Zimfest News Blog

Posts by Claire Jones

Zimfest 2018 Registration Is Open May 3

Dear Zimfest community,
We are pleased to announce the launch of Zimfest 2018 online registration today, May 3 at 5:00 a.m.! Go to the How to Register page on our website for links to all Festival offerings, tips on negotiating our new registration system, and the button for New Registrations (see “Register using RegFox”). More advanced topics including registering multiple people and making changes to your registration are also addressed on this page.

Further information about Zimfest 2018 programming will emerge in the weeks to come, but we’d like to point out one of the strengths of this year’s workshop schedule right now: the large number of workshops that integrate marimba with singing, dancing, drumming and/or hosho. These sessions, offered by Zimfest teachers in response to our Call for Applications, bring home to students the reality of musical practice in Zimbabwe, the fact that music and dance are rarely separate activities. Teachers, get your students dancing and singing along with marimba from middle school onward, just like Zimbabweans! To be fair to all registrants, we are asking leaders of student groups to not register members of their groups for more than half the maximum enrollment of any specific workshop. Thus, if a marimba workshop has a maximum enrollment of 8, no one group should register for more than 4 of the spots.

Heads-up: you will find the following features of the 2018 registration system different from previous years:

  • We are charging room rental by the room, not by the person, and the first person to register will be charged the entire rental amount for the number of days the room is to be occupied (the other person is “the roommate”). Please be aware that you will not be able to choose specific rooms as in past years. See On-Campus Housing for details.
  • WOU is requiring that all participants rooming in the dorms for one or more nights purchase one of three meal cards. Requirements and plans are described in detail on the On-Campus Dining.
  • Registration is to be paid with credit cards (not PayPal) this year. You will need to pay in full at the time of registration; you cannot hold rooms or places in workshops without paying for them.

See you in Monmouth, August 9-12!
Claire Jones, Zimfest Coordinator

Zimfest 2018 – Music Dancing Across Borders

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Zimfest 2018 Delay of Registration

Hello Zimfest community,

The Zimfest 2018 Organizing Committee and Tech Team will not be going live with online registration today, our target date of May 1. We have discovered some issues with our new registration software and want to make sure we can work around them to make the registration process go as smoothly as possible. Look for another message later this week (possibly as early as tomorrow!) that registration is open.

The good news is that we are pleased to have completed most Zimfest 2018 content and supporting information and published it on the website. You are welcome now to browse through the Workshop List, acquaint yourself with the 2018 teachers, and/or explore the 2018 festival website for information about the schedule and housing and dining options. The 2018 homepage is a good place to start your explorations.

      • Don’t forget that the Registration Fee (now $15) is waived for Zimfest Association members. Become a ZA member now or renew your membership before you register for Zimfest 2018. An individual membership costs $25; there are special rates for couples and families, and a teacher membership for leaders of student groups.
      • Announcing festival events on the website: We are excited this year to present a panel discussion on the topic of Cultural Appropriation. This will take place Saturday morning August 11 from 9:30 to 11:30 when no workshops or concerts will be happening. All Zimfest participants are invited to attend.
      • Browse the volunteer tasks to decide how you’d like to contribute at the festival, or claim your shift(s) now on the Volunteer Signup page.
      • Reminder: Vendor applications are open on the website. We look forward to a varied and exciting African Marketplace this year!

Look for more news very soon,

Your Zimfest 2018 Organizing Committee &
The Fabulous Zimfest Tech Team

Zimfest 2018 – Music Dancing Across Borders

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Zimfest 2018 Updates

Greetings Zimfest community,
Following the end of the application period, March and April have been very busy and productive times for the Zimfest 2018 Organizing Committee and Tech Team. As we work towards the target date of May 1 to open online registration, we want to let you know that:

  • Vendor applications for the Marketplace are now being accepted on the Vendor Information and Application page on the website. The deadline for vendor applications is July 16, 2018.
  • The Organizing Committee has announced this year’s Zimbabwean guest teachers and performers on the 2018 homepage – a truly stunning and star-studded lineup!
  • While you are on the Zimfest 2018 homepage, please note that we have been adding informational pages as they become available. Click on the overhead menus for the festival schedule, housing and dining info, etc.
  • We received what might be a record number of workshop proposals and performance applications, requiring difficult decisions on the part of the Organizing Committee. We now have a workshop grid and tentative performance schedule, and teachers and performers are being notified of the status of their applications . Contracts will be sent later in the month.

