September 8, 2019 ZA Board Meeting Minutes

September 8, 2019 Zimfest Association Board Meeting Synopsis

Members in Attendance: Jacqueline Fallon, Chris Halaska, Daniel Lockley, Tendai Muparutsa, Mandy Walker-LaFollette, Janis Weeks
Members Absent: Alex Weeks
Non-voting member in attendance: Claire Jones

Review/Modify Agenda (All)

Nothing new to add

July Minutes/Synopsis

Not available for approval yet.

Approve Minutes from Board/Village Meeting at Zimfest

We do not have minutes to review at this meeting.

Discuss Potential New Board Members (All)

We have not received any letters yet from those who had shown an interest. Also reaching out to a few other possibilities and thinking of some more Zimbabwean representation.

Zimfest 2019 Debrief (All, 1 hour)

Board de-briefing of their festival duties: concert door, financial management and payments.

  • Concert door – There were enough people to help. Claire and Chris thought it was great that Janis volunteered to help each night. It helped to have the continuity.
  • Financial management – All in all, it worked out well.
  • Lunch with Zimbabweans – Three Zimbabweans attended. It was decided not to have all the Zimbabweans introduce themselves at the village meeting. Patience agreed to talk about the work that she has been doing in Zimbabwe at the Village meeting

Zimfest 2019 Organizing Committee Debrief Summary

  • Stats: 278 registrations (419 in 2018). Total number of workshop sessions 69; enrollments 539 = 7.81 per workshop. (2018: 96 sessions, 889 enrollments, 9.26 per workshop; 2016: 90 sessions, 796 enrollments, 8.84 per workshop)
  • Many positives from Zimbabweans new to Zimfest.
  • More problems w/ WOU facilities (locked classrooms, etc.) than in 2018
  • Onsite Registration went smoothly but bugs in RegFox online. Tech. committee is going through a reevaluation of RegFox.
  • Going Green worked well but more communication needed to let people know what they should do
  • Waiting for teacher evaluations to get feedback – especially on no resonators in workshops. Some of the bass and baritones had resonators in the workshop rooms and some did not.
  • Making Sunday evening concert by donation did NOT reduce ticket payments significantly – some who paid online increased their ticket donations! – It seems like it worked. There were a few who didn’t pay or paid less, but this was a small number.
  • Volunteer program went well with new team and other people volunteering to help out with coordination next time.
  • Marketplace: 3 vendors willingly paid late fees (no publicity for them, too late). 3 non-booth vendors willingly paid (and overpaid!) 5% commission.
  • Most of 2019 OC willing to be on OC for next Zimfest and some new people have volunteered.
  • Claire suggests a separate (preferably local) person to be Site/Facilities Coordinator, which would help relieve pressure.

Some Survey Results (as of 9/5)

Survey reasons for not coming in 2019:

  • August date not good: 2
  • Too far to drive: 2
  • Inconvenient public transportation: 1
  • Illness or injury: 3
  • Busy: 4
  • Nhema North a priority: 2
  • Prefer variety in sites: 1

Keep Zimfest annual: 3 – love to have it next year; keep it annual

Every other year: 6 – reconsider every other year; consider going to every other year, alternating with Nhemamusasa North. Switching up the venue is a good idea. Perhaps people didn’t come because taking 2017 off created an expectation.

Zimfest Preliminary Budget Report (Chris, Claire)

We will have a loss this year but we don’t have the bill from WOU yet. This is to be expected with fewer registrants this year.

Tech Committee Update (Janis)

The tech committee was working on software and back end stuff most of the year to get everything set up for Zimfest. There have still been problems with bugs and responses from RegFox. Will review the process for picking and do a serious evaluation of RegFox.

Donation for Instruments

We want to see if it can go towards tubanos (drums) or nyunga nyungas.

Zimfest 2020? (Claire)

Board decided YES to 2020. Evergreen date is a week earlier (end of July/August) Claire will reach out to Evergreen to see if the date is still available and the room availability. Other possibilities – Whidbey Island Fairgrounds, Western Washington (the problem is no good concert venue on campus. Maybe use a concert venue in town.) Central Washington and Williams College.

Next Meeting

Sunday October 13th, 6:30 pm Pacific time on Google Hangouts

5 Comments on “September 8, 2019 ZA Board Meeting Minutes

  1. Wendy Rochman says:

    Western Washington University is in Bellingham, the jewel on the sound. If you can make it happen, WWU would be a great venue

    • Claire Jones says:

      Zimfest 2005 took place at Western Washington University. It was a successful festival, but the drawback was that there was no decent evening concert venue there besides a large gym. In my view it would be great to return to WWU if an attractive concert venue could be identified in nearby Bellingham. Best, Claire

  2. John Hatten says:

    The main stage at WWU’s Performing Arts Center (PAC)is a great performance space far nicer than WOU ( Is the issue that it’s too expensive? Or are there technical issues? There’s also a concert hall in the same building ( I could envision mbira performances in the concert hall and marimba on the main stage. But I wasn’t on the organizing committee in 2005, so I’m sure that there are details I’m not aware of.

    On the other hand, Williams College in Williamstown, MA would be an amazing adventure in Zimfesting! 🙂

  3. Larry Israel says:

    I wonder if the Concert Hall at WWU in Bellingham would be a good evening concert venue. This is the smaller of the two halls that John just wrote about. I have not been there, but it looks good based on WWU’s panoramic photo.

    John, have you been there and is it really too small? I count more than 300 fixed concert seats facing below toward a large stage area (not raised) that appears to be big enough for both dancers and performers (we could divide it somehow). I could not find (online) the dimensions of that stage area; nor any info about a curfew.

    Zimfest has evaluated more than two dozen potential locations, as summarized in a page linked from the main Board Meeting Minutes page:

    “Western Washington University, Bellingham – Preferred concert hall subject to 10 PM noise curfew; otherwise concert venue would be a gym. That gym was under renovation, may possibly be more attractive to Zimfest audiences than it was in 2005.”