Zimfest News Blog

Posts by Claire Jones

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.t1516181435sefmi1516181435z@sre1516181435etnul1516181435ov1516181435

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.t1516181435sefmi1516181435z@sre1516181435bmem-1516181435az1516181435 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.t1516181435sefmi1516181435z@dra1516181435ob1516181435 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.t1516181435sefmi1516181435z@sre1516181435etnul1516181435ov1516181435
See the Call for Volunteers for other unfilled positions

Music Dancing Across Borders


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Opportunities to Support Zimfest


Giving Assistant

You can now earn money back for yourself plus donate to Zimfest while shopping online at more than 3,000 stores. Giving Assistant Logo Sign up now for Giving Assistant. You can give up to 30% of your purchase price to Zimfest Association! It only takes a minute to set up your account with Giving Assistant, and Zimfest will automatically be selected as your charity of choice if you use this link.

During Giving Week from now until December 3, when you shop at participating brands and donate to the Zimfest Association, Giving Assistant will double your cash back earnings which automatically doubles your donation amount to us. Eligible online brands include Etsy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Staples and Barnes & Noble.

Volunteer for Zimfest

Don’t forget we are actively looking for volunteers to work on organizing Zimfest 2018. See our previous post for jobs and e-mail me directly at gro.t1516181435sefmi1516181435z@eri1516181435alc1516181435, or our Volunteer Coordinator at gro.t1516181435sefmi1516181435z@sre1516181435etnul1516181435ov1516181435.

Zimfest 2018 – Music Dancing Across Borders
Claire (Zimfest Coordinator)

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Zimfest 2018 – Music Dancing Across Borders

Announcement of Theme

Greetings Zimfest Community,
The Zimfest Association Board has chosen “Music Dancing Across Borders” as the theme for Zimfest 2018. Given the vulnerable circumstances for immigrants and citizens both here in the United States and in Zimbabwe, we are steadfast in the knowledge that music and dance are unifying forces around the world. We look forward to dissolving borders and creating togetherness at the next Zimfest (Aug 9-12, 2018) in Monmouth, OR!

What You Can Do to Help

Our Tech Committee has been working all year to assess software programs and set up a new registration system. Online applications are scheduled to open January 2 on the festival website at https://zimfest.org. There is much to do before that date, and I am actively recruiting volunteers and team members to work on the Zimfest Organizing Committee (OC). We are already implementing the idea discussed at the 2016 Village meeting: to have veteran organizers mentor inexperienced or young volunteers who want to learn on the job as interns. No matter your level of experience, helping with the annual Zimfest gathering is a great way to give back for all the joy and enrichment experienced through this wonderful music.

If you have the time and energy to commit, volunteer for the Organizing Committee. OC members meet regularly via skype and take responsibility for major areas of the festival. We need people to work on the following:

  • Teacher and Workshop Scheduling (intern position)
  • Concert planning and Performer Liaison (could be an intern!)
  • Zimbabwean Guest Coordinator
  • Registration and Website lead
  • Marketplace Coordination

Some other jobs take a fair amount of time leading up to and at the festival, but do not require you to meet regularly with the OC:

  • T-shirt and Merchandise Production
  • Publicity and Marketing
  • Instrument Procuring

If you have smaller chunks of time, there are many other tasks that you can do before the festival:

  • Registration system documentation writer
  • Proofreading: website and festival guide
  • Coordinating shuttles and airport pickups/drop-offs.

If you can do major work at the festival but don’t have much time in the months leading up to it, volunteer now for on-site jobs such as:

  • Marimba Wranglers
  • Green Room Coordinator
  • Zimfest booth sales
  • Festival decorations and signage
  • Festival site cleanup crew.

Please let us know if and how you can help: e-mail me directly at gro.t1516181435sefmi1516181435z@eri1516181435alc1516181435, and/or Volunteer Coordinator Carla Starck at gro.t1516181435sefmi1516181435z@sre1516181435etnul1516181435ov1516181435. You can also phone me at 206 328-4011.

