keep the costs low for the festival to help be more affordable. We are low for what we are offering at the workshops and concerts.
- Clarification point – Staff t-shirts do not mean that they get paid, they are all volunteering.
- Fundraising ideas – Idea from Nancy Steele – Have concerts all over the country at different times of the year to raise money for Zimfest.
Membership Report (Daniel)
If you become a member, you get to be one of Daniel’s loyal subjects. We currently have 62 members and have almost 400 participants at Zimfest. Looking for ways to help maintain the connection with our members. Show of hands for who are members, or who have maybe just not gotten around to it yet. Is there a way to have a monthly sustaining model? Alex – we are looking at a model for an auto renewal. How do we register after the meeting? Paper copies at the registration desk or go online.
Community Input and Feedback About Upcoming Festivals
When is the next festival? We are excited to say we have Evergreen College for 2020. It would most likely in July and avoiding the Oregon Country Fair. At WOU we are locked into the 2nd weekend of August because of all the other legacy groups. If we hold the festival in 2019 it would be at WOU again. We would need to have an OC committed by the end of August to be able to commit to a festival. We do need fresh blood to be able to put that together. Not all members of the current OC are available to be part of the committee again. We are looking for any individuals or groups out there to help put the festival together. If there is a community that would like to put it on, it is possible to do it in your location, just put together a proposal and send it in to us. In the past, a community would pull it together to make it happen. In 2009, a mix of people said we will do this, it wasn’t just local community putting it on. Organized by Skype meetings and a lot of the positions have become standardized so it doesn’t all have to be recreated. Concerts/Production-putting on the shows, Concerts/Programming/Performer Liaison, Online Registration, Onsite Registration, Workshops/Teacher Coordinator and Assistant, Zimfest Guest Coordinator, Zimfest booth, Marketplace coordination, t-shirt design production and ordering, artwork and layout of the festival guide (Rachel Edson), Volunteer Coordinator (and Assistant this year), festival guide editor (not on the committee this year). Comment from Jake – Organizing is a very valuable experience, maybe even for your job and to be able to talk about your experience.
Community Input and Feedback
- Michael – He had a campaign to get more of the young people here, challenged the young people to step up in different ways, start a band, be on the board, the OC, bring a Zimbabwean to your community. Don’t do it because you have to, do it because you want to.
- Gretel – We have talked about a fixed site in the past, what is the thought now about this? That was one of our priorities to look at during the off year. We are constrained by dates and locations. There are some advantages to semi-permanent sites, but still continuing to look at other locations and dates. WOU has been working out for us, they are affordable, we like the site and they like us. There are some drawback, transportation being one. We have looked into about 20 different sites, made visits and done research and a lot of them don’t fit our needs. (See https://zimfest.org/about/board-meeting-minutes/potential-zimfest-sites/)
- Craig – If we go to Evergreen, we could potentially lose our spot at WOU and then if we came back we could lose our spot at Evergreen
- Is there a criteria listed for the community to look at? It is available on the website.
- Larry – Reminding attendees to subscribe to the email list. Many of you may not be subscribers. How many subscribers are there?
- Have volunteers in major cities help research locations so that it is not all Claire.
Certificate of Appreciation for Zimbabwean Teachers and Performers
Zimbabwean teachers come up to the front as they are recognized.
Zimbabwean Guest Panel
- Teacher introductions were made, with Michael Sibanda moderating.
- Teachers expressed thanks to Zimfest for organizing the festival.
- Panel questions:
- Evelyn Mukwedeya – What role do you think Zimfest plays in supporting Zimbabwe? Patience Musandirire – Helps us see what is happening here to take it back home. At home, we are born with it. Tafadzwa Matiure – Seeing the community dance and seeing Ruzivo come to Zimbabwe. If they can do it, we can do it. Their culture back home can sing Nhemamusasa and need support from Zimfest to help bring the culture back to Zimbabwe.
- Maggie Donohue – How are we doing with the balance between contemporary and traditional music? How do you feel about mbira music being played on marimba?
- Zivanai Masango – culture is stagnant, if we look at the number of versions of the same songs, there are many. In Zimbabwe there are slight differences in a song depending on the area of Zimbabwe. Be respectful where it came from, but it’s okay to be adapted to different instruments.
- Michael Sibanda also doesn’t have a problem having different styles of music being played on marimbas. He adapts to the style and plays the music.
- A comparison to the deaf community – relating the sign language community to this community in the sharing of a new language.
- Musekiwa Chingodza – Teaches traditional in the way that he was learned. Then he will bring a mbira song to the marimba.
- Marian Grebanier heard music that was arranged on a marimba. If it had not been arranged for marimba she would not have heard the music.
- John Hatten – There is a tension that exists that is always there. We may not always agree, have different points of view and don’t all think the same things but we need to respect each other’s views.
- Jesse Garcia – Morphing field – the information is in a field somewhere else. When he started playing marimba, there were a lot of things that were not being taught and he started trying new things, pushing the limits and technically challenged himself. He always felt like he didn’t know and understand the songs well enough to feel like he should be playing it. There is a lot of stuff that is just a feeling, a way of expressing, so how do we understand the depth of a music and a culture that we don’t speak?
- Paul Mataruse – Very powerful insight. Growing up with friends playing music, we each put our own feeling on the music. When teaching in this culture he is putting all of his feeling into the music and teaching the structure which is different from how he played growing up. Looking at the structure of how his music is written out. We have adapted with how we write the music out. It makes sense to us but not necessarily to those in Zimbabwe. It is a powerful way of collecting the music that is taught. We learn a way that they don’t learn. But we have helped preserve the culture in a way that they don’t in Zimbabwe
- Maria Minnaar-Bailey – Human voice as an instrument has not been mentioned. Encourage people to help feel the music by learning to sing the songs. Take singing workshops. At the heart and the root of things that is what connects us all.
- Larry Israel – We have not heard from all the Zimbabweans performing on the evening stage. Can others share who we have not heard from yet. (I wonder if he was looking for a little song.)
- Tsungai Tsikirai – She is empowered by her singing voice.
- Lucky Moyo – Honor the umbrella, the head of Zimfest, honoring Marian Grebanier for the years she has been around with 2 CDs from Musekiwa and Lucky. Recognizing Larry Israel for watering the Zimfest plant for many years.
Thanks and Wrap Up
- Plug for new OC & board members