Zimfest News Blog

Posts by Claire Jones

Call for Zimfest Art and More

Hello Zimfesters,

We have some requests for help from the Zimfest Association Board of Directors and the 2020 Organizing Committee (OC):

  • The OC is calling for submissions of designs to be used for Zimfest 2020 publicity, tee shirts and more.  As mentioned on the new 2020 overview page, the festival theme remains Music Dancing Across Borders. Your artwork could reference this theme, or anything else creatively suggestive of the Zimbabwean Music Festival. Send your submissions to oc{at}zimfest{dot} org.  Creator of the best usable idea sent to us by January 15, 2020 receives $100 and our appreciation!
  • The ZA is searching for new members for the Board of Directors! The best way to help us get the news out to you, the Zimfest community, is to help us increase our numbers to do the work of the Board! See the Board Recruitment page for info and write us a letter today!
  • Don’t forget now is a great time to renew your membership, become a ZA member for 2020 or just donate to the cause! The Holiday Fundraiser page tells you how and why.
  • A reminder from the OC that performer and teacher applications will open January 2, 2020. If there are any offerings you’d like to see in the way of workshops, drop us a line at teachers{at}zimfest{dot}org. 

Enjoy the solstice!

Alex Weeks, ZA Board President
Claire Jones, Zimfest Coordinator

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Zimfest 2020

Dear Zimfest community,

On Friday, Zimfest organizers and I had a successful visit and consultation with Conference Services at The Evergreen State College. I am pleased to announce that both parties agree: we are confirming Zimfest 2020 to be held from July 30 – August 2 at this public liberal arts college in Olympia, Washington. You can write those penciled-in dates in ink now!

There are of course many details to be worked out as this will be the first Zimfest at Evergreen, conveniently located between Portland and Seattle. I am happy to say we have some Olympia community members working on Local Arrangements along with at least one Evergreen student. The Zimfest Organizing and Tech committees will begin preparing for performance and teacher applications to open January 2, 2020. Make your plans and get ready for a “Greener” experience!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Claire Jones, Festival Coordinator
Zimfest 2020: Music Dancing Across Borders
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Zimfest 2020

Dear Zimfest community,

Thank you to all who filled out the post-Zimfest survey or have otherwise communicated to the ZA Board and organizers about their feelings and desires for Zimfest in 2020.

Based on support from the community, the Board has decided to go ahead with plans to produce Zimfest 2020 at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA!  I have been in touch with Conference Services at Evergreen and they are enthusiastic about hosting Zimfest from July 30-August 2, 2020. We are in the process of ironing out some details and look forward to signing a Booking Agreement. So, not 100% confirmed yet, but I would advise you to save these dates! 

We are happy to say that a number of people stepped up at this year’s festival to volunteer to help organize the next Zimfest. As always, however (you know the drill), we welcome your volunteering help! Let us know if you are interested in helping to organize, or would be available for special assignments – e.g., proof-reading, publicity or technical tasks – for brief periods of time during the course of the year. You can write to me at claire{at}zimfest{dot}org or the Board at board{at}zimfest{dot}org.

 – Claire Jones, Festival Coordinator

Music Dancing Across Borders

 

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Post-Festival Blues

Greetings Zimfest community,

Zimfest 2019 has come and gone and I, for one, have now caught up on my sleep after four days of incredible music and gathering with new and old friends!

Why are we blue? We want to hear from you! The Post-Festival Survey is open on the website and we’d love to hear your feedback: what did you like and what didn’t you like about Zimfest 2019 at Western Oregon University. If you didn’t make it to the festival this year, there is a question for you too – we’d like to hear why you didn’t come! 

The Zimfest Association Board of Directors will be meeting soon to make a final decision on Zimfest 2020. We need your input.

If you would like to offer to help organize the next festival, please email board{at}zimfest{dot}org or contact Claire directly at claire{at}zimfest{dot}org. 

Thank you, Tatenda, Siyabonga!

Claire and the 2019 Organizers 

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Two Days Until Z-Day!

Hello Zimfest Friends,

The festival is upon us and we will see each other very soon! It is hot here in Seattle and the weather forecast for Monmouth is continued temperatures in the 80s with possible showers on Saturday. Be prepared for anything!

