Zimfest News Blog

Posts by Alex Weeks

Zimfest 2022 Announcement

Dear Zimfest Community,

It is with great excitement that I am writing to announce the location and dates for Zimfest 2022, which we plan to hold in-person!.

At this point, I need to stress that we will not be able to move forward without additional help on the Organizing Committee, and many more onsite volunteers. Please see the information below to learn how you can make this festival happen.

Zimfest is scheduled to be held June 24-26, 2022 (Friday-Sunday; possibly also Monday), at the Skagit County Fairgrounds, in Mount Vernon, WA. Evening concerts will be held at the classic Lincoln Theatre, a 10 minute walk away.

Being approximately 1 hour north of Seattle, 30 minutes south of Bellingham, and 1.5 hours from Whidbey Island, Mount Vernon is located at the heart of the Washington State Zimfest community and also has ready access to major airports for those traveling from farther away.

We are still early in the planning process, and with the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, many aspects of the festival remain uncertain. The board has formed a COVID Safety Committee to make additional recommendations for the Festival, which is likely to include proof of vaccination, and universal masking at all Zimfest events in addition to following local and state guidelines/mandates in place at the time of the Festival.

Finally, I want to thank Claire Jones, Festival Coordinator, and the small group of volunteers who have already stepped up to serve on the 2022 Organizing Committee. This year will require more volunteer involvement during the planning stages due to some unique aspects of the venue.

If you want Zimfest 2022 to move forwards, please contact Claire Jones (claire[at]zimfest[dot]org), or volunteers[at]zimfest[dot]org as soon as possible to learn more about how you can help. The Organizing Committee meets by Zoom, so both local and more distant volunteers are welcome.

We need you to make Zimfest 2022 a success!

Sincerely,
Alex Weeks
Zimfest Association Board President

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Zimfest 2021 Village Meeting

Dear Zimfest Community,

Zimfest 2021 is now only 2 weeks away! (Friday July 30th – Sunday August 1st). Thanks to the work of this year’s Organizing Committee—headed by Claire Jones—a final schedule comprising three days of workshops, performances, and presentations will be posted in the coming days. Many performances will be by musicians in Zimbabwe who are new to Zimfest.

The last two years have required unprecedented changes to how Zimfest is structured and organized, and we hope that you will attend these sessions to learn from, and enjoy, some of the most talented teachers and performers of Zimbabwean music in the world.

In addition to attending the Festival, one of the most important ways you can support our community is by participating in the annual Village Meeting.

This year, it will be held virtually (by Zoom) from 3:15–4:15 PM PDT (08:15–09:15 UTC) on Sunday, August 1st. A Zoom link will be provided in a subsequent blog post and on the Zimfest Facebook page.

The Village Meeting serves as the required annual public Zimfest Association business meeting. It also provides an opportunity for us, the members of the Zimfest Association Board of Directors, and Organizing Committee, to hear from our community, and for you to voice your opinions about the Festival and how it is organized. This meeting is usually where the seeds of next year’s Festival are planted.

In particular, because we are planning for an in-person festival next year, your participation and ideas will be vital to putting on a safe and successful Zimfest 2022.

Finally, if you are interested in volunteering or learning more about volunteering, either as a member of the Organizing Committee, or Board, the Village Meeting is a great place to meet us and voice your support.

Looking forward to seeing you soon at Zimfest 2021!

Sincerely,

Alex Weeks
President, Zimfest Association Board of Directors

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Zimfest Holiday Membership Drive

Dear Zimfest Association members and friends,

What a year it has been. While it is probably not going how any of us had hoped, we hope this letter finds you well all the same. The holidays are officially here and with them comes the Zimfest Association’s annual campaign and membership drive! As you know, we made the painful decision not to meet in person this year and, while we had a few excellent online offerings, nothing can compare to meeting up with old friends and teachers and playing beautiful music together. Another unfortunate consequence of forgoing the festival is that the ZImfest Association has taken in little money this year. We want to continue to grow the festival and provide the best experience we can, and here are some ways that you can help.

