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Zimfest 2021 Applications Are Open

A quick alert for Zimfest participants:

  • Performers and Presenters Applications are now open; follow the link on the Information page. Please act fast – the deadline is June 30!
  • Reminder that Applications for Virtual Vendors selling Zimbabwean-made wares are open, with a deadline of July 10.

 

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Zimfest 2021 – How to Create Your Square of the Quilt

Zimfest 2021 - A Quilt of Local Events... Stiched Together

Dear Zimfest Family,

We hope our previous blog post has sparked some creative thoughts on how to participate in Zimfest 2021, taking place July 30-August 1 online. This post will give additional structure to our Quilt theme and answer some logistical questions.

Types of Squares: The Organizing Committee (OC) is looking for three types of Squares that we can stitch into a Zimfest 2021 Quilt.

  • Live Participatory Workshop or Presentation – Involves realtime interaction between teacher/presenter and students. Hosted on Zoom. Duration of 30, 60, or 90 min.
  • Prerecorded Performance or Presentation – One or more songs or talks from individuals or groups. Hosted on YouTube and/or Facebook with interactive chat. Applicants may propose a cluster of performances, but each video file should be no longer than 30 min to allow the OC some flexibility in the stitching process.
  • Livestreamed Performance – One or more songs from individuals or groups, no longer than 60 min total. Hosted on Facebook Live (Zoom often fails to deliver high quality video of live music). This option should only be used by experienced hosts of livestreaming events and it would be wise to submit a prerecorded video as a backup.

These guidelines are not meant to be rigid limits, so let the OC know (oc{at}zimfest{dot}org) if you have an idea that doesn’t quite fit within them.

Focus on Supporting Zimbabweans and Expanding Participation: The online emphasis of Zimfest 2021 is an opportunity to involve more Zimbabweans than we can typically host at an in-person festival, as well as others who cannot normally travel to the festival. In the spirit of inclusiveness, we encourage proposals from all over North America as well as Zimbabweans throughout the global diaspora!

Applications and Content Submission: An online application where individuals or communities can describe their proposed Square(s) will be available in a few days, with a deadline of June 30. The Zimfest OC will select from these Squares as we do each year for an in-person festival and send successful applicants upload instructions. Videos should have a minimum resolution of 720p (1280 x 720 pixels) and be in .mp4 format. We will notify successful applicants no later than July 10 and we must receive videos no later than July 23 to allow for testing before we present the overall Quilt.

Suggestions for Teachers or Performers in Zimbabwe: Internet connections in Africa are not reliable enough for livestreaming, so we request that video from there be prerecorded. For accepted proposals requiring recording facilities in Africa and video file upload, Zimfest will cover reasonable studio and data expenses. Jennifer Kyker and Musekiwa Chingodza demonstrated in 2020 that co-teaching with one teacher live and the other providing recorded material can be quite successful, so we suggest that proposals may be based on this model.

Reduce Screen Fatigue: After 2020, we all know how our attention can wander during an online event. To avoid this during Zimfest 2021, consider having a ‘watch party’ where you gather (in a pandemic-safe way) to watch together.

Calling Virtual Volunteers: As with an in-person festival, the OC needs your help to make Zimfest 2021 a success. We need MCs to introduce videos, video editors to add captions where needed, viewers to screen submitted for quality, etc. Please write to volunteers{at}zimfest{dot}org to learn how you can help.

Newly-revised Homepage: Check out the Quilt-themed artwork and other updates at https://zimfest.org/.

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Introducing Zimfest’s Virtual Marketplace

Hello Zimfest Community,

Zimfest 2021 is instituting a Virtual Marketplace featuring vendors and importers selling instruments and other goods made by Zimbabweans. There will be no fees for 2021 Virtual Vendors, as Zimfest wishes to provide a service to Zimbabwean instrument makers and craftspeople during these trying times.

Vendors of Zimbabwean goods: are you able to carry out mail order sales and shipping, and do you have a website (or reliable email) for visitors to browse and shop? The Zimfest Virtual Marketplace on our website will help to connect buyers and sellers but will have no role in the resulting transactions.

