Zimfest Requests Your Help

Dear Zimfest Enthusiasts:

We hope that you are doing well and wish you the best for the coming year! We are looking forward to seeing many of you once again at WOU in Monmouth, Oregon for this year’s Zimfest – August 11th-14th.

We are writing at this time on a matter of great importance to the Zimfest Community. As you know, Zimfest depends on volunteers for its survival. The board is comprised entirely of volunteers. The work at the festival is done by volunteers. And perhaps most importantly – each year a dedicated group of volunteers forms the organizing committee for the upcoming festival. We are fortunate to have a paid festival coordinator in Claire Jones. However, as has been noted previously, the amount of work that Claire does compared to the amount that she is compensated really amounts to her volunteering a fair bit of her time as well.

Each year, it has become progressively more difficult to recruit an organizing committee. As a board, we have taken steps to reduce the burden on the organizing committee (e.g., having Claire provide continuity as coordinator from year to year; repeating the festival at the same location to avoid re-inventing the way we do things). Nevertheless, the inability to recruit an organizing committee is a bad sign for the Zimfest Association. If we as a community cannot address this problem, the board may be forced to consider additional steps to reduce the burden on the organizers such as holding the festival every other year.

We recognize that many of you are very busy. It’s a sign of the times. Nevertheless, if Zimfest is something that’s important to you, we ask that you dig deep and find time to join this year’s organizing committee. The 2016 Zimfest Organizing Committee currently includes:

Claire Jones – Festival Coordinator
Alex Weeks – Online registration and website
Jake Roberts – Registration payment system; Onsite Registration lead
Michael Beardsworth – Concert Producer; Evening concert management
Marilyn Mohr – Zimbabwean Guest Coordinator
Carla Starck – Volunteer Coordinator

The leadership roles that are still open include:
Concert Programmer
Workshops and Teachers Coordinator
Marketplace coordinator

In addition, participants are needed to help out more generally. If full responsibility for any of these roles sounds overwhelming, it is certainly possible to share the job with another person. If you have questions about what’s involved, how the organizing committee operates, how much time it is likely to take, we encourage you to email Claire for more information (claire.jns1 {at} gmail (dot) com).

We hope that several weeks from now, we can report back with good news that we have a fully staffed organizing committee. In the event that we continue to struggle with recruitment, we will need to consider other alternatives and begin asking more challenging questions regarding the sustainability of the current Zimfest operating model.

We look forward to hearing from many of you!

—The Zimfest Board

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2 Comments on “Zimfest Requests Your Help

  1. Patience Musandirire says:

    Please kindly note below the spelling errors of the word Dlala, constantly appearing as Dladla and sometimes correctly as Dlala in the passage below on the Zimfest page, and also kindly note that it should be isiNdebele not siNdebele. I hope it is still possible to rectify these small errors so that we are spot on and accurate with our information…


    Sing-Dance-Play! Tambai Tambai! Dladla-Dladla!

    In Zimbabwe you only need one word to say “Play (music)” or “Dance” or “Play (have fun)”: Tambai if you speak chiShona, or Dlala in siNdebele. What could be more appropriate to describe the three and a half days of Zimbabwean-inflected music, dance, song, culture and fun that is the Zimbabwean Music Festival? Come sing-dance-play with us at the 25th annual Zimfest at Western Oregon University, Monmouth OR, August 11-14, 2016. Tambai! Dladla!