Zimfest News Blog

Posts Tagged "Zimfest 2019"

Two Days Until Z-Day!

Hello Zimfest Friends,

The festival is upon us and we will see each other very soon! It is hot here in Seattle and the weather forecast for Monmouth is continued temperatures in the 80s with possible showers on Saturday. Be prepared for anything!

  • Remember that the WOU dorms are not air-conditioned – bring a fan for nighttime sleeping. Also bring your own soap, as the linen packs do not include soap.
  • As we mentioned in a previous blog post, all WOU dorm rooms now have mini-fridges and microwaves, so you can refrigerate drinks to stay hydrated! The requirement to purchase at least two meals per night remains in place however.
  • WOU Dining has informed us that Grab & Go bottled drinks and packaged snacks in the retail section of Valsetz will be available on a cash basis between lunch and dinner times according to the schedule shown on the On-Campus Dining webpage.  (This schedule does not appear in our Festival Guide however.)
  • Introduce yourself to Anesu Ndoro, volunteering at Zimfest as the Registration Co-Lead. Anesu, an anthropology student at Reed College, would like to do brief interviews with North Americans, asking how they got interested and involved in playing  and listening to Zimbabwean music. What does the music mean to you?
  • A couple of our Zimbabwean guests are looking for transportation back to Portland Airport on Sunday before the festival is over. If you might be able to offer a ride, please check the Ride Board on the website, or look for a physical Ride Board in the Registration Area at Zimfest.

See you in Monmouth!
Claire and the OC

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Deadlines and Drums

Hello Zimfest community,

The festival is only 20 days away! Important information for you:

  • Saturday July 20th is the last date to register for housing and dining as we need to send the data to our WOU host. There is not likely to be any housing available for walk-ins onsite, so register now!
  • Registrations for workshops and volunteer signups will close August 1st at midnight. No changes can be made until Aug 8 at onsite registration.
  • As always, we are in need of hand drums – Zimbabwean style ngoma, congas or similar ones – for our drumming classes. Please let us know whether you can lend one or more by writing teachers{at}zimfest{dot}org or just bring them to the Registration desk Thursday Aug. 8 at the festival. We promise to take good care of them for the weekend!

Zimfest 2019 OC

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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 Board and Committee Updates

Howdy Zimfest Community,

The 2019 Organizing Committee would like you to know:

  • We are actively working on this year’s Festival Guide. If you or your organization would like ad space in the printed guide (discounts for non-profits!), please contact chatbetty{at}gmail{dot}com. You may also contact Betty if you or your community has lost a loved one who you would like mentioned in the In Memoriam page.
  • We are seeking Vendor Applications for the Marketplace—a fun place to hang out during the festival! Be sure to get your applications in by July 20 to avoid being charged a late fee. 

From the ZA Tech Committee:

  • You can now look up current workshop enrollments on both the Workshop List and Workshop Table pages on the website, where “Remaining” indicates the number of spots open in each workshop. Both displays also feature an additional filter called “Open/Full” with which you can view either Full or Open classes (those with slots remaining).
  • Make your Zimfest travel plans now! The Getting to Zimfest page has been updated and the Ride Board is ready for posts from those seeking and those offering rides.

And at long last, an announcement from the Zimfest Association Board:

  • The ZA Board has tentatively reserved the dates of July 30 to August 2, 2020 for Zimfest at The Evergreen State College in Olympia WA. We will make an official decision on whether to hold a 2020 festival after this year’s festival, based on commitment from the community and the success of Zimfest 2019.

Posted by Claire with help from many hard working volunteers!
Claire Jones, Festival Coordinator

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Zimfest 2019 Fundraising Challenge

Zimfest 2019 fundraising has been off to a slow start, but we have a fantastic group of Zimbabweans coming to teach and perform that we need your help to support while at Zimfest. Here’s the challenge, if we hit 20 new donations by the end of May we would unlock a $500 gift. You can enter a one-time gift or choose the monthly recurring option at https://zimfest.org/about/support-zimfest/. Don’t forget about renewing your Zimfest membership if you haven’t done that yet for the year. The Zimfest Board thanks you for all your support.

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Zimfest Registration is Open

Dear Zimfest community,

Online registration for Zimfest 2019 is now open! Visit the How to Register ‎page on the website for instructions (please read!) and the direct link to our online system RegFox. A few new tips and reminders:

  • Marketplace booth applications are also open for all new and returning vendors. Please go to the Vendor Information page for guidelines and a link to the Vendor applications. This application is not connected to the online registration form, and vendor applicants will have to make a separate payment for booths using PayPal (sorry!).
  • An eleventh-hour development strengthens our efforts to make Zimfest more affordable for families – meals are now discounted for children 11 and under! See Festival Costs for prices. When you enter the age range of the person for whom you are registering in RegFox, the correct meal prices will be displayed and computed for you.
  • All Zimfest registrants must confirm that they have read and agree to the Zimfest Code of Conduct.  If you are not aware of this initiative by the ZA Board to ensure that the festival remains a safe and non-threatening environment for all, please read about it here.
  • Zimfest Association members are exempt from the $15 Registration fee. Become a member and support Zimfest before you register.
  • Those purchasing concert tickets only are also exempt from the registration fee, and can skip down to the concert ticket section in RegFox.