Applications are now open for vendors or importers of Zimbabwean instruments and other wares. Go to the Virtual Vendor page for more info and the link to applications. Questions? Write marketplace{at}zimfest{dot}org. 

 

Program information and performer/presenter applications coming soon!

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Zimfest 2021 – A Quilt of Local Events…Stitched Together

Dear Zimfest Family,

What do you think about building Zimfest 2021 together, as a series of local events hosted by local communities?

Here’s the basic idea: The Zimfest Organizing Committee (OC) would stitch together local events into an overall quilt covering a traditional Thursday through Sunday period (likely July 29 through Aug 1). Local events might include in-person and/or online components (classes, presentations, or performances). Anything goes: individual events as well as community chunks of time. Attendees could enjoy one of the local festivals in person and participate in the online components during the rest of the long weekend. If this sounds intriguing, read on to learn more!

Context: Evergreen State College will be unable to host Zimfest this year (see March 17th post). Following President Biden’s prediction that COVID-19 vaccinations are going well enough to allow small gatherings by July 4th, we are hopeful that small events will be possible by the end of July. We emphasize that any in-person gatherings should follow CDC and local guidelines for masking, restrictions on venue capacity, etc.

Next steps: We want you and your community to think about how you might contribute to a Zimfest 2021 quilt. The scale of each local event could be anything from a single performance streamed online to a full half-day of classes, presentations, and performances, i.e. a mini-Zimfest. Each participating community would manage their own local events, while the Zimfest OC focuses on stitching them into the overall festival. The OC and Zimfest Board want to do all we can to help Zimbabwean artists participate in and benefit from Zimfest. We urge each local community to look for ways to involve these artists in person or remotely.

Have questions? More info will be forthcoming, but we did not want to wait any longer to share our ideas with you. For online components, we can share what we learned from the 2020 online sessions. Some financial questions such as cost for attendees, payment schedule for teachers, and potential sharing of venue costs between Zimfest and each local community are still under discussion. Feel free to reach out to the OC by sending email to oc{at}zimfest{dot}org. We plan to have an online application ready to accept proposals by the first week of June.

Together we can stitch a Zimfest 2021 quilt that will renew ties across the Zimfest community and provide memories to sustain us until we can hug, dance, and make music as one big family again.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” Vivian Greene

 

 

Yours, Zimfest 2021 OC

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Zimbabwe Independence Festival

News flash from co-organizers Amy Stewart McIntosh/Kutandara Studios and Blessing Chimanga/Dreams Marimba:

This weekend, Zimbabwe celebrates 41 years of independence! We are excited to be participating in the first-ever online Zimbabwe Independence Festival. There is a great lineup of performers (including us!) from both Zimbabwe and the US. But that’s not all! The Festival will also feature discussions, networking opportunities, workshops, a film screening, and a tribute concert to those fallen musical heroes we’ve lost.
 
Save the dates: April 16-17-18! Check out the schedule at kutandara.org and be ready to share this special time with our Zimbabwean family.
 
#ZIF2021
#onlinelivesessions
#ZimIndependence
#41years
#marimba
#mbira
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Zimfest Updates and Events

Greetings Zimfest family,

Zimfest organizers are taking a break until April when we will know more about the COVID-19 situation and CDC recommendations.  We hope everyone who qualifies is able to get vaccinated soon as we progress towards herd immunity.

Meanwhile, we have heard from Conference Services at the Evergreen State College, where Zimfest was to be hosted July 28-Aug 2. They are remaining on remote learning through the summer and therefore will not have the resources or capability to host us in 2021. This is not a surprise, and do not despair! Many options for this year’s festival are being considered: hosting a varied menu of virtual activities ranging from group lessons to Zoom presentations to streaming performances on the planned Zimfest dates; gathering elsewhere later in the fall?; cooperating with our friends and colleagues in various locales to present a hybrid online-and-live festival featuring many activities. Stay tuned!

