Zimfest News Blog

Posts Tagged "volunteers"

Request for Volunteers

Hey Zimsters,

With less than a month before we all converge on the shady, accommodating campus of WOU, it’s time to think about packing yer dancing shoes, sharing rides, maybe adding another workshop, and VOLUNTEERING! There are plenty of opportunities to share your special gift of time (and a little muscle!). So please go to the Volunteer Sign-up https://zimfest.org/volunteer/signup/ and find some shifts to plug into. With your help, this is how Zimfest rolls!
–Heron Stombock, Volunteer Coordinator, Zimfest 2019

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Zimfest Housing and Dining Registration Closes July 20

Dear Zimfest community,

Zimfest 2019 is fast approaching! Updates for you this holiday weekend:

  • July 20 is the last day to register for housing, meals and Zimfest booths. That is two short weeks away! Click on New Registration to sign up for dorm rooms as there are not likely to be any available onsite!
  • Go to Vendor Information to sign up for a Marketplace Booth. A late fee will be applied for any applications submitted after July 20.
  • Sinini and Pamela Ngwenya have had to cancel their participation in Zimfest 2019 because of paperwork and visa appointment delays in their Germany home base. We are disappointed but hope to host them at the next festival. Read about all workshop changes and cancellations on the Workshop Changes page. Students registered for cancelled workshops have been notified of workshop credits.  No notification has been sent in the cases in which a substitute will be teaching a workshop originally listed under Sinini Ngwenya.
  • Got your workshop schedule figured out? Don’t forget to sign up for Volunteer shifts to keep the festival running smoothly!

Stay cool,
Claire and the Zimfest 2019 OC

Music Dancing Across Borders

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Zimfest News

Greetings all,

The Zimfest 2019 Organizing and Tech committees have some festival updates for you:

  • The Festival Concert Schedule has been posted online. See biographies and photographs of performers here (check back later for information not yet available on a couple of groups).
  • Our host Western Oregon University has informed us that there will be mini-fridges and microwave ovens in all Ackerman dorm rooms! To ensure that this privilege is extended beyond 2019, be sure to dispose of all food and other waste properly, and please clean out fridges when you leave. 
  • There are a number of fascinating and informative cultural presentations on offer this year, and our webmaster Larry has created this Presentations page with all the relevant information.  The cultural presentations cost only $10 per hour – a great deal!
  • Don’t forget to sign up for volunteer shifts to help the festival run smoothly. Write to our volunteer coordinators at volunteers{at}zimfest{dot}org if you can take on any special assignments (e.g. host the Green Room on Sunday, or help wrangle marimbas on Thursday).

Your Zimfest Organizers

Music Dancing Across Borders

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Zimfest Registration Closing August 1

Hello all,
Countdown: 10 days until Zimfest 2018!

Here is your final reminder that Zimfest registration will close down completely August 1 at midnight. Registration for housing and dining is already closed.

  • No more workshop signups or changes may be made after midnight August 1. During the festival, students may not drop or transfer to another workshop unless the workshop they are enrolled in has been significantly changed by the festival organizers (such as a different teacher.) The reason for this is that if a workshop with low enrollment remains on the schedule and people are then allowed to drop out of it, Zimfest would be contractually obligated to pay the teacher even if s/he had no students to teach!
  • Online purchase of concert tickets ends at midnight August 1. Purchase your tickets in the next three days while the advance sale prices are still in effect!
  • Online signups for volunteers will close at midnight August 1. Help us out by signing up for shifts now so that we have a clear idea of what help is needed when the festival starts.
  • Another reminder for performers: if your band’s lineup has changed from the people you listed in your application, please send your updated band roster to performers{at}zimfest{dot}org. All performers requesting complimentary entrance must be listed on the band roster prior to the festival and may enter only one concert for free. Band members, make sure your contact person has taken care of this!

Woo hoo! See you soon in Monmouth!
Claire and the OC

 

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COUNTDOWN TO ZIMFEST 2018

Hello all,

It’s 23 days until we meet again in Monmouth!

