Zimfest News Blog

Posts Tagged "virtual community"

Zimfest 2021 Updates – Workshop Registration is Open

Dear Zimfest community,

Zimfest 2021 is less than two weeks away, taking place from July 30 to August 1. The Organizing Committee has been hard at work and has the following updates for you:

  • The Festival Schedule gives an outline of activities for the weekend. Detailed lineups will be posted soon.
  • See Festival Overview for an introduction to the amazing performers and presenters who will be joining us online on Facebook Live.
  • Live Participatory Workshops will take place on Zoom; registrations are required and donations requested. Workshop descriptions, teacher biographies and a link to the registrations are here
  • The 2021 Virtual Marketplace is now open, featuring vendors and importers selling instruments and wares made by Zimbabweans.
  • Emcees needed: why not get a buddy to hold a viewing party with you, enjoy the show for a 2 to 3 hour block of time, and get paid to engage with the music together! Write to volunteers{at}zimfest{dot}org for info. 

Zimfest mourns the loss of Gwenyambira Matemai Newton Cheza-Chozengwa, who passed away on Saturday. We extend our condolences to his family and friends, and all the mbira lovers whose hearts he touched. Enjoy the recording of Matemai singing with Rattletree Marimba at Zimfest 2009 on our homepage (lower left corner).

Zimfest Organizing Committee

Zimfest 2021: A Quilt of Local Events… Stitched Together

 

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Zimfest 2021 Village Meeting

Dear Zimfest Community,

Zimfest 2021 is now only 2 weeks away! (Friday July 30th – Sunday August 1st). Thanks to the work of this year’s Organizing Committee—headed by Claire Jones—a final schedule comprising three days of workshops, performances, and presentations will be posted in the coming days. Many performances will be by musicians in Zimbabwe who are new to Zimfest.

The last two years have required unprecedented changes to how Zimfest is structured and organized, and we hope that you will attend these sessions to learn from, and enjoy, some of the most talented teachers and performers of Zimbabwean music in the world.

In addition to attending the Festival, one of the most important ways you can support our community is by participating in the annual Village Meeting.

This year, it will be held virtually (by Zoom) from 3:15–4:15 PM PDT (08:15–09:15 UTC) on Sunday, August 1st. A Zoom link will be provided in a subsequent blog post and on the Zimfest Facebook page.

The Village Meeting serves as the required annual public Zimfest Association business meeting. It also provides an opportunity for us, the members of the Zimfest Association Board of Directors, and Organizing Committee, to hear from our community, and for you to voice your opinions about the Festival and how it is organized. This meeting is usually where the seeds of next year’s Festival are planted.

In particular, because we are planning for an in-person festival next year, your participation and ideas will be vital to putting on a safe and successful Zimfest 2022.

Finally, if you are interested in volunteering or learning more about volunteering, either as a member of the Organizing Committee, or Board, the Village Meeting is a great place to meet us and voice your support.

Looking forward to seeing you soon at Zimfest 2021!

Sincerely,

Alex Weeks
President, Zimfest Association Board of Directors

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Deadline Looming for Zimfest Performance and Presentation Applications

Hello Zimfest people new and old,

The deadline for Applications for Zimfest 2021 teachers, performers and presenters is June 30 – that’s three days from now! See all deadlines and dates here.

Please read the Information for Applicants and note:

  • We are only accepting Live Workshop applications from residents in North America and Europe as internet and electrical power are not reliable in Zimbabwe. 
  • Applications to submit Pre-recorded presentations and performances are open to everyone. You do not need to be ready with a recording when you apply – we will let successful applicants know by July 10 how to submit recordings.
  • We are arranging recording sessions in Harare for Zimbabwean applicants unable to access recording equipment themselves.

We look forward to hearing from you very very soon!

Stay cool,
Zimfest 2021 Organizing Committee

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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, only North American and European residents please. 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) is available here, 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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August Zimfest Online

Dear Zimfest community,

Two final live presentations wrap up our Zimfest Online festival season this month! Both take place on Saturdays at 5 p.m. PDT. 

  • Aug 22: (Dr.) Claire Jones presents A Social and Acoustic History of the Kwanongoma Marimba in Zimbabwe. Claire’s dynamic look at 50 years of marimbas in Zimbabwe invites your participation. Can you name these tunes?
  • Aug 29: (Dr.) Tedd Judd presents Wrapping the Western Mind, Body, Soul, and Community Around Zimbabwean Music. Ever wondered how we make melodic sense of streams of notes coming from players’ thumbs and hands? – there is a scientific basis to this (follow the science)!  Tedd gets into reasons why many Americans have a difficult time hearing the complex rhythms of marimba and mbira music, but how approaching it like Zimbabweans do is so enriching. 

Please be aware that if you sign up for a session and cannot attend, you can be given access to view the recording. Write to online{at}zimfest{dot}org for assistance.

Continue staying safe and finding ways to connect musically and otherwise!

Zimfest Online Engagement Crew

 

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Karanga Storytelling with Anesu Ndoro

Dear Zimfest community,
We are pleased to post the following on behalf of Anesu Ndoro:

  • For the next 8 – 10 weeks (between May 27th and July 30th), Anesu Ndoro will be carrying out a summer program aimed at harnessing Karanga storytelling modes to heal during the coronavirus. Karanga storytelling traditions in Zimbabweans have existed for hundreds of years and are used to bring storytellers and their audiences together through listening, participating in the story and reflecting on the lessons of the story.
  • The program will consist of live storytelling Zoom sessions in ChiKaranga and English, interactive story posts in a Facebook and a WhatsApp group, as well as uploads to a YouTube channel, and website at the end of the program.
  • For those who are interested in being a part of this program, please contact Anesu Ndoro on ndoroam{at}gmail{dot}com or send him a private message on his Facebook account.
  • This program is sponsored by the Reed College Department of Anthropology.

Zimfest

Music Dancing Across Borders

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Zimfest Online News

Dear Zimfest community,
As disappointed as we are not to be able to physically gather this summer, the Zimfest Board and OC want you to know we are working on ways to virtually engage with you all.

  • Go to the Kutandara (Boulder, CO) website to learn about their many online activities. Randy and Amy have instituted the #KutandaraPlaysMarimba project offering free song-of-the-month marimba lessons on YouTube to get everyone playing “together.”
  • The Zimfest Organizing Committee will be offering the Cultural Presentations that the festival is known for on an online basis. Stay tuned!
  • Calling for a Digital Media Curator for Zimfest. We have a need for a digitally-minded volunteer to help us out as we work on putting more music and media online. This individual(s) would lead the way for Zimfest in the sourcing, collection, adjustment, inventory, and presentation of media types including audio, video, and photos.
  • Our call for designs for Zimfest this year has resulted in an updated logo – see below! Thanks to Penny Martindale for her creative eye!

Music Dancing Across Borders

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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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