Enjoy the spring weather!
Claire and the Organizing Committee

Zimfest 2018: Music Dancing Across Borders

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Letter from the Zimfest Board

Dear Zimfest Community,

We hope you have had an excellent start to the year and that you are looking forward to joining us in Monmouth, OR for Zimfest 2018! The Festival Organizing Committee has been hard at work to create a fun and memorable festival experience for attendees, teachers and performers. We can support them and encourage their work by increasing volunteer participation and raising much-needed funds.

Here are a few ways you can help:

  • Volunteer on the Organizing Committee: The Organizing Committee is still in need of volunteers to fill key roles such as Afternoon Stage Manager and Teacher/Workshop Coordinator Assistant. If you are interested, please contact Zimfest Festival Coordinator Claire Jones at claire (at) zimfest (dot)org / 206 328-4011, and/or Volunteer Coordinator Carla Starck at volunteers (at )zimfest (dot) org.
  • Contribute to Fundraising Efforts. As a non-profit organization, donations, membership fees, and the funds reserved after each festival are crucial for financing festival expenses.
    • Donate in the Zimfest 2018 Fundraising Drive. This year, we are aiming to raise $8,000 towards the cost of:
      • Transportation, room and board for the group of talented Zimbabwean teachers
      • Implementing the new festival registration system
      • Purchasing marimbas to augment the supply of instruments at the festival
    • Leverage Employer Matching programs. Employer matching donation programs are an easy way to maximize the value of your donations.
    • Host fundraising events in your local community. Some fun ideas of raising funds in support of Zimfest include benefit concerts, dance parties, dinners and silent auctions. Share your events on the Zimfest Facebook Page so that we can see all the exciting events that are being planned to support Zimfest 2018.
    • Sign up for or renew your Zimfest membership. By becoming a member of Zimfest Association, individuals and families can support the long-term viability of Zimfest. https://zimfest.org/about/membership/
    • Support Zimfest through other channels. See https://zimfest.org/about/support-zimfest/ for other ways to contribute to the Zimfest Association

As members of our vibrant Zimbabwean music community, we all must contribute the money and volunteer hours that are needed to keep the Zimfest spirit alive and thriving this year and beyond. Your response to this call will help us gauge our ability to host Zimfest 2019, so please show your support. If you have any suggestions or questions, please feel free to contact us at board (at) zimfest (dot) org.


Zimfest Association Board

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Maharimba Instruments for Sale

Greetings friends,

The Maharimbas of Corvallis, OR have retired after 30 years of performing, and are selling their marimbas. The set consists of five instruments, all Padauk keys:

Bass from C (bottom note), D E F G A B C D E (top note)
Comes with a strong bench

Baritone from G (bottom note) to A B C D E F G A B C D E (top note)
Comes with a strong bench

Two tenors, one lead—all have three octaves, with no F#

There is also a set of Matador Timbales on a professional stand, and a set of percussion instruments on a professional stand—2 bells and 3 blocks, and room for more.

Finally, there are 2 sets of bass mallets, and 2 sets of baritone mallets. Everything is in good working order. PVC pipes underneath, keys, etc.

The Maharimbas

These instruments were made by Peter Bush in Estacada.

We are offering the full set for $1650, or any best offer over that! Will deliver to most places in Oregon for the cost of fuel. Please contact Sara Swanberg via email at saraswan (at) casco (dot) net.

This message is posted on behalf of Sara Swanberg and the Maharimbas  while we wait for Dandemutande to come back online!

Fambai zvakanaka Maharimbas!

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Applications Deadline Looming

Hello Zimfest community,

With the winter holidays over, and Valentine’s Day behind us, it’s a perfect time to make summer plans. Join us as a teacher at Zimfest 2018!