If you are arriving on Thursday, August 9, WE NEED YOU to help us transform WOU campus into Zimfest 2018. We build stages and decorate them, we move instruments into classrooms, we put signs around campus, and so much more…

We literally build the festival!  Let’s do this!  Sign up on the Volunteers page.
This is a great way to get a head start on connecting with old friends and making new ones.

– Volunteers Intern Heron Stombock

Some other tidbits from the OC:

  • Housing and dining registration ends this Friday, July 20 at midnight. Tell your friends who’ve been putting it off to do it now before it’s too late! (Sorry, camping and RV spots have sold out.)
  • There’s a new chef in charge of WOU dining, offering a greater variety of options. Check out the weekly Valsetz menu.
  • We need some coolers for the indoor and outdoor Green Rooms. Please write to claire{at}zimfest{dot}org if you can bring one – especially one with wheels!

See you  there!
– Festival Coordinator Claire Jones

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Zimfest 2018 Delay of Registration

Hello Zimfest community,

The Zimfest 2018 Organizing Committee and Tech Team will not be going live with online registration today, our target date of May 1. We have discovered some issues with our new registration software and want to make sure we can work around them to make the registration process go as smoothly as possible. Look for another message later this week (possibly as early as tomorrow!) that registration is open.

The good news is that we are pleased to have completed most Zimfest 2018 content and supporting information and published it on the website. You are welcome now to browse through the Workshop List, acquaint yourself with the 2018 teachers, and/or explore the 2018 festival website for information about the schedule and housing and dining options. The 2018 homepage is a good place to start your explorations.

      • Don’t forget that the Registration Fee (now $15) is waived for Zimfest Association members. Become a ZA member now or renew your membership before you register for Zimfest 2018. An individual membership costs $25; there are special rates for couples and families, and a teacher membership for leaders of student groups.
      • Announcing festival events on the website: We are excited this year to present a panel discussion on the topic of Cultural Appropriation. This will take place Saturday morning August 11 from 9:30 to 11:30 when no workshops or concerts will be happening. All Zimfest participants are invited to attend.
      • Browse the volunteer tasks to decide how you’d like to contribute at the festival, or claim your shift(s) now on the Volunteer Signup page.
      • Reminder: Vendor applications are open on the website. We look forward to a varied and exciting African Marketplace this year!

Look for more news very soon,

Your Zimfest 2018 Organizing Committee &
The Fabulous Zimfest Tech Team

Zimfest 2018 – Music Dancing Across Borders

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Letter from the Zimfest Board

Dear Zimfest Community,

We hope you have had an excellent start to the year and that you are looking forward to joining us in Monmouth, OR for Zimfest 2018! The Festival Organizing Committee has been hard at work to create a fun and memorable festival experience for attendees, teachers and performers. We can support them and encourage their work by increasing volunteer participation and raising much-needed funds.

Here are a few ways you can help:

  • Volunteer on the Organizing Committee: The Organizing Committee is still in need of volunteers to fill key roles such as Afternoon Stage Manager and Teacher/Workshop Coordinator Assistant. If you are interested, please contact Zimfest Festival Coordinator Claire Jones at claire (at) zimfest (dot)org / 206 328-4011, and/or Volunteer Coordinator Carla Starck at volunteers (at )zimfest (dot) org.
  • Contribute to Fundraising Efforts. As a non-profit organization, donations, membership fees, and the funds reserved after each festival are crucial for financing festival expenses.
    • Donate in the Zimfest 2018 Fundraising Drive. This year, we are aiming to raise $8,000 towards the cost of:
      • Transportation, room and board for the group of talented Zimbabwean teachers
      • Implementing the new festival registration system
      • Purchasing marimbas to augment the supply of instruments at the festival
    • Leverage Employer Matching programs. Employer matching donation programs are an easy way to maximize the value of your donations.
    • Host fundraising events in your local community. Some fun ideas of raising funds in support of Zimfest include benefit concerts, dance parties, dinners and silent auctions. Share your events on the Zimfest Facebook Page so that we can see all the exciting events that are being planned to support Zimfest 2018.
    • Sign up for or renew your Zimfest membership. By becoming a member of Zimfest Association, individuals and families can support the long-term viability of Zimfest. https://zimfest.org/about/membership/
    • Support Zimfest through other channels. See https://zimfest.org/about/support-zimfest/ for other ways to contribute to the Zimfest Association

As members of our vibrant Zimbabwean music community, we all must contribute the money and volunteer hours that are needed to keep the Zimfest spirit alive and thriving this year and beyond. Your response to this call will help us gauge our ability to host Zimfest 2019, so please show your support. If you have any suggestions or questions, please feel free to contact us at board (at) zimfest (dot) org.

