Zimfest News Blog

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Zimfest Annual Campaign and Membership Drive

Dear Zimfest Association Friends and Members:

We hope that you are all doing well and are planning to join us for another amazing Zimfest next year at the University of Puget Sound from July 24 through July 27th. The organizing committee is already hard at work with detailed planning for the festival. In parallel, the Zimfest Association Board has been busy creating a stronger and more sustainable organization. We encourage you to review what we’ve been up to on the Zimfest blog which can be found at https://zimfest.wordpress.com.

Call to Action!

We are writing at this time to solicit your help. No organization can survive without financial support, and the Zimfest Association is no different. While the annual festivals provide some income to the Association, these funds are unpredictable and are insufficient to sustain and grow the Association. For example, in 2013 the festival made less than $1500 in profits, which greatly limited the funds available to pay our Zimfest coordinator, pay our festival musicians and make charitable donations to other organizations which support Zimbabwe. For this reason, we have instituted an aggressive strategy aimed at raising money via other means. With this letter, we are inaugurating our first Annual Campaign and Membership Drive.

Become a Member of the Zimfest Association

This year, we have changed the way that membership to the Zimfest Association is handled. Beginning January 1st, the term of membership will run for a full calendar year until December 31st. Our goal is to have all recurring Zimfest participants be current members of the organization. The minimal fee of $25 will allow a Regular member to attend the festival without paying a registration fee of $12. Members may choose to have their names published on the website and in the Festival Guide. 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.

Provide Charitable Donations to the Zimfest Association

While fees from membership are a great start, if we hope to be an organization that will continue to put on festivals for years to come, it will take more money than membership fees alone can raise. For this reason, we are also soliciting tax-deductible donations to the Zimfest Association. While we would ideally like to see each member who is able to renew their membership also make a donation, we realize that our fund-raising efforts often go no farther than the same group of generous donors. Therefore, we are asking each of you to refer a friend or acquaintance to our donations page. Is there someone in your circle of friends or extended family who is familiar with Zimfest, has enjoyed performances by our Zimbabwean guests, or has seen how enriching your involvement in the music has been? If so, ask that person to make a donation to help support Zimbabwean musicians and assist Zimfest on its path towards a sustainable infrastructure.

We hope that you will seriously consider becoming a member of the Zimfest Association for the 2014 calendar year, as well as making or enabling a charitable contribution. If each Zimfest member can find a willing donor we will be well on our way towards sustainability! Your contributions are tax-deductible either in the 2013 or 2014 tax year, depending on when you make your payment. Please visit our Membership and Donation page on our website at http://zimfest.org/membership for instructions on how to make a contribution.

Thanks for all that you do to make Zimfest a success. Happy Holidays…

—The Zimfest Association Board

P.S. Zimfest Association Donations to Charities

This year, Zimfest is pleased to announce our support for five non-profit organizations working in Zimbabwe. The Savannah Arts Center, based in the neighborhood of Mbare, on Harare’s southern edge, will receive a donation of $500. Savannah Arts Center has a past history of participating in Zimfest, and sent a small group of musicians to perform at our festival in 2000. The other four projects and organizations will receive grants of $250 each. These are MBIRA, Tariro, the Jangano Club for teaching mbira in schools, administered through Ancient Ways, and the Chinhoyi High School Project, administered through Kutsinhira’s Zimbabwe Community Development Project.

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Zimfest Funding Requests Due December 5

Dear members of the Zimfest community,

On behalf of the Zimfest Association board, I would like to communicate with you briefly about our commitment to making charitable donations to other non-profit organizations.

Our history of giving

In the past, the Zimfest Association has frequently disbursed amounts of up to $8,000 in festival proceeds, split between several worthy charitable causes. These organizations have included MBIRA, Ancient Ways, Tariro, Patience Chaitezvi’s Chinhoyi High School Project, the Dispatch Foundation, and the Portland-Mutare Sister City organization.

Our unique current circumstances

As the festival continues to evolve, each year brings both new promises and new challenges. This year, the Zimfest Association has committed to putting more of the festival’s proceeds toward ensuring our long-term stability and sustainability. This effort has taken several forms, including the hiring of a new part-time festival coordinator, as well as small payments for evening performers. Combined with last year’s festival, which did not result in a large profit, this decision has meant that the Zimfest Association has significantly less money to contribute to other non-profit causes this year.

Reaffirming the principle of giving – a call for proposals

At our recent board meeting, the Zimfest board made the unanimous decision to continue making charitable contributions this year, reaffirming our commitment to the principle of giving back to Zimbabwean communities through development efforts. However, we wish to advise applicants that available funds are very small this year. As a result, we may offer funding to a single organization alone, or give much smaller amounts to a number of applicants.

Applicants who wish to be considered for charitable donations must submit a formal proposal by December 5th for consideration at our next board meeting. This applies equally to all organizations, regardless of prior history as a Zimfest Association grantee.

For further information, please feel free to email me:
jennifer [at] zimfest {dot} org

Sincerely,
Jennifer Kyker

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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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