Zimfest News Blog

Posts Tagged "Board of Directors"

November and December Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the November 8th and December 13th meetings of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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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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September and October Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the September 13th and October 11th meetings of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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August Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the August 19th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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May, June, July Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the May 17th, June 14th, and July 12th meetings of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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March and April Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the March 8th, March 21st, and April 12th meetings of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted. The March 21st meeting was held jointly with the 2020 festival Organizing Committee.

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Virtual Marimba Opportunity

Greetings Zimbabwean Music Community,

We hope you are faring well during these uncertain times. As we mentioned in the Zimfest Association post announcing the cancellation of Zimfest 2020, we have been brainstorming ways to sustain our community and celebrate Zimbabwean music and culture while remaining physically distant. In the meantime, a member of the community has shared with us an opportunity to perform marimba together virtually that we’d like to pass on to you.

Michael Smith, a Portland marimba teacher (and vendor at Zimfest 2016), has been working with his students on a Virtual MarimbaLab Project using their arrangement of the song “Lean On Me” in the key of C so that everyone (especially Zimbabwean-style marimba players) can participate.  He had just launched the project on his website when the news came out that composer and 1970s soul music icon Bill Withers had passed away, making the project more timely and poignant as a video tribute.

Go to Michael’s MarimbaLab website to learn more about the project and join in if you wish. Marimba players, drummers, hosho (shaker) players and hand-clappers are all welcome!

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention other Zimfest musicians who are finding ways to share their music online, Check out our favorite guitarist Zivanai Masango’s Facebook page and Youtube channel; the ZiMBiRA leader has so much to share! Those who are on Facebook will find lots of mbira music shared by–among many others–Zimfest teachers new (Taffie Matiure) and old (Joel Laviolette, hosting a weekly mbira session).  

Stay safe and healthy,
Zimfest Organizing Committee

Music Dancing Across Borders

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Announcing the Cancellation of Zimfest 2020

Dear Zimfest Community,

After much discussion by the Zimfest Association Board and the Organizing Committee, we have decided to cancel Zimfest 2020. In lieu of holding the festival this year, we will begin to plan for Zimfest 2021, and also explore alternative opportunities for celebrating and supporting Zimbabwean music.

The health and safety of Zimfest teachers, performers and participants have been our paramount concern.

Although there is no way to predict what the status of the COVID-19 pandemic will be in late July, we must consider the possibility that restrictions will still be in place regarding large group activities that would require a last-minute cancellation of the festival.

If this were the only barrier we faced, a final decision could potentially have been postponed until later in the year, but unfortunately we also face a number of challenges in the short term:

  • The availability of Conference Services staff at The Evergreen State College, our Zimfest 2020 host, is very limited during this time, as all campus services are on deferred operations through at least April 24 due to COVID-19. As a result, we have not yet received the letters of invitation we requested for our Zimbabwean guests—these are necessary documents supporting their B-1 visa applications. We also require data on room allotment by early April in order to set up our registration system. As long as the deferred operations are in place, we can expect further delays in other essential information on facilities, concert, and workshop venues, adversely affecting our ability to open registration.  There is currently no estimate for when Evergreen Conference Services will resume normal operations.
  • The U.S. Embassy in Harare, where Zimbabwean visa applicants must appear for mandatory in-person interviews, has cancelled routine non-immigrant visa appointments as of March 19, 2020.  It is unknown when this restriction will be lifted.
  • Due to an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Southern Africa, including Zimbabwe, South African Airlines has cancelled international flights for the indefinite future. This carrier provides flights from Harare to Johannesburg SA that are often the first leg of the journey from Zimbabwe to the US. Many flights onward from Joburg are also being cancelled and their future availability cannot be predicted.
  • The United States has barred entry of citizens from many regions of the world, including Asia, Europe, Canada and Mexico. There is no indication when such bans may be lifted.
  • Another consideration is the severe economic downturn caused by the pandemic. Members of the Zimfest community will be affected financially by working reduced hours or losing their jobs, while others are beset by new challenges such as converting from in-person to remote working or teaching. These difficulties could suppress Zimfest attendance, even if COVID-19 transmission were no longer an issue at the end of July.

In short, because of conditions outside of our control, we are unable to put on a successful Zimbabwean Music Festival this year. We believe that announcing the cancellation now, rather than waiting, will reduce financial losses by Zimbabwean artists who need to pay for visa applications, airfare, etc.

In times of stress and uncertainty, gathering together in community to celebrate Zimbabwean music and each other could be an especially healing and uplifting experience. Members of the Board and Organizing Committee mourn along with you the loss of our event and the incredible line-up of teachers and performers who planned to attend this year. We are especially sad about the lost opportunity for Zimbabwean artists to come to the festival, teach and perform, make new connections, and earn income for their families. 

We wish you and yours good health during these unsettled times, and extend our sympathy to anyone who has lost family members or friends to the virus. To the healthcare personnel in our community, we deeply thank you for helping save the lives of others, despite the risks. Traditional music has provided strength and healing during many troubled times; may you continue to gain comfort from the music we love, even as we ride out this unprecedented worldwide calamity.

Sincerely,

Zimfest Association Board
2020 Zimfest Organizing Committee

Zimfest: Music Dancing Across Borders

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Zimfest 2020 Novel Coronavirus Update

Dear Zimfest Community,

The Zimfest Board is monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and its potential impact on Zimfest 2020.

At this time, we plan to hold Zimfest 2020 from July 31st – August 2nd on the campus of The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. Registration is targeted to open on May 1.

Please be aware that this decision may change based on guidance from health agencies, travel restrictions, or if we feel that the risk posed to the Zimfest community is unacceptably high.  The board regularly reviews updates and guidance from local, state, and national public health agencies to inform our decisions.  We are also working closely with our host, The Evergreen State College, as we navigate these uncertain times.

The Board will provide regular updates about the situation and its impact on Zimfest 2020. We are all looking forward to the Festival  but your safety and health are our first concern. Please check the Zimfest blog regularly for updates. If you have questions or concerns about the impact of novel coronavirus on the festival, please write to our Board contact person, janis{at}zimfest{dot}org. Questions about the festival should be directed to oc{at}zimfest{dot}org. 

Sincerely,

Zimfest Association Board and Zimfest 2020 Organizing Committee

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Jan. and Feb. Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the January 12th and February 9th meetings of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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Nov. and Dec. Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the November 10th and December 8th meetings of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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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 2019 and the October 13th board meeting.

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