Tatenda/Siyabonga!

Zimfest Association Board

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Call for Zimfest Interns

Dear Zimfest Community,
Have you ever wondered how many people it takes to organize Zimfest? At the Zimfest 2016 Village Meeting the idea of experienced volunteers mentoring new folks was brought up. That afternoon as the festival wound down, I threw out an offer to Volunteer Coordinator Carla Starck to help with the next one.

Fast forward to now. Zimfest 2018 is on the horizon, and Carla has taken me up on my offer to act as the Volunteer Coordinator intern. I’m so honored to be part of the dedicated and spirited organizing team. We want to offer this experience to others and are putting out a call for Zimfest lovers to shadow experienced volunteers, learning the ropes and sharing the opportunity to make the next Zimfest even better.

Our most immediate need is for an intern to assist the Workshop Coordinator, as teacher applications and workshop proposals will start coming in soon. This is an exciting position, particularly if you would like to have input in the offerings, and love the idea of creating a better experience. This internship could be split into pre-festival and onsite jobs, possibly shared by two people. Let’s talk!*

Now back to the original question of how many people it takes to make Zimfest happen? Literally hundreds—people like you and me.

Heron Stombock
Zimfest 2018 Volunteers Assistant

Notes from Festival Coordinator
* Write to gro.t1563320100sefmi1563320100z@sre1563320100etnul1563320100ov1563320100
See the Call for Volunteers for other unfilled positions

Music Dancing Across Borders

 

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Zimfest 2018 – Music Dancing Across Borders

Announcement of Theme

Greetings Zimfest Community,
The Zimfest Association Board has chosen “Music Dancing Across Borders” as the theme for Zimfest 2018. Given the vulnerable circumstances for immigrants and citizens both here in the United States and in Zimbabwe, we are steadfast in the knowledge that music and dance are unifying forces around the world. We look forward to dissolving borders and creating togetherness at the next Zimfest (Aug 9-12, 2018) in Monmouth, OR!

What You Can Do to Help

Our Tech Committee has been working all year to assess software programs and set up a new registration system. Online applications are scheduled to open January 2 on the festival website at https://zimfest.org. There is much to do before that date, and I am actively recruiting volunteers and team members to work on the Zimfest Organizing Committee (OC). We are already implementing the idea discussed at the 2016 Village meeting: to have veteran organizers mentor inexperienced or young volunteers who want to learn on the job as interns. No matter your level of experience, helping with the annual Zimfest gathering is a great way to give back for all the joy and enrichment experienced through this wonderful music.

If you have the time and energy to commit, volunteer for the Organizing Committee. OC members meet regularly via skype and take responsibility for major areas of the festival. We need people to work on the following:

  • Teacher and Workshop Scheduling (intern position)
  • Concert planning and Performer Liaison (could be an intern!)
  • Zimbabwean Guest Coordinator
  • Registration and Website lead
  • Marketplace Coordination

Some other jobs take a fair amount of time leading up to and at the festival, but do not require you to meet regularly with the OC:

  • T-shirt and Merchandise Production
  • Publicity and Marketing
  • Instrument Procuring

If you have smaller chunks of time, there are many other tasks that you can do before the festival:

  • Registration system documentation writer
  • Proofreading: website and festival guide
  • Coordinating shuttles and airport pickups/drop-offs.

If you can do major work at the festival but don’t have much time in the months leading up to it, volunteer now for on-site jobs such as:

  • Marimba Wranglers
  • Green Room Coordinator
  • Zimfest booth sales
  • Festival decorations and signage
  • Festival site cleanup crew.

