Dear Zimfest participants, Zimbabwean music and cultural enthusiasts,
Those of you who were at Zimfest may recall that Patience Musandirire told us that his flights from Zimbabwe had been delayed and rerouted, and along the way his baggage went missing. His suitcase arrived one week later, after the festival. It had been ripped open and a number of items were missing. We have filed claims with United Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines for delayed luggage and lost content. These claims have been processed and partial payments made in the form of these transferable airline vouchers that expire in one year (summer 2019).
Consider helping Patience to get reimbursement for the loss of luggage, delayed claims, and mbira instruments stolen from his bag. If you travel on United Airlines, we have $500 in travel vouchers that we can transfer to you. Contact Gretel Baumgartner (in Oregon) to coordinate details in transferring these airline vouchers, valid on United Airlines. You will pay $500 for the same travel value – all money will be delivered to Patience in Harare, Zimbabwe. Gretel will arrange safe and secure wired funds. If you have current knowledge on the best means of transferring funds to Zimbabwe, please write to Gretel or reply to this blog post.
Please contact Gretel via email gjb9876 “at” yahoo “dot” com.
Posted on behalf of Gretel Baumgartner and Patience Musandirire
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
Greetings Zimfest community,
Following the end of the application period, March and April have been very busy and productive times for the Zimfest 2018 Organizing Committee and Tech Team. As we work towards the target date of May 1 to open online registration, we want to let you know that:
Vendor applications for the Marketplace are now being accepted on the Vendor Information and Application page on the website. The deadline for vendor applications is July 16, 2018.
The Organizing Committee has announced this year’s Zimbabwean guest teachers and performers on the 2018 homepage – a truly stunning and star-studded lineup!
While you are on the Zimfest 2018 homepage, please note that we have been adding informational pages as they become available. Click on the overhead menus for the festival schedule, housing and dining info, etc.
We received what might be a record number of workshop proposals and performance applications, requiring difficult decisions on the part of the Organizing Committee. We now have a workshop grid and tentative performance schedule, and teachers and performers are being notified of the status of their applications . Contracts will be sent later in the month.
Enjoy the spring weather!
Claire and the Organizing Committee
With the winter holidays over, and Valentine’s Day behind us, it’s a perfect time to make summer plans. Join us as a teacher at Zimfest 2018!
The deadline for Zimfest applications is February 28, one short week. Make a difference to the festival by applying to share something you know – we especially need marimba teachers at Beginner, Novice and Intermediate levels.
Online applications are now open for the 2018 Zimbabwean Music Festival. To apply to teach or perform at this year’s festival, follow links on the Zimfest 2018 home page or go directly to the Teacher Application Information and/or Performer Application Information pages. The ZA Tech committee has done a great job finding appropriate software and formatting the applications so that they are very user friendly. You should find that it is just as easy to fill out the applications using a smart phone as it is on a computer. Unlike previous years, you will not need a Google account to log in.
Each year we seek to offer a balance of workshops, including singing, dancing, drumming, marimba, several types of mbira and a variety of cultural presentations. In response to desires expressed by Zimfest participants for marimba workshops in which students improvise on commonly-known songs, we are encouraging teachers to propose workshops in the form of curated jam sessions; these are best offered at intermediate and advanced levels. We would also love to see workshops (especially from Zimbabwean instructors!) that integrate and relate marimba to singing, dancing, drumming and/or hosho, to bring home to American students the awareness that these music and dance activities are rarely separate in Zimbabwe. Send us your ideas, whether stand-alone or linked workshops, and we’ll see what we can schedule!
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for Zimfest 2018, August 9-12 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, OR. Please remember that the festival needs your volunteer help! If you are interested in volunteering, please write
Happy New Year from the 2018 Organizing Committee!
Best regards, Claire Jones
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.
Zimfest 2018 Volunteers Assistant
Notes from Festival Coordinator
* Write to
See the Call for Volunteers for other unfilled positions
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
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
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:
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 , and/or Volunteer Coordinator Carla Starck at . You can also phone me at 206 328-4011.
Thanks in advance for your help and support. Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!
As you may know, The Zimfest Association Board decided earlier this year to not hold Zimfest in 2017, to allow us to focus on the long-term success and sustainability of the festival. At the same time, we’re looking forward to Zimfest 2018!
Current options include returning to Western Oregon University (which would require less planning effort than a new site) or identifying a community that can commit to organizing and hosting the festival at some other location. However, because of the lead time required to book facilities, we would like to identify the 2018 festival site and dates by the end of January, 2017. With 2018 taken care of, the Board will continue working on how best to select and rotate among festival venues after 2018.
Thus, we extend a call to all communities to consider organizing and hosting Zimfest 2018. The community will have festival coordination support from the Zimfest board and additional festival volunteers. Information—including pros, cons and/or deal-breakers—on a number of potential venues has been collected over the years here: Venues Researched As Potential Zimfest Sites.
Should you be interested in organizing and hosting Zimfest 2018, we’d love to hear from you via by January 8, 2017. Individuals or communities that express interest will be contacted by the Board for further discussion. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions as well.
With all best wishes,
The Zimfest Association Board of Directors
This blog is the main news channel for the Zimbabwean Music Festival (aka Zimfest). The Zimfest organizing committee posts updates on the annual festival, and the Zimfest Association board provides meeting minutes and other info. We hope this blog becomes a mechanism for a rich dialog with Zimfest participants. Subscribe to receive blog posts via email.