Here is news of upcoming events around the country and the globe:

  • From Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene, OR: Ratie Dangarembwa performs as “Ratie D” on Thursday, March 25 at 7 PM (PDT) in a livestream event that celebrates the launch of her first solo album, Ink and Melodies. This event kicks off The Hult Center’s 10×10 Series, which “focuses on highlighting incredible rising artists.” Click here for a recent interview and a link to purchase tickets (only $10)! Ticket sales close at 5 PM day of show.
  • From co-organizers Amy Stewart McIntosh/ Kutandara Studios and Blessing Chimanga/Dreams Marimba: Online Zim Independence Festival April 16-17-18, 2021. Come together and celebrate the Zimbabwean people’s struggle and success in casting off their colonialist oppressors, and re-commit to connection, music, hope, and friendship together. You are invited to spend the weekend talking, learning, dancing, singing, and enjoying each other’s company through a series of online forums, workshops, and concerts.
    For more information and to express your interest in being a performer, presenter, instructor, sponsor, and/or tech team volunteer, click here and fill out the form. Please submit your response on or before March 25, 2021.

Happy (belated) St. Patrick’s Day!
Claire and the Online Cohort

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Happy New Era

Dear Zimfest Family,

Following the joyous inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, it feels like the new year actually started on January 20, 2021! The “never-ending shade” of the previous administration mostly behind us, here’s hoping we can all see and be the light ahead (Amanda Gorman).

Zimfest joins Pres. Biden and VP Harris in grieving and honoring the 400,000+ Americans lost to COVID-19. Looking ahead to when it might be possible to gather together safely, the conversation has shifted from “when will we have a vaccine” to “when will we reach herd immunity.” Unfortunately, we will not know for quite a while whether large gatherings will be allowed July 28 to Aug. 2, 2021, the weekend penciled in for Zimfest at the Evergreen State College.

A group of Zimfest volunteer organizers will be meeting next week to brainstorm what form(s) Zimfest might take in 2021. If you would like to join us, please email claire{at}zimfest{dot}org. If you would like to volunteer other services, such accounting, graphics or tech expertise, please write board{at}zimfest{dot}org. 

Peace and Unity
Keep on keeping safe

Zimfest Coordinator Claire Jones
Music Dancing Across Borders

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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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Zimfest Online Viewing Ends Nov 9

Hello Zimfest community,

Here’s hoping that you, like me, are breathing a huge sigh of relief and looking forward to a rosier 2021!

Monday November 9th is the last day to register for the final set of Zimfest Online presentation recordings. If you haven’t taken advantage of our online offerings, take a break from election news and politics in the next two days to learn a bit more about Zimbabwean music and story-telling! Don’t forget to send us feedback on any  presentations you attend by completing the online evaluation form (write us at online{at}zimfest{dot}org if you need help). 

The Zimfest Online Engagement Task Force will be taking a short break before pondering what form Zimfest might take in 2021 as the COVID pandemic continues. If you have ideas for us, please write to online{at}zimfest{dot}org or the ZA Board at board{at}zimfest{dot}org.

Stay well, stay safe, take it easy!

Zimfest Online 

 

 

(P.S. – have you seen the newest installment of our Zimfest is Family feature? It includes the newest member of the Zimfest community!)

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Upcoming Zimbabwean Music Online

Hello Zimfest community,

Our friends have notified us of a couple of upcoming online events featuring Zimbabwean musicians:

  • Zambezi Marimba Band – livestream tonight Fri, October 23, 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm Eastern Time (4:30 PDT). Featuring Tendai Muparutsa and the Zambezi Marimba Band of Williams College. For information and the livelink, see: https://events.williams.edu/event/zambezi-marimba-band-livestream/

  • Wamkanganise & Friends! Mbira Concert Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 5 pm PST – 6 pm PST (8 pm EST), hosted on Facebook by Wamkanganise naGaadza (aka Salani) and Kelly Takunda Orphan with musician friends Moeketsi Gibe (South Africa) and Augustine Basa (Zimbabwe). For information see the FB Event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/673018663351571/ and check back for a link to the Youtube stream on the day of the show. This event is part of the Eastman School of Music’s Barbara B. Smith World Music Concert Series. 