Thanks in advance for your help and support. Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Claire Jones
Zimfest Coordinator

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Zimfest Off-Year Fundraising Campaign

Dear Zimfest Association Friends and Members:
We hope that you are enjoying your summer and that you are finding ways to enjoy Zimbabwean music and culture despite the lack of a festival this year. The Zimfest Board is making great progress on our off-year activities including: identification of a more sustainable and easier to maintain registration software system; broadening our approach to Zimfest marketing to reach new participants while ensuring strong attendance at future festivals; reviewing potential changes to festival structure in the interest of Zimfest sustainability; and considering new sources of income for Zimfest. We hope that you have already marked your calendars for August 9-12th, 2018 for next summer’s Zimbabwean Music Festival which will once again be held at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon. Over the coming months, our Festival Coordinator, Claire Jones, will begin the process of recruiting an organizing committee. We hope that you will consider volunteering! Please reach out to by writing gro.t1516181435sefmi1516181435z@sre1516181435etnul1516181435ov1516181435, or directly to Claire at gro.t1516181435sefmi1516181435z@eri1516181435alc1516181435 if you are able to help.

As we’ve noted in the past, no organization can survive without financial support, and the Zimfest Association is no different. We need your help to survive! Towards this end, we would like to announce the start of our off-year fundraising campaign which will continue through the end of the calendar year. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help us continue to put on the best Zimbabwean music festival in North America. A strong fundraising campaign will help ensure that we go into our next festival in a strong financial situation. The funds raised will be used to help bring Zimbabwean teachers and guests to the festival, to help grow our endowment, and to raise operating funds for specific needs such as supporting the transition to our new registration software. If your company supports matching donations, please don’t forget to complete the paperwork which would allow your company to match your contribution – often dollar for dollar.

We hope that each of you will consider a donation – no amount is too small (or too big)! We would like to appeal to bands in particular to consider raising funds for Zimfest during your summer performance season. In addition, if each of you can find a willing donor within your extended network it will greatly assist us in strengthening our financial position. Contributions are tax-deductible in the 2017 tax year. Please visit the Support Zimfest page on our website (http://zimfest.org/about/support-zimfest) for instructions on how to donate. You may also wish to initiate or renew a Zimfest Association membership on the Membership page (http://zimfest.org/membership).

Thanks for all that you do to make Zimfest a success.
Best wishes from the Zimfest Association Board

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An ALS fundraiser for Mary Donohoe

Greetings Zimfest Community,
We are posting the following announcement on behalf of Mary Donohoe and the Zimbabwean marimba community of Moscow, Idaho.
Thanks for reading,
Claire Jones
Zimfest Association

Sesitshaya Marimba of Moscow is hosting a fundraiser Friday, June 23, to support Mary Donohoe. Mary was diagnosed with ALS early this year. The medications are incredibly expensive so we are contacting all her friends asking for help. The concert in Moscow features the three local musical groups Mary is involved with – Gefilte Trout, great klezmer music, Sesitshaya Marimba and Mary’s marimba club from the Moscow Charter School. Tendai Muparutsa and Jacqueline Fallon Muparutsa are our special guests.

Mary has been an integral part of the Zimfest community. We are hoping the community members will want to support her. The gift of a check made out to Mary G. Donohoe may be sent to her new Salem, OR address: 4027 9th Ct. SE, Salem, 97302. She and her husband will be moving there mid-July. She is looking forward to finding marimba groups to play with once she is settled. Checks can be sent to Moscow at 1625 Shetlund Ct., Moscow, ID 83843 until July 10.

For more information contact ude.o1516181435hadiu1516181435@rekl1516181435awbd1516181435 or see Sesitshaya Marimba on Facebook.

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Zimfest 2018 Announcement

Dear Zimfest Community,
On behalf of the Zimfest Association Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce the dates and location for next year’s festival. Zimfest 2018 will be held August 9-12, 2018 at Western Oregon University. We are happy to return to the festival-friendly WOU campus in the town of Monmouth, Oregon, nearly equidistant from Portland and Eugene.

