March 21, 2020 Joint ZA Board/Organizing Committee Meeting Synopsis
ZF Members in Attendance: Daniel Lockley, Jacqueline Fallon, Chris Halaska, Tendai Muparutsa, Drew Turner, Mandy Walker-LaFollette, Janis Weeks, Alex Weeks
OC Members in Attendance: Nora Holmquist, Mark Keller, Evelyn Keller, Jim Levine, Heron Stombock, James von Hendy
Members Absent: none
Non-voting member in attendance: Claire Jones
Review Agenda (All)
Review Current COVID-19 Situation (All)
New information since our last board meeting. We should decide before we open registration, before we incur any costs of people registering. We worry about how Zimbabweans can come at all. On the other hand they may still want to come because of the dire situation of work. No one has gotten their letters yet because they are sitting on a desk at Evergreen (Evergreen is now closed until April 24th and then they will reassess, support is cut back so communication will be harder to keep working on Zimfest to get registration ready, like room allotments). In order for B1 applicants to get a Visa they need letters first. We need to send them to Zimbabwe by courier which is about $200. Concern of the money the Zimbabweans would have to put up for a Visa. If we cancel after they get a visa if they don’t have sponsors then we really should pay for their visa. Petitions have been submitted and paid for by their sponsors for those with working visas. They have entire tours, not just Zimfest.
Travel Restrictions are starting to be put into place in certain areas.
The Embassy in Harare is not accepting visa appointments.
How many of our participants would be able to come to Zimfest? Some of them may not have been working, so money might be an issue.
Review Current Finances/Budget (Chris)
- $1000 deposit paid, $300 non-refundable. Per terms of contract, may lose the entire deposit upon cancellation due to us canceling. If we don’t get the entire amount back it won’t break the bank.
- Fundraising two ideas: Benevity matching; sales of individual songs from Zimfest 2000 CD – Can someone make 30 sec. clips of music for the website so that we can start putting music up and not just words? Can we find a volunteer for that? Use CD Baby, Soundcloud, or band camp?
Review Options (All)
- Cancel festival now
- Make a decision before May 1st target registration open date – Is it at all feasible to postpone registration by a couple of weeks?
- Other options? – If Zimbabweans can’t come, are there more teachers in the US who would be willing to teach more workshops, they don’t normally apply to teach much because they know the preference goes to Zimbabwean teachers.
- If we cancel the festival now, and the situation improves by summer, consider the possibility of putting together a smaller gathering or postpone it to the fall?
Executive Session (Board Only)
Decided we didn’t need to discuss.
Resume Full Meeting and Make Decision (All)
The ZF Board and the OC voted to cancel the festival now. Draft a blog post to be posted this weekend. Teachers will get a separate message after the post just in case they didn’t see the blog post. Write up a message of “looking forward”.
Where to Go From Here?
Given that we have cancelled 2020 Zimfest, are there other ways to carry out our mission and stay engaged?
Sunday April 12th, 6:30 pm Pacific time on Google Hangouts