The deadline for Zimfest applications is February 28, one short week.  Make a difference to the festival by applying to share something you know – we especially need marimba teachers at Beginner, Novice and Intermediate levels.

Photo courtesy of YAAMBA

For information and the link to the applications, see https://zimfest.org/overview/teacher-application-information/

Zimfest 2018: Music Dancing Across Borders


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Benefit Concert for Zimfest!

Greetings Zimfest community,

Mylinda King is putting on her 23rd annual student marimba concert. Every year she and her students use the event to raise money for a good Zimbabwean cause. This year’s recipient is Zimfest!

The concert is free but all proceeds from the raffle and silent auction will benefit Zimfest. But wait, it gets better! We will also be raffling off an exquisite African-inspired quilt lovingly made by the Cama Beach Quilters  All quilt proceeds will benefit Tariro,  Ancient Ways and the Portland-Mutare Sister City Association.

When: March 3, 2018   Noon -3:00pm
Doors open 11:30am for an informative slideshow about Zimfest and Raffle preview

Where: Portland Foursquare Church, 2830 NE Flanders St.  Portland, OR 97232
If you can’t make the concert but would still like to help out Zimfest you can donate a raffle or silent auction item. Gift certificates and other items can be purchased on your behalf and donated to the raffle.

For more info contact MyLinda at marimba[at]teleport[dot]com

Posted on behalf of Mylinda King

Zimfest 2018: Music Dancing Across Borders

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Submit Your Zimfest 2018 Applications

Greetings Zimfest community! Salibonani! Mhoroi!

We are waiting for your applications to teach and perform at Zimfest 2018. You have one short month before applications close on February 28, 2018.

Check out the fabulous Zimfest 2018 graphic by Rachel Edson on the 2018 webpage. Let us know if you would like a pile of these Save the Date cards to distribute in your community.

And as always, we’d love your help organizing and producing Zimfest 2018! Write volunteers[at]zimfest[dot]org to find out what you can do.

Best regards,
Claire and the 2018 Zimfest Organizing Committee

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In Loving Memory

Dear Zimfest Community,
The Zimfest Association Board regrets to announce the passing of our friend Karen Wolf. Karen was a beloved member of the NW Washington Zimbabwean music community. She also loved Zimfest and was a committed volunteer. We will miss her warmth and beautiful photographs of the festival. Our deepest condolences go to her family and friends. May her soul rest in peace.

– ZA Board of Directors

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Zimfest Applications are Open

Dear Zimfest Community,

Online applications are now open for the 2018 Zimbabwean Music Festival. To apply to teach or perform at this year’s festival, follow links on the Zimfest 2018 home page or go directly to the Teacher Application Information and/or Performer Application Information pages. The ZA Tech committee has done a great job finding appropriate software and formatting the applications so that they are very user friendly. You should find that it is just as easy to fill out the applications using a smart phone as it is on a computer. Unlike previous years, you will not need a Google account to log in.

Each year we seek to offer a balance of workshops, including singing, dancing, drumming, marimba, several types of mbira and a variety of cultural presentations. In response to desires expressed by Zimfest participants for marimba workshops in which students improvise on commonly-known songs, we are encouraging teachers to propose workshops in the form of curated jam sessions; these are best offered at intermediate and advanced levels. We would also love to see workshops (especially from Zimbabwean instructors!) that integrate and relate marimba to singing, dancing, drumming and/or hosho, to bring home to American students the awareness that these music and dance activities are rarely separate in Zimbabwe. Send us your ideas, whether stand-alone or linked workshops, and we’ll see what we can schedule!

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for Zimfest 2018, August 9-12 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, OR. Please remember that the festival needs your volunteer help! If you are interested in volunteering, please write gro.t1527081478sefmi1527081478z@sre1527081478etnul1527081478ov1527081478

Happy New Year from the 2018 Organizing Committee!
Best regards, Claire Jones
Zimfest Coordinator

Music Dancing Across Borders

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Zimfest Association Annual Campaign

Dear Zimfest Association Friends and Members,
We hope you are doing well and have found this year challenging as well as thought-provoking, given the many newsworthy events both in Zimbabwe and the USA! We write to announce the Zimfest Association’s Annual Campaign and Membership Drive. This will be our fifth year running the campaign, and we are hoping that it will be our most successful ever. While the festival itself provides some income to the association, these funds are simply insufficient to help sustain and grow the Association and the Festival. Here are some ways that you can help.

