Zimfest News Blog

Zimfest Association News

January Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the January 8th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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December Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the December 11th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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November Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the November 20th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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Zimfest Association Fund Raising

Dear Zimfest Association Friends and Members,

We hope you are doing well and have found a good way to cope with Zimfest’s absence from next year’s summer plans! The Holiday season is drawing to a close, but the Zimfest Association’s Annual Campaign and Membership Drive are just getting warmed up! This will be our fourth year running this 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 itself. 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 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. Please refer to the membership page to renew or initiate a membership — https://zimfest.org/about/membership/.

Provide Charitable Donations to the Zimfest Association

While Membership dues are a great start, in order to insure long-term stability Zimfest needs a wider base of support. For this reason, we are asking for everyone who is able 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, 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 make a donation. 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 https://zimfest.org/about/support-zimfest/.

Other Ways to Contribute

Finally, we’d like to remind you of two completely painless ways you can donate and help Zimfest on an ongoing basis.

AmazonSmile

First, 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. See https://zimfest.org/blog/2014/support-zimfest-when-you-shop-at-amazon-com/.

eBay

Also, for anyone who sells items on eBay, you can choose to donate a percentage of the final sales price to the Zimfest Association. See http://charity.ebay.com/charity-auctions/charity/zimfest-association/72685/ for more information.

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.t1487858486sefmi1487858486z@dra1487858486ob1487858486 or review our recent activities on our blog which can be found at http://www.zimfest.org/blog/.

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

–The Zimfest Association Board

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Village Meeting and October Board Meeting Minutes

The Zimfest Association board of directors has posted minutes from the Village Meeting at Zimfest 2016 and the October 9th board meeting.

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September Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the September 11th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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Board Retreat and June and July Meeting Minutes

The Zimfest Association board of directors has posted meeting minutes from the June 19th and July 10th board meetings, and a summary of their February 20th & 21st strategic retreat.

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Zimfest Year Off in 2017

Dear Zimfest Community:

We hope that you are all doing well and are looking forward to another amazing Zimfest in Monmouth, Oregon, in less than two short months. We are writing at this time to share a decision that the Zimfest Association Board recently made regarding Zimfest 2017. For a variety of reasons as explained further below, the Board is not planning to hold a Festival during the summer of 2017. This was not an easy decision for us to reach; however, we believe that in the long term it will be a positive move for the Festival and the Association. We are open to your constructive input if you have thoughts on this matter. The Board has spent many months in discussions leading up to this decision including a two-day face-to-face retreat on Whidbey Island.

Please review the rationale below – and feel free to email us at gro.t1487858486sefmi1487858486z@dra1487858486ob1487858486 with your thoughts.

The Zimfest Association Board

 

Zimfest 2017 – Rationale for the Decision to Take a Year Off

Why did the Board choose to skip a year in 2017?

  • The core members of the organizing committee have remained unchanged for several years and they need a break. The Zimfest community owes a great deal of gratitude to these people. The Board’s decision in no way suggests a failure on the part of these generous volunteers nor on the part of our paid coordinator, Claire Jones.
  • We have a wonderful and hard-working community willing to volunteer their time. However, there has been an inadequate response to calls by the Board for volunteers to help with “off-season” festival planning and organizing; difficulty in recruiting for core positions on the yearly Organizing Committees; and insufficient volunteer hours contributed during festivals to ensure smooth operations.
  • The infrastructure necessary to run Zimfest (primarily in the form of the software necessary for registration) is not yet self-sufficient and requires a great deal of work each year to develop and sustain. The bulk of this work falls on 2-3 individuals with technical expertise.
  • Beginning in 2013 the Board shifted to a centralized organizational model. The benefit of this approach has been to create continuity in organization from year to year while improving and standardizing the underlying processes involved in putting on a Festival. We believe that many improvements have resulted from this approach, but ongoing review of how best to serve the Zimfest community is an important Board responsibility.
  • The complexity of organizing Zimfest has increased over the years, in part due to challenges of working with our host facilities. Despite attempts by the Board to identify one or more “semi-permanent homes” for Zimfest to ease these complexities, we are still seeking a good match for our needs.
  • The Board recognizes that having local organizing committees can contribute to unique and successful Festivals. Since the site for the 2018 Festival has not yet been selected, the Board encourages any community that is interested in hosting Zimfest 2018 to contact us now so that we can begin discussions at this year’s Festival.
  • The Board is responsible for the financial soundness of the Festival. In recent years, the costs associated with putting on Zimfest have increased faster than revenues. During our off year, the board will focus on improving the financial model of the Festival, while keeping the Festival affordable.

What are the benefits of taking a year off?