Don’t forget we are in the final three weeks of registration for Zimfest Online presentation recordings.

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Magaya Memorial Invitation

Posted on behalf of Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center

Dear Friends,

We at Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center deeply mourn the passing of the great mbira player Sekuru Cosmas Magaya, our long-time teacher and friend, who died on July 10, 2020, after contracting COVID-19. 

We are planning an International Zoom Memorial to honor Sekuru Magaya on October 10 and invite you to join us. As we are able to accommodate only 250 connections in addition to our presenters, we are asking that you RSVP to let us know that you would like to join (please see instructions below).

The approximately 2.5-hour memorial will take place on Saturday, October 10, 2020, beginning at 10:30 am PDT and at 7:30 pm Harare time. 

Our presenters will include many family members, close friends, hosts, and mbira students who consider Sekuru Magaya to be a major inspiration in their lives.

Program

10:30 am/7:30 pm: Begin slide show accompanied by recordings of Sekuru Magaya, while people connect. We highly recommend joining early to enjoy the beautiful slide show created by Mark Cohen, featuring Sekuru Magaya’s US visits 1998-2018 and accompanied by his solo mbira recording, Anoyimba.

11:00 am/8:00 pm: Brief greeting, introduction. State intention to record.

Opening Prayer by Fradreck Mujuru, live from Zimbabwe

11:15 am/8:15 pm: Musical and spoken tributes, 3-5 minutes each.  Most or all of these will be pre-recorded, and in a pre-set order. We will begin with Magaya family and friends contributing from Zimbabwe.

12:30 pm/9:30pm: (or whenever planned program finishes) – invite other attendees to contribute spontaneously (by request via the Zoom chat box)

Approximately 1:00 pm PDT (10:00 pm Harare time): Closing

If you would like to join us for this event, please fill out the brief registration form at:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdlJQIM7O2jWcQWRi5H5ZsPccJopZsMCGvHr4LiYjucJKD-Kw/viewform

If you have any problem accessing the form, you can instead write an email to mkolo{at}kutsinhira{dot}org with your name, email address, brief description of your connection with Cosmas (e.g., “mbira student,” “university host,” “longtime friend,” etc.).  It will be helpful if you can use the form though.

Please do not register again if you have already received an invitation and registered.

We will send you the Zoom link and some helpful Zoom hints 2-3 days before the event.

When you click on that link any time between 10:25am PDT and the end of the Memorial Zoom, you will join in a Waiting Room and soon after admitted to the event by our tech people.

Please do NOT publish this link on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).  If you know of others who would like to attend, please ask them to send us an email requesting the link.

Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center and the Magaya family retain all rights to the recording of this event, and we plan to share it with those who are unable to attend the live session.

We look forward to sharing this time with you.

Best regards,

Marilyn Kolodziejczyk and Memorial Committee (Tsitsi Hantuba, Lynne Swift, Janis Weeks)

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Zimfest Online 2nd Viewing Period

Dear Zimfest community,

Reminding you that Monday, Sept 28, is the last day you can register for and view the first three Zimfest Online recordings. Tuesday Sept 29 is the beginning of the three-week viewing period for the next four Zimfest Online sessions, ending October 19.  

  • Linos Wengara Magaya with Tim Lloyd – The Role of the Mbira Within Shona Spiritual Culture

  • Jeff Brahe – Fundamentals of African Rhythm: Triplet (12/8) Version

  • Tanga Pasi (Sinini and Pamela Ngwenya) – Tanga Pasi from Zimbabwe to Germany

  • Zivanai Masango – Mvenge Mvenge Dance Party with Zi

The first two are presentations, and registrants this month have let us know they have appreciated being able to view and the study the material at their leisure. The final two, Tanga Pasi and Zi’s Mvenge Mvenge dance party, are concert sessions – enjoy dancing with Zi and Helen! 

Check out complete descriptions of all the sessions along with presenter biographies on the Zimfest Online page. Once you register for a recording (donation requested), you will be able to view it at any time you wish during the three-week period it is available.

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