Please let us know if and how you can help: e-mail me directly at gro.t1563320100sefmi1563320100z@eri1563320100alc1563320100, and/or Volunteer Coordinator Carla Starck at gro.t1563320100sefmi1563320100z@sre1563320100etnul1563320100ov1563320100. You can also phone me at 206 328-4011.

Thanks in advance for your help and support. Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Claire Jones
Zimfest Coordinator

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Volunteer Request

Zimfest is just two weeks away! The Organizing Committee is eagerly watching volunteer sign-ups to learn who can help pull final festival details together on Wednesday and Thursday, August 10 and 11.

Are you arriving in Monmouth on Wednesday or Thursday? If so, we can use your help setting up – particularly WORKSHOP INSTRUMENT SETUP, GENERAL FESTIVAL SETUP, SIGNAGE SETUP and COMPUTER ASSIST (at registration). If you do not have a task preference, sign up for a shift at the VOLUNTEER TABLE. Every task scheduled on Wednesday and Thursday is our first priority to fill.

Sign up here: https://zimfest.org/vol/volunteer-tasks/. With your assistance, we look forward to preparing the space for another fabulous Zimfest!

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” —Oscar Wilde

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Announcing Zimfest 2016

Registration is now open for the 25th Zimbabwean Music Festival in North America.

The festival is an annual celebration of Zimbabwean music and culture. A fun-filled four-day weekend of concerts, workshops, community conversations, a marketplace, late night mbira & jamming parties, and more; Zimfest is the largest annual gathering in North America of students, teachers, performers, and fans of Zimbabwean music.

Zimfest 2016 will be held August 11-14 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon. Just west of Salem, the WOU campus provides an attractive and comfortable site. Housing, camping, and meals are available on-campus.

How to Register

Register for festival workshops, concert tickets, housing and meals at https://register.zimfest.org. Workshops can be viewed by teacher, type of workshop, or day and time.

Detailed information about the festival is available at https://zimfest.org. The volunteer signup can also be found there.

Volunteerism is at the heart of every Zimfest. All festival attendees can help by volunteering for a task or two. Volunteers help organize and run the entire festival!

Zimbabwean Guests

Zimbabweans joining us at Zimfest to teach and/or perform for the first time include:

  • Edmonton-based group Mbira Renaissance led by Chakanaka Zinyemba
  • Marimba specialist Simba Kamuriwo
  • Dancer/mbira/hosho player Clayton Master
  • Cultural educators Victoria and Tapiwa Kapurura

Traveling from abroad to be with us are:

  • Popular mbira virtuoso and teacher Musekiwa Chingodza (coming from Zimbabwe)
  • Kwanongoma graduate and marimba expert Michael Sibanda (based in South Africa)
  • Multi-talented vocalist and dancer Lucky Moyo (travelling from England)

(As always at this point in time, visas or travel plans are still pending for several of these artists.)

We extend a hearty welcome to the following North American-based Zimbabwean teachers and performers:

  • Clayton Pasi Gunguwo
  • Mandla Kaunda
  • Zivanai Masango
  • Paul Mataruse
  • Chakaipa Mhembere
  • Kurai Blessing Mubaiwa
  • Muchineripi family band Chihera
  • Samuel Mukwedeya
  • Moyo Rainos Mutamba

After an absence of several years, we are ecstatic to welcome back to the Zimfest fold:

  • Chinyakare Ensemble, led by the incomparable Julia Chigamba. Say hello again to Chigamba family members Augusten Basa, Gerald Basa, Kanukai Chigamba and Ronnie Daliyo; and the equally talented non-Zimbabwean Chinyakare members Cathy Crystal, Casey Daliyo, Moeketsi Gibe, Russell Landers, DeLisa Nealy, and Sarah Noll.

Concerts

Zimfest concerts occur from Thursday evening through Sunday night.

Opening Ceremony & Free Concert on the Outdoor Stage:
Thursday 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Following the opening ceremony, Nyemwerero will set the tone of the festival with the dynamic sound of Musekiwa Chingodza on mbira, joined by Zivanai Masango and other members of ZiMBiRA!

Free Afternoon Concerts on the Outdoor Stage:
Friday Noon to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Noon to 5:30 p.m.
Sunday Noon to 5:30 p.m.

