The Zimfest Association mission is to produce North America’s premier annual festival of Zimbabwean music, bringing a global community together to celebrate Zimbabwe’s participatory musical traditions through high-quality workshops and performances.
We envision a festival that:
- Gives people from different cultures and traditions the opportunity to connect through music.
- Values the power of Zimbabwean music and dance in building community.
- Provides a venue for performing groups of all ages to showcase their talents and share with their peers.
- Exposes participants to new teachers, performers, and musical styles.
- Actively reaches out to new audiences and participants, offering opportunities for deeper involvement.
- Contributes to sustainable livelihoods for Zimbabwean teachers and performers.
- Is family-friendly, affordable, and welcoming for all attendees.
- Embodies Zimbabwean values of mutually respectful relationships (hunhu/ubuntu) among teachers, performers, staff and attendees.
First conceived in the early years of the festival, the Zimfest Association (ZA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation that was formed in 1999. ZA provides financial, technical and emotional support to Zimfest organizing committees while giving them the freedom to make each festival a unique yet familiar celebration of Zimbabwean music and culture. The festival fulfills a dual purpose: to support the international community of people who love Zimbabwean music by providing a venue for gathering and sharing, and to foster the growth of that community by reaching out to an ever-wider audience through educational and performance initiatives.
Zimfest has become a huge production and even though most organizers volunteer their time, the festival’s annual budget is almost $100,000. While most Zimfest budgets are planned to break even, the festival was fortunate to make a small profit during the early 2000s. Zimfest Association has been able to give back to Zimbabwe by donating a portion of Zimfest profits to organizations working in Zimbabwe. Since 2002, Zimfest Association has contributed a total of $60,710 to Mbira, Ancient Ways, Tariro, HopeFirst, Dispatch Foundation, and Chinhoyi Patience Chaitezvi school project via Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center. ZA has also funded audio recordings of Zimfest concerts and production of the Zimfest 2000 CD.
Where will the next festivals be held? ZA provides continuity, experience and the seed money to help grow the festival. If your group or community would like to host Zimfest in the future, please contact Zimfest Association.
The Zimfest Association Board would appreciate your input or feedback on any aspect of the festival. They can be reached via email at gro.t1516181168sefmi1516181168z@dra1516181168ob1516181168.