Become a Member:
To our current members we give our thanks! To the rest of our friends new and old, we hope that this is the year you decide to join our team. It’s so simple, you’ll be done in minutes, just visit our membership page to find the right fit for you. Memberships run through the calendar year and if you renew now, you will be all set for 2021. We have memberships to fit all sorts of needs including discounted student and teacher membership, senior membership, couples, families, and even lifetime membership! With all the different types of membership, there’s sure to be something to fit your budget! As a member, you will have your Zimfest registration fees waived for the year, your dues are tax deductible, and you can even choose to have your names published on the website and in the Festival Guide to show the world that you support Zimfest.

Provide Charitable Donations:
Maybe you’re already a member, but you want to know how you can help out even more? Consider a tax-deductible donation to the Zimfest Association! While membership dues are a significant contributor to our community, your donations have been essential for the festival in the past, and if you donate now, you will be contributing to our shared future. Your money goes straight to things like paying travel expenses for Zimbabwean teachers, paying teachers for performances and workshops, and also to our travel fellowship program which allows us to pay the way for one returning Zimbabwean teacher and one new teacher!

Other Ways to Contribute:
As you’re finishing up your holiday shopping, remember that when you shop on Amazon, you can support Zimfest by choosing the Zimfest Association as the organization you would like to receive 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases (more information here). Also, if you’re selling stuff on eBay, you can choose to donate a percentage of the final sales price to the Zimfest Association (more information here). Finally, if your company supports matching donations, find out from your supervisor or Human Resources department how your company can match your contributions, often dollar for dollar!

Whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, or Festivus we hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and we can’t wait to see you at our next festival!!

Warmly,

The Zimfest Board

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Treasurer volunteer opportunity

Dear Zimfest Community,

With our current treasurer rotating off of the board, we are seeking community member(s) with relevant experience who would be able to volunteer in this extremely important capacity!

Currently, the duties of the treasurer include:

  • Attending monthly board meetings
  • Preparing the annual budget
  • Accounting/financial reporting
  • Tax filings
  • On-site money management at the festival
  • General financial oversight for the festival

As of right now, these duties are covered by a single board member, but we are open to dividing these roles among multiple people, not all of whom need to be board members; this may help to reduce the workload.

You would also have the support of our current treasurer, Chris Halaska, and other board members, as you transition into this role.

If you are interested, please reach out to .

Thank you,

Alex Weeks
Board President

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Volunteer Needed: Digital Media Curator

Dear Zimfest community,

This year, as the Festival has transitioned to an online-only format, the value of digital media to our community has become more evident than ever. Zimfest has a large catalog of existing media, which we would love to make available to our community with proper curation. Additionally, we need to improve our processes for handing these media into the future.

To this end the Board and Zimfest Tech Committee are putting out a call for interested volunteers who can help us lead in this area.

These digitally-minded volunteers would lead Zimfest’s media presence (video, audio, image, etc.) by:

  • Cataloging Zimfest’s existing collection of digital assets
  • Working with the Board and Tech Committee to edit, curate, and make these assets available to the public
  • Establishing processes for collecting, organizing, editing, and presenting these assets into the future

Helping here is a terrific way to put your skills and interests to use for a great cause. We also welcome volunteers who may wish to shadow a lead Media Coordinator! On top of the incredible music, this an opportunity to learn more about digital rights and music licensing, so that artists receive credit for their creations.

If you’re interested or would like more information, please reach out to us at !

Thank you,
Alex Weeks
Zimfest Board President

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Call for Zimfest Tech Volunteers

Dear Zimfest Community,
I’m here to pass on a request from Nora Holmquist, head of the Zimfest tech committee, who has been working hard over the last few years to improve the technical infrastructure of the festival:

Volunteers wanted: do you have technical skills? A bit of time? The Zimfest Tech Committee is looking for help in the following areas: a) spreadsheet formula scripting to help us streamline the workshop scheduling process b) website graphic design to help us re-envision the website c) google doc scripting to generate workshop acceptance letters d) data mashup and reporting.

Please contact za-tech [at] zimfest {dot} org if you can help in any of these areas.

– Nora Holmquist
Zimfest 2019 Workshop Coordinator & Tech Team Lead


Alex Weeks
Zimfest Board President

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