Evening Concerts (Ticketed, Indoors):
Friday 7:30 to Midnight
Saturday 7:30 to Midnight
Sunday 7:30 to Midnight

African Marketplace

Come visit the Zimfest 2016 Marketplace and explore the wonderful assortment of African art, clothing, crafts, musical instruments, CDs, and DVDs available for purchase. Relax on the broad grassy lawn and enjoy the music from the afternoon concert stage as you shop for special treasures. The Marketplace also provides an opportunity to learn about and support nonprofit organizations that are working with the people of Zimbabwe. Your purchases from these nonprofits will benefit many lives in Zimbabwe. The Marketplace will be open Friday 10:00-5:00, Saturday 10:00-5:30, and Sunday noon-5:30.

Workshops

Valuing education as well as performance, Zimfest attracts Zimbabwean music and culture experts from around the world to teach festival participants. Zimfest offers a large selection of workshops at all skill levels in marimba, mbira, hosho, singing, dance, drumming, guitar, chipendani, and makwa (clapping), as well as a variety of cultural presentations. Details and registration are available at https://register.zimfest.org.

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

Zimfest 2016 will celebrate the theme “Sing-Dance-Play! Tambai Tambai! Dlala-Dlala!” In Zimbabwe you only need one word to say “Play (music)” or “Dance” or “Play (have fun)”: Tambai if you speak chiShona, or Dlala in isiNdebele. What could be more appropriate to describe the three-and-a-half days of Zimbabwean-inflected music, dance, song, culture and fun that is the Zimbabwean Music Festival? Come sing-dance-play with us August 11-14. Tambai! Dlala!

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Zimfest Requests Your Help

Dear Zimfest Enthusiasts:

We hope that you are doing well and wish you the best for the coming year! We are looking forward to seeing many of you once again at WOU in Monmouth, Oregon for this year’s Zimfest – August 11th-14th.

We are writing at this time on a matter of great importance to the Zimfest Community. As you know, Zimfest depends on volunteers for its survival. The board is comprised entirely of volunteers. The work at the festival is done by volunteers. And perhaps most importantly – each year a dedicated group of volunteers forms the organizing committee for the upcoming festival. We are fortunate to have a paid festival coordinator in Claire Jones. However, as has been noted previously, the amount of work that Claire does compared to the amount that she is compensated really amounts to her volunteering a fair bit of her time as well.

Each year, it has become progressively more difficult to recruit an organizing committee. As a board, we have taken steps to reduce the burden on the organizing committee (e.g., having Claire provide continuity as coordinator from year to year; repeating the festival at the same location to avoid re-inventing the way we do things). Nevertheless, the inability to recruit an organizing committee is a bad sign for the Zimfest Association. If we as a community cannot address this problem, the board may be forced to consider additional steps to reduce the burden on the organizers such as holding the festival every other year.

We recognize that many of you are very busy. It’s a sign of the times. Nevertheless, if Zimfest is something that’s important to you, we ask that you dig deep and find time to join this year’s organizing committee. The 2016 Zimfest Organizing Committee currently includes:

Claire Jones – Festival Coordinator
Alex Weeks – Online registration and website
Jake Roberts – Registration payment system; Onsite Registration lead
Michael Beardsworth – Concert Producer; Evening concert management
Marilyn Mohr – Zimbabwean Guest Coordinator
Carla Starck – Volunteer Coordinator

The leadership roles that are still open include:
Concert Programmer
Workshops and Teachers Coordinator
Marketplace coordinator

In addition, participants are needed to help out more generally. If full responsibility for any of these roles sounds overwhelming, it is certainly possible to share the job with another person. If you have questions about what’s involved, how the organizing committee operates, how much time it is likely to take, we encourage you to email Claire for more information (claire.jns1 {at} gmail (dot) com).

We hope that several weeks from now, we can report back with good news that we have a fully staffed organizing committee. In the event that we continue to struggle with recruitment, we will need to consider other alternatives and begin asking more challenging questions regarding the sustainability of the current Zimfest operating model.

We look forward to hearing from many of you!

—The Zimfest Board

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