  • It will provide the core organizing team an opportunity to regroup.
  • It will provide an opportunity to invest in needed infrastructure (e.g., registration software) with the goal of improving sustainability and reducing reliance on the same people year after year.
  • It will allow focus on finding a site for 2018 that has the potential to become a semi-permanent home for Zimfest while remaining open to a local committee organizing Zimfest in their community.
  • We are hoping that the Zimfest Community will choose to come out in force to support Zimfest in 2016. By increasing participation and revenue, we hope to enter our off-year with funds in the bank which we can invest in improving and sustaining the Festival.
  • We also hope that after a year off, the 2018 Festival will have strong participation.

What are the risks and downsides of taking a year off?

  • We will all miss an opportunity to gather as a community in 2017 to celebrate Zimbabwean music, as we have done since 1991.
  • There is potential for negative financial impact on our Zimbabwean teachers. We feel we can best serve our Zimbabwean teachers over the long term by taking this break to focus on Festival sustainability.
  • There is the possibility that skipping a year might reduce momentum in the community to help organize and attend future Zimfests.

The Board is dedicated to working diligently over the next year to improve the sustainability of Zimfest and ensure a very successful Festival in 2018. We encourage Zimfest community members to consider service on the Zimfest Association Board, the 2018 organizing committee, or to contact us to see how you can help keep the Zimfest spirit alive and thriving.

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

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May Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the May 8th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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April Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the April 10th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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March Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the March 13th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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Project Kudzana — Fundraising for Zimfest 2016

Have you or your group decided on a fundraising event or idea to help support Zimbabwean teachers expenses? Share what you are planning on Facebook, or add a comment on this blog. We have had 20 Zimbabwean teachers/performers apply and we cannot support all of them unless we have your help. At this point we can probably only support about 8 Zimbabwean teachers.

The Zimfest Board has come up with a few exciting fundraising ideas to help raise some much needed funds for Zimfest 2016, with an emphasis on Zimbabwean teacher expenses. We ask you and your music community to pitch in and help support the heartbeat of our organization. Our Zimbabwean teachers bring the spirit of the music with them to share with us. Year-round this spirit holds our communities together throughout North America.

Organizing committees are hard at work in the winter months preparing for our festival, as are individuals who are applying for visas for our guest teachers. We can support them and encourage their work by helping raise funds. The approximate cost of room, board and (max) travel for each Zimbabwean guest is $760. Our goal is to provide 10 Zimbabwean’s, transportation, room, and board with the help of these fund raising efforts.

We encourage your participation to help make this successful, and let’s have some fun with the following ideas. Share your event on the Zimfest blog (post a comment) and on facebook so that we can see all the exciting events that are being planned to support Zimbabwean teachers at Zimfest. After your fundraiser event, please make checks out to Zimfest Association and mail them to Janis Weeks, 1960 University St., Eugene, OR 97403.

Project Kudzana

Kudzana dancerKudzana means to dance! Imagine all the dance, drumming, hosho, marimba, mbira, and singing communities coming together to celebrate Zimbabwean Independence Day for the benefit of Zimbabwean musicians at our festival, an interactive celebration of Shona music. During the month of April we encourage your community to host a benefit concert for Zimfest. You can choose any time in April to host your event, focusing on the April 18 Independence date.

One Million Pennies for Zimfest

One Million Pennies for ZimfestEach group could create a donation canister to have at practice and/or performances advertising the ‘One Million Penny’ goal for Zimfest. Drop in change from your wallet to go towards Zimbabwean musicians. Encourage other groups that don’t normally attend Zimfest to participate. Post pictures on the Zimfest Facebook page to show progress/competition between groups or regions.

Bite of Africa Dinner / Zimbabwe Auction

Bite of AfricaIn combination with a benefit dance, offer some auction items:

  • Dance, Drumming, Hosho, Marimba, Mbira, or Singing Lesson with a Zimbabwean Guest Musician
  • Sadza dinner with Zimbabwean Guest Artist
  • Local art, restaurant, and business donations

These are just a few of our ideas. Customize it to your community.

Amazon Smile

AmazonSmile logoThe Zimfest Association is registered to receive donations when people shop at AmazonSmile. You can support Zimfest by choosing Zimfest Association as the organization you would like to receive 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon purchases. Amazon will make a donation to: Zimfest Association https://smile.amazon.com/ch/91-1951506

EBay

eBay charity ribbonAlso, for anyone who sells items on EBay, you can choose to donate a percentage of the final sales price to the Zimfest Association. See http://charity.ebay.com/charity-auctions/charity/zimfest-association/72685/

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This blog is the main news channel for the Zimbabwean Music Festival (aka Zimfest). The Zimfest organizing committee posts updates on the annual festival. The Zimfest Association board provides meeting minutes and other info to ZA members and festival participants. We hope this blog becomes a mechanism for a rich dialog with Zimfest participants.

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