Zimfest News Blog

Posts Tagged "Board of Directors"

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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Applications and Updates

Dear Zimfest community,

A few updates from our hard-working Zimfest organizers:

  • The Organizing Committee is eagerly awaiting applications from performers and teachers before the Feb 29 deadline! We need workshops in all categories to allow for a complete menu of offerings beyond marimba and mbira at Zimfest 2020: dance, singing, drumming, hosho, guitar and other instruments, as well as cultural presentations on various topics.
  • See this page for details on workshops. Marimba teachers, please keep in mind that we can accept a few workshops of 2.5 hours as requested by intermediate and advanced students.  Teachers of dance and hosho are advised that workshops of 1.5 hours work well for many students.
  • The Zimfest Association Board of Directors welcomes new board member Drew Turner! Drew was introduced to Zimbabwean-style marimba in Homer, AK and now lives near Ashland, OR. He has also joined the OC as an intern with the Volunteer Coordinators – great to have you, Drew!
  • The ZA Board wishes to call your attention to changes in membership categories and fees. Recognizing that many older members of our community are on fixed incomes, the Board has added a new category of membership for seniors 65 years and older, at just $10 a year (more if you can afford it).  In addition, the Teacher membership fee, covering a teacher or youth leader plus up to 20 members of their student group, has increased to $100 per year. See the membership page for details and to sign up. 

Stay well – musare zvakanaka!

Zimfest Organizing Committee
Zimfest Association Board
Festival Coordinator Claire Jones

Zimfest: Music Dancing Across Borders

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Holiday Membership Drive

Dear Zimfest Association members, friends, and whomever else might be reading this,

We hope that as the darkest days of the year are upon us you are all doing well, enjoying your families, and hopefully still playing some great music! The holidays are officially here and so is the Zimfest Association’s annual campaign and membership drive. This will be our fifth year running this campaign, and we are hoping that it will be our most successful ever. As you know, while the festival itself provides some income to the association, meeting once a year for just a few days simply doesn’t provide enough to cover all our expenses. 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 those of you who signed up around Thanksgiving, we give you our thanks! You are the role models whom we hope will inspire others to finally sign up for that membership they’ve been putting off for years. It’s so simple, you’ll be done in minutes. Just head to https://zimfest.org/about/membership/ to find the right fit for you. Pinching pennies and eating lots of Ramen? Perhaps our student membership is right for you. Maybe you recently came into some money; a lottery ticket, a rich family member, a fabulous invention? Consider our lifetime membership. With all the different types of membership, there’s sure to be something to fit your budget! 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:
Membership not your thing? Or 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 boon 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 our new fellowship program which this year allowed us to pay the way for community veteran, Michael Sibanda, as well as our new friend Tafadzwa Gapara!

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. Also, if you’re selling stuff on eBay, you can choose to donate a percentage of the final sales price to the Zimfest Association. 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! For info on all of these, see https://zimfest.org/about/support-zimfest/

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 next year at The Evergreen State College!

Warmly,

The Zimfest Board

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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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July and Sept. Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the July 14th and September 8th meetings of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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