April 14, 2024 ZA Board Meeting Minutes

Members in Attendance: Daniel Lockley, Mandy Walker-LaFollette, Tendai Muparutsa, Heather Steele, Maria Minnaar Bailey, Janis Weeks, Adrienne Stewart, Alyson Quinn, Michael Sibanda
Members Absent: Alex Weeks
Non-voting members in attendance: Claire Jones
Meeting lead: Janis
Notes taker: Mandy
Was a quorum of Board members present?: Yes

Review Agenda (All)

Site Search Updates

  • Adrienne – WWU in Bellingham
    • Our contact is still trying to get a noise waiver, but Adrienne assumes it’s not going to happen.
  • Heather – WSU and Univ. Idaho (near Pullman WA/Moscow ID)
    • Heather has contacted both universities.
    • WSU doesn’t have a good evening concert venue nor a good marketplace/afternoon concert venue.
    • Heather looked into WSU satellite sites, and didn’t find any viable options.
    • UI has stopped responding to Heather.
  • CWU and Kittitas Event Center (Ellensburg) site visit – Claire & Alex 3/29
    • CWU is enthusiastic and we have a potential date for 2025! August 8-11, 2025 is their proposal for us (last weekend in July/first in August doesn’t work for them, this year at least).
    • Conference Services thinks they have found enough workshop spaces for us on campus.
    • Ballroom on campus looks like a good option for evening concerts – curfew of 11pm (outdoor curfew is 10pm).
    • Mbira parties should be viable in dorm lounges.
    • Claire hasn’t done a comprehensive cost analysis, but it looks comparable to other University conference services.
    • Overall, Claire thinks this is very comparable to our situation at WOU, and a good offer overall.
      • Main difference is that the dorm-to-marketplace distance is a bit farther
      • Claire thinks there should be good transportation to CWU as well, as it’s a straight shot from Seattle to Ellensburg via I-90, and there’s a discount bus service (https://www.flixbus.com/bus-routes/bus-ellensburg-wa-seattle-wa, currently $30 from SeaTac airport).
    • Claire has been given a green light from the board to pursue CWU for 2025 and will not require any financial commitment
  • Claire research on other WA State sites
    • UW Bothell: New dorm was just built but no concert venue of 300+ indoors or outdoors.
    • The other potential candidate is Gonzaga – any volunteers?
    • Whitman College; Claire has communicated to them that the last 2 weekends in June are possibilities.

Suggestion for 5-year Plan (Claire)

  • 2024 – research and planning
  • 2025 – Festival in WA State (likely CWU)
  • 2026 – Festival in OR (WOU)
  • 2027 – Festival in WA (2nd option?)
  • 2028 – Festival in OR (likely WOU)
  • Assess. Keep in mind the option of alternating years with no festival. This would help keep our attendance higher (2018, the year after our first year off, had significantly higher attendance, and the next year, 2019, had significantly lower attendance), and could help with volunteer recruitment and warding off burnout.
    • Another possibility is a 3 year rotation: WA – OR – off.

Claire will move forward with CWU for 2025, and contact WOU about 2026 dates. We will not lock ourselves in but have a plan in case we move forward with that. The longer term planning will continue to be a conversation we have regularly, particularly as we change leadership later this year.

President Search Updates (Janis, All)

March Notes/Minutes (Mandy)

  • Approved.

Prospective Budget (Claire)

Heather will ask Gary to create a budget for next month’s meeting.

Membership Updates

Daniel will draft a membership drive letter for summer and report on what percentage of members are on auto-renew.

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