  • Remember that the WOU dorms are not air-conditioned – bring a fan for nighttime sleeping. Also bring your own soap, as the linen packs do not include soap.
  • As we mentioned in a previous blog post, all WOU dorm rooms now have mini-fridges and microwaves, so you can refrigerate drinks to stay hydrated! The requirement to purchase at least two meals per night remains in place however.
  • WOU Dining has informed us that Grab & Go bottled drinks and packaged snacks in the retail section of Valsetz will be available on a cash basis between lunch and dinner times according to the schedule shown on the On-Campus Dining webpage.  (This schedule does not appear in our Festival Guide however.)
  • Introduce yourself to Anesu Ndoro, volunteering at Zimfest as the Registration Co-Lead. Anesu, an anthropology student at Reed College, would like to do brief interviews with North Americans, asking how they got interested and involved in playing  and listening to Zimbabwean music. What does the music mean to you?
  • A couple of our Zimbabwean guests are looking for transportation back to Portland Airport on Sunday before the festival is over. If you might be able to offer a ride, please check the Ride Board on the website, or look for a physical Ride Board in the Registration Area at Zimfest.

See you in Monmouth!
Claire and the OC

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Ride Board and Registration Clarification

Howdy,

Want to get to know a Zimbabwean teacher or performer better? Give them a ride to or from Zimfest!

* We have Zimbabwean teachers and performers coming from all directions this year. Some will arrive directly from Zimbabwe and some are visiting communities elsewhere in the US before the festival. Some are experienced US travelers and some are first-time visitors. Given the variety of schedules and arrival points, it’s quite a logistical challenge to get all our Zim guests to Monmouth for the festival and to get them off to their next destination after the festival. As with so many aspects of Zimfest, we depend on festival goers to help by giving rides to teachers and performers on their way to and from Monmouth. The Ride Board on the website is the place to make connections between drivers and riders. You can post an offer or request a ride yourself, by entering some basic info on time and place plus a contact email or phone number.
 – Mark Keller, Zimbabwean Guest Coordinator

* Also, a clari-fication from the Festival Coordinator: Housing and dining registrations are now closed, and the last day to register for workshops and sign up for volunteer shifts is July 31. These systems will close at midnight that day and no registration can take place until August 8 onsite.
 – Claire Jones, Festival Coordinator

Music Dancing Across Borders

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Deadlines and Drums

Hello Zimfest community,

The festival is only 20 days away! Important information for you:

  • Saturday July 20th is the last date to register for housing and dining as we need to send the data to our WOU host. There is not likely to be any housing available for walk-ins onsite, so register now!
  • Registrations for workshops and volunteer signups will close August 1st at midnight. No changes can be made until Aug 8 at onsite registration.
  • As always, we are in need of hand drums – Zimbabwean style ngoma, congas or similar ones – for our drumming classes. Please let us know whether you can lend one or more by writing teachers{at}zimfest{dot}org or just bring them to the Registration desk Thursday Aug. 8 at the festival. We promise to take good care of them for the weekend!

Zimfest 2019 OC

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Interview with Zimfest Teacher Gilbert Zvamaida

Hello Zimfesters,

A quick news flash to alert you to a new Zimfest initiative!
We asked a Zimfest volunteer (Anesu Ndoro) to interview one of our new teachers, Gilbert Zvamaida, to learn more about his musical background and what he has to offer at Zimfest 2019. Mr. Zvamaida plays a mean guitar and is an expert in different Zimbabwean guitar styles. Listen to what he has to say on this interview excerpt.

Learn more about Gilbert Zvamaida and the workshops he will be teaching on the Workshop Teachers page. Better yet, sign up to learn to play mbira-guitar style or hear him talk about and demonstrate guitar styles in Zimbabwe!

While you’re on Youtube, search for and subscribe to our new Zimfest USA channel to hear the entire English-language interview with Gilbert Zvamaida and Anesu Ndoro and be alerted to upcoming Zimfest clips.

See you at the festival,
Claire and the OC (with Techie help!)