Western Oregon University has worked well as a Zimfest site for the past two years, but we would also love to return to Washington State at some future date. Please be assured that the ZA Board is working hard to locate alternative locations for the festival. As always, we welcome your suggestions.

Mark your calendars for WOU in August 2018 and we hope to see you there!

Best regards,
Claire Jones
ZA Board

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Calling all Zimfest Old Timers

The Zimfest Association Board of Directors is very interested in hearing how future Zimfests can better meet the needs and desires of experienced musicians and long-time Zimfest participants. At this year’s festival, The Board will be hosting a discussion on Saturday August 13 at 11:45 a.m.in the Backstage Room in Valsetz Dining Center to hear your feedback on this topic. Please join us, bring your lunch, bring your ideas, and help contribute to stronger Zimfests in the future! This is a lunch meeting, so get your food in the cafeteria at Valsetz and then come back out towards the entrance and turn left into the Backstage Room.

Hope to see you there!
Zimfest Association Board of Directors

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Drums and Mbira Needed for Zimfest Workshops

Hi all,

Zimfest needs loaner drums and mavembe/gandanga mbira for workshops.
If you have either a conga/djembe drum, or a mavembe/gandanga mbira that you are willing to loan, please bring it to the registration desk Thursday or Friday morning.  We will check it in, label it with your name, and treat it as if it were our own.
Zimfest 2016 Organizing Committee
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Zimfest Tips

Greetings Zimfest Participants,

There are now six days remaining before Zimfest 2016 launches! We have a few tips and reminders for Zimfest participants, whether you are new to the festival or an old hand:

  • The weather forecast for Monmouth OR is for continued sunny and warm weather,  likely to be in the 80s during the festival. Be sure to put on sunscreen and bring fans for your rooms. Like most colleges, Western Oregon University has no air conditioning in the dorms.
  • Zimfest supplies (borrowed) marimbas and hosho for workshops, but it can be challenging procuring enough instruments for the many types of workshops we offer. If you have or can borrow a mbira in the tuning a workshop will be taught in, please bring it; otherwise the teacher or Zimfest will provide one. The same goes for drumming workshops; if you own or can borrow a drum for a workshop you are taking, please bring it.  If you are taking a guitar workshop and have a guitar amp, please bring it as Zimfest cannot provide amps.
  • Zimfest online registration for housing, dining and workshops is now closed, but you can still sign up for volunteer shifts here. Onsite registration will open at the festival at noon on Thursday August 11. You will then be able to enroll in workshops that still have space in them by going to the Registration Desk.
  • Workshop registrations will close 15 minutes before the session starting time in order for staff to print final workshop rosters.  In some cases latecomers may request a “golden ticket” to sign up for an open workshop up until the start time of the workshop.
  • Very often bands performing at Zimfest like to sell their CDs after their shows. If you are performing on the evening concert stage, Zimfest can provide table space in the WUC West Lobby outside the Pacific Room concert hall. Please provide your own CD salespeople, as Zimfest volunteers cannot sell CDs for you.

Thanks for reading, and see you at the festival!

Zimfest 2016 Organizing Committee

Sing-Dance-Play! Tambai Tambai! Dlala-Dlala!

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Online Registration Closes August 4

Dear Zimfest Participants,
Complete your workshop registrations and concert ticket purchases this week! Online registration for both Zimfest workshops and concert tickets closes Thursday, August 4 (registration for Zimfest housing and dining is already closed).  After this date:

  • You will not be able to sign up for open spaces in workshops until August 11 at onsite registration.
  • You will not be able to purchase concert tickets at the discounted advance sale price.
  • Concert tickets will be available at the door of the WOU Pacific Room from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. on Aug 12 – 14. No tickets will be sold at the Zimfest Registration Desk.

See you in Monmouth!

2016 Zimfest Organizing Committee

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