Become a Member of the Zimfest Association

Our goal is to have all Zimfest participants be members of the organization. It is our hope that a healthy dialogue about the festival and Association can emerge from a membership that feels a sense of ownership in the Zimfest Association. Membership covers the calendar year  January 1st through December 31st. Membership dues are an essential part of keeping Zimfest alive and vibrant. From as little as $10.00 per year for our Youth/Student membership, there are membership categories to fit any budget and situation! Consider Regular, Family, Couple, Teacher, Lifetime, and Lifetime Family, memberships. Members may choose to have their names published on the website and in the Festival Guide as a public display of support for Zimfest. Membership fees are also 100% tax deductible, for now at least! Please refer to the membership page to renew or initiate a membership. If you renewed or took out a membership early in the year and did not hear from us, it may have been due to a glitch on our website signup form. Please write us at gro.t1527081478sefmi1527081478z@sre1527081478bmem-1527081478az1527081478 if you want to clarify your membership status.

Provide Charitable Donations to the Zimfest Association

While Membership dues are a great start, Zimfest needs a wider base of support to ensure long-term stability. For this reason, we are asking for everyone who can to make a tax-deductible donation to the Zimfest Association. These donations have been essential for the festival in the past, and your support of Zimfest now will help secure the future of the festival and sustain our financial well-being. If your company supports matching donations or in-kind work, find out from your supervisor or Human Resources department how your company can match your contribution—often dollar for dollar!

If you are a regular attendee of the festival, this is the perfect year to donate. Without a festival this year, we hope that you consider donating even a small fraction of what would normally go towards travel expenses, workshops, meal cards, etc. to help keep the momentum in this gap year. Your contributions really do make a difference and help the Association continue its efforts to put on the best Zimbabwean music festival in North America! To donate, go to the Support Zimfest page.

Other Ways to Contribute

Finally, we’d like to remind you of three completely painless ways you can donate and help Zimfest on an ongoing basis. Go to the Support Zimfest page for information on Giving Assistant, AmazonSmile and eBay Giving.

If you’d like to learn more about this festival and what goes on during the other 360 days a year, please contact us at gro.t1527081478sefmi1527081478z@dra1527081478ob1527081478 or review our recent activities on our blog .

Thanks for all you do to help make Zimfest a success. Best wishes for the holidays and new year, and we hope to see you at Zimfest 2018!

–The Zimfest Association Board

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Call for Zimfest Interns

Dear Zimfest Community,
Have you ever wondered how many people it takes to organize Zimfest? At the Zimfest 2016 Village Meeting the idea of experienced volunteers mentoring new folks was brought up. That afternoon as the festival wound down, I threw out an offer to Volunteer Coordinator Carla Starck to help with the next one.

Fast forward to now. Zimfest 2018 is on the horizon, and Carla has taken me up on my offer to act as the Volunteer Coordinator intern. I’m so honored to be part of the dedicated and spirited organizing team. We want to offer this experience to others and are putting out a call for Zimfest lovers to shadow experienced volunteers, learning the ropes and sharing the opportunity to make the next Zimfest even better.

Our most immediate need is for an intern to assist the Workshop Coordinator, as teacher applications and workshop proposals will start coming in soon. This is an exciting position, particularly if you would like to have input in the offerings, and love the idea of creating a better experience. This internship could be split into pre-festival and onsite jobs, possibly shared by two people. Let’s talk!*

Now back to the original question of how many people it takes to make Zimfest happen? Literally hundreds—people like you and me.

Heron Stombock
Zimfest 2018 Volunteers Assistant

Notes from Festival Coordinator
* Write to gro.t1527081478sefmi1527081478z@sre1527081478etnul1527081478ov1527081478
See the Call for Volunteers for other unfilled positions

Music Dancing Across Borders


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