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Zimfest Housing and Dining Registration Closes July 20

Dear Zimfest community,

Zimfest 2019 is fast approaching! Updates for you this holiday weekend:

  • July 20 is the last day to register for housing, meals and Zimfest booths. That is two short weeks away! Click on New Registration to sign up for dorm rooms as there are not likely to be any available onsite!
  • Go to Vendor Information to sign up for a Marketplace Booth. A late fee will be applied for any applications submitted after July 20.
  • Sinini and Pamela Ngwenya have had to cancel their participation in Zimfest 2019 because of paperwork and visa appointment delays in their Germany home base. We are disappointed but hope to host them at the next festival. Read about all workshop changes and cancellations on the Workshop Changes page. Students registered for cancelled workshops have been notified of workshop credits.  No notification has been sent in the cases in which a substitute will be teaching a workshop originally listed under Sinini Ngwenya.
  • Got your workshop schedule figured out? Don’t forget to sign up for Volunteer shifts to keep the festival running smoothly!

Stay cool,
Claire and the Zimfest 2019 OC

Music Dancing Across Borders

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Zimfest Workshop Changes

Greetings Zimfest-ers,

Zimfest 2019 registration is going very slowly and we are anticipating reduced attendance this year. There are likely a number of reasons for this, but what it means for those who are coming is less competition for desirable workshops, and a more relaxed atmosphere. Register soon – your registrations tell us what you want! 

  • We have made some adjustments to the workshop schedule to optimize enrollments. See Festival Updates & Workshop Changes for a list of changes. You may find openings in a workshop you thought was full!
  • A heads-up to those enrolled in marimba workshops: we received a number of comments in last year’s evaluations that some of the marimbas were too loud, making it difficult to hear when trying to learn parts. For this year, all tenor and soprano marimbas in workshop rooms will have no resonators. Our marimba loaners and transporters have been very happy to hear this! Let us know in the workshop evaluations if this should be repeated in future years.

Happy solstice,
Zimfest 2019 OC

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Zimfest Board and Committee Updates

Howdy Zimfest Community,

The 2019 Organizing Committee would like you to know:

  • We are actively working on this year’s Festival Guide. If you or your organization would like ad space in the printed guide (discounts for non-profits!), please contact chatbetty{at}gmail{dot}com. You may also contact Betty if you or your community has lost a loved one who you would like mentioned in the In Memoriam page.
  • We are seeking Vendor Applications for the Marketplace—a fun place to hang out during the festival! Be sure to get your applications in by July 20 to avoid being charged a late fee. 

From the ZA Tech Committee:

  • You can now look up current workshop enrollments on both the Workshop List and Workshop Table pages on the website, where “Remaining” indicates the number of spots open in each workshop. Both displays also feature an additional filter called “Open/Full” with which you can view either Full or Open classes (those with slots remaining).
  • Make your Zimfest travel plans now! The Getting to Zimfest page has been updated and the Ride Board is ready for posts from those seeking and those offering rides.

And at long last, an announcement from the Zimfest Association Board:

  • The ZA Board has tentatively reserved the dates of July 30 to August 2, 2020 for Zimfest at The Evergreen State College in Olympia WA. We will make an official decision on whether to hold a 2020 festival after this year’s festival, based on commitment from the community and the success of Zimfest 2019.

Posted by Claire with help from many hard working volunteers!
Claire Jones, Festival Coordinator

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Zimfest News

Greetings all,

The Zimfest 2019 Organizing and Tech committees have some festival updates for you:

  • The Festival Concert Schedule has been posted online. See biographies and photographs of performers here (check back later for information not yet available on a couple of groups).
  • Our host Western Oregon University has informed us that there will be mini-fridges and microwave ovens in all Ackerman dorm rooms! To ensure that this privilege is extended beyond 2019, be sure to dispose of all food and other waste properly, and please clean out fridges when you leave. 
  • There are a number of fascinating and informative cultural presentations on offer this year, and our webmaster Larry has created this Presentations page with all the relevant information.  The cultural presentations cost only $10 per hour – a great deal!
  • Don’t forget to sign up for volunteer shifts to help the festival run smoothly. Write to our volunteer coordinators at volunteers{at}zimfest{dot}org if you can take on any special assignments (e.g. host the Green Room on Sunday, or help wrangle marimbas on Thursday).

Your Zimfest Organizers

Music Dancing Across Borders

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