July 3, 2022 ZA Membership Meeting — “Village Meeting” Minutes

July 3, 2022, 2pm Pacific time (2 hours), Zimfest Association Membership Meeting — “Village Meeting” Minutes

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

  • Welcome
    • Approximately 52 people in Zoom at the beginning of the meeting.
    • Read mission/vision statement (link)
  • Board member introductions
  • Recognitions:
    • Organizing committee
    • Tech committee
    • COVID safety committee
  • Treasurer report:
    • Present 2021 budget
    • Preview of 2022 budget (may not be finalized)
  • Membership report
    • 85 total members, with 20 new members as soon as new membership system launched
  • COVID safety committee report (Janis)
    • 177 participants uploaded vaccination cards ahead of time
    • About 70 vaccination cards were verified at registration
    • In total, approximately 250 participated in the vaccination verification process
  • Future plans for Zimfest
    • Should we consider Mount Vernon again? Discussion below:
      • Skagit County fair did like having us
      • If we were expecting more people in the future, it would be hard to hold it there because we are maxed out for workshop locations
      • Lincoln Theatre does not have space to stage more than 2 marimba groups on the same evening.
      • This is not enough space to put on evening concerts like we have in the past, but this year it worked with some of the recorded videos.
      • Some people were not excited about the prerecorded part of the concert.
    • Comments from meeting participants (names removed):
      • “My group of 4 did not attend the evening concerts out of concern it would be a superspreader event”
      • “Some people told me they did not come because they were not vaccinated – to the evening concerts”
      • Question: What was the cost compared to college campus?
        • Answer: it was less expensive
      • Traveling from the Bay Area was quite a trek, when counting flying and renting a car to drive a distance up to Mount Vernon
      • “I like the feel of the Fair grounds and a real concert venue.”
      • “It is quite the drive up from Tacoma too.”
    • Has Zimfest consider other locations?
      • Claire has reached out to Evergreen State College
      • Other ideas:
        • Oregon Country Fair
        • Oregon State University?
          • No one has approached them since Zimfest was last there in 2012. Returning there is possible, but many found the dorm rooms and cafeteria food not as attractive as other sites. they might be better now since it’s been over 10 years.
        • Western Oregon appears to have a conference & events services coordinator now
        • Silver Falls
        • Horning’s Hideout
        • Tidewater Falls
        • Amphitheater in Monmouth
    • Other suggestions from participants:
      • I wonder if the possibility of a pre-recorded PLUS live performance combo would help bridge that gap to make it feel less like a flat-screen movie thing? Perhaps some choreographed dancing on stage combined with the recorded performance from Zimbabwean folks.
      • We can pretty much guarantee no rain in California (unfortunately)
  • Community input / discussion (names removed)
    • This year had an interesting dynamic: the distance between the venue and community members and the distance between the venue and administrators.
    • A participant does miss some of the things that being at a college provides
    • A participant liked it better than the campus but it was a lot more work and there are things that a campus can provide that this didn’t.
    • Prerecorded video idea: screening videos all day, instead of at the evening concert?
      • Response: Love the idea–running the taped performances running on a loop all day!
      • Response: I also like the idea of a screening room going throughout; Night concerts live.
      • Response: I like the idea about screening pre-recorded acts from Zimbabwe. I also wonder about permission to ask for donations to view some of this year’s recordings retrospectively.
      • Response: I was a big advocate for using the pre recorded video, but do understand people not wanting to have those as a part of the evening concert
      • Response: I liked the recordings we had at the evening concerts, just because we had a chance to see stuff we would normally not see.
    • Question: Is it impossible to have all the concerts outdoors? I love the outdoor stage atmosphere
      • Response: Outdoor makes for a harder noise situation, worth keeping in mind if we hold the festival in residential areas. We’re very loud past 10
      • Response: Lots of festivals have outdoor concerts rain or shine ( eg Vancouver Folk Music Festival)
      • Response: Preparing for rain does complicate the audio engineering aspects, and can add some expense.
    • Discussion about granting access to pre-recorded performances:
      • Multiple responses: pay per view access much better than
      • Question: what are the licencing/rights/royalties involved in this?
    • Claire shared information about the process of paying performers in Zimbabwe and the challenge with having Western Union freeze her account.
    • Question: What was the name of the $12,500 grant from Washington?
      • Answer: WA State ArtsFund
      • Follow-up question: Was the COVID vaccination requirement a part of the grant?
      • Answer: No
    • COVID vaccination requirement discussion:
      • A participant needed the safety and wouldn’t have come if it hadn’t been in place
        • Response from another participant: I agree, and am glad you were able to be there.
        • Response: I thought the COVID requirements were great and worked well at the festival. I also would not have attended without them.
      • Comment: I didn’t think that the policy was quite keeping up with the times. No option for submitting a negative test, if you were not vaccinated. This policy prevented a number of people, including students, from attending.
        • Response: Agreed that rapid tests would have helped to admit people who don’t prefer to vaccinate, but I personally appreciated ZF’s efforts to create a safe environment.
      • Response from member of the COVID safety committee: My hope is that if we have to deal with COVID precautions again that there will be better options for testing as an alternative to vaccination status
      • Comment: As the date approached, I heard from an ever-closer circle of people testing positive for COVID. It was a miracle that all our group members were able to go. Government agencies and other venues, in my opinion, were too cavalier in lifting their requirements. Testing negative one day does not mean you won’t be contagious the next. I thank the Zimfest committee for their choice.
      • Comment: As a teacher I had a good experience, and think the masking requirements were well communicated
      • Response: I think it’s important to remember that while being vaccinated is a personal choice, being at higher risk of severe COVID is not and I don’t feel that we need to be inclusive of people that are making a decision to disregard those at higher risk. My hope is that the COVID situation calms down to where such requirements are no longer needed but in the meantime some people can decide to sit a year or two out.
      • Response: No one’s personal health choices were mandated by Zimfest. People can make their choices, and then deal with the consequences of those choices. Like sitting out the festival for a year.
      • Response: At this time, I’m far less afraid of being around someone who is unvaccinated than being around a lot of people who are indoors unmasked (even if I am well masked). So while I don’t blame performers for taking off their masks to perform, I would not want to be indoors with unmasked people. Or in an indoor workshop with unmasked people. So given similar conditions I would probably not attend Zimfest.
      • Response: I agree, masking is more important than vaccination at this point
      • Comment: I thought that testing would have been more important than vaccination
        • Response: The data I’ve heard is that even in breakthrough infections, those who are vaccinated have been found to shed less virus than those who are.
      • Comment: Two performing groups were not able to attend because of the policy
      • Comment: validating tests on site would not have been possible. There are not enough volunteers.

Note: Members can request access to the full recording of the village meeting by emailing .

One Comment on “July 3, 2022 ZA Membership Meeting — “Village Meeting” Minutes

  1. John Hatten says:

    I attended another music camp in August of this year where we were all required to rapid test on-site before we entered the camp. We were also encouraged to test before we came to save us the trouble of trouble of traveling there, only to be turned away. While yes, there IS a possibility of still being contagious, no one reported getting COVID in the week we were there. While these safety measures are controversial, and even divisive, I really appreciated the emphasis on THE BEST FOR THE MOST approach.

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