Enjoy the spring weather!
Claire and the OC

Music Dancing Across Borders

 

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Zimfest Workshop Schedule is Online

Dear Zimfesters,

As promised, the Zimfest 2019 Organizing and Tech Committees have published the workshop list, grid and teachers information in advance of the registration opening date so that registrants will have plenty of time to peruse the selections. We hope this will decrease the errors made by people rushing to complete their registrations on the first day! We would rather you take your time to explore the website and all this year’s offerings before you set out to register. A few other pointers at this time:

  • We have taken some steps to make Zimfest more family-friendly. If you are a parent accompanying a child aged 7 or under in a children’s workshop, your workshop fee is waived. See details under Children’s Workshops on the About Workshops page.
  • Also, it is now easier to qualify for a family discount on housing at the festival; you need only have one child below the age of 12 to qualify. See On-Campus Housing.
  • We request that no group (youth or adults!) sign up for more than half the slots in any one workshop – this is one of the few ways we have of trying to make workshops equally accessible to all Zimfest participants. If you are a group leader and want your entire group to work with a particular teacher, or learn a particular song or dance, please consider arranging a private or pre-fest workshop. See details here.

Have fun exploring the website and all that Zimfest 2019 has to offer! Look for online registration to open on May 1 or shortly thereafter.

Claire and the Organizing Committee

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Announcement of Zimbabwean Guests for Zimfest 2019

Greetings, Kwaziwai, Salibonane!
Just a short message to let you know that we have announced this year’s Zimbabwean guest teachers on the 2019 Overview page on the website. Performers are not yet finalized, and as always at this time of the year, visas are pending for Zimbabweans traveling from abroad.

Happy spring!
Claire Jones, Festival Coordinator
On behalf of the 2019 Zimfest Organizing Committee

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Zimfest Teachers Needed! Applications Close Feb 28

Hello Zimfest Community,
The end is near! No more procrastination, Zimfest applications for teachers and performers close February 28. That is only five days away!

Our most desperate need is for teachers of marimba at all levels except advanced. If you have patience and a flair for working with Beginners, or can help build foundations and repertoire for Novice and Intermediate players, we want you!

Please go to Teacher Application Information and/or Performer Application Information.

Claire Jones
for the Zimfest 2019 Organizing Committee

Music Dancing Across Borders

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Zimfest to Add Background Checks for Festival Teachers

To help ensure a safe and enjoyable Zimfest experience for all participants, the Zimfest Association Board of Directors recently developed a Zimfest Code of Conduct. To further ensure a safe environment for Zimfest participants, the Board also approved mandatory criminal background checks for Zimfest 2019 teachers. Criminal background checks are standard practice at many non-profit organizations, which can be held legally liable for any misconduct resulting from a failure to conduct background checks.

The Zimfest Association has selected Coeus Global, which specializes in serving non-profit organizations at affordable prices, to provide background checks. For individuals with US social security numbers, the search will include two items: (1) the United States National Criminal Database (which covers felonies but not misdemeanors) and (2) the United States Nationwide Sex Offender registry. The Board is investigating options for individuals who do not have social security numbers.

Individuals applying to teach at Zimfest 2019 need do nothing at this point regarding background checks. After an applicant has been selected as a teacher, they will be provided a link to the Zimfest portal on the Coeus Global website, to sign a release for the background check and enter personal information. The period of time a background check report may cover differs by state; with Zimfest 2019 being held in Oregon, this period is unlimited (other states may, for example, limit background check reports to the 7 years prior to the current date). To be employed as a Zimfest teacher, a “clear” criminal background report will be required.

As part of our commitment to transparency and safety, members of the Zimfest Board of Directors will also undergo background checks this year. Following this pilot program, the Board will evaluate expanding criminal background checks to additional groups (e.g., Festival Organizing Committee and other volunteers). Our paramount goal is to provide the best experience for everyone as we come together at Zimfest to enjoy and share the music that we love.

—Zimfest Association Board of Directors

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Zimfest Sunday Concert Special

Dear Zimfest community,

This message addresses a shared complaint and request from the Zimfest 2018 survey, and our response to it. Be sure to read through to the end!

Several people have expressed the desire to see more Zimbabweans performing on the evening stage at Zimfest. We want you to be aware that there is a legal reason that not all the visiting Zimbabweans can perform at our ticketed concerts. The type of US visa (B-1 business/pleasure) granted to many of the Zimbabweans (and Canadians!) traveling to Zimfest does not allow the visa holder to perform in a concert for which admission is charged. Zimfest cannot include B-1 visa holders on the ticketed evening stage lineups; it would risk the visa status of these visitors, as well as the co-sponsoring status of the Zimfest Association and our host institution (WOU).

Our plan for Zimfest 2019 is to make the Sunday evening concert on August 11, 2019 free admission, by donation only. Like the afternoon concerts at the festival, there will be no restrictions as to who may perform, so we hope to include some of Zimbabweans you’ve been missing (take note, Zimbabwean applicants!). In order to make this work, we need your help as audience members. We cannot afford to lose money on Sunday evening, so we ask that you donate the same amount that tickets cost for the Friday and Saturday ticketed concerts: currently $18 in advance, $20 onsite for adults.

If having a concert “by donation” sounds like the Zimfest workshops that are “by donation,” it is because it is motivated by the same money-earning restrictions on B-1 visa holders. Any instruction or musical demonstration offered by these individuals must be free and open to the public. This is explained in more detail on the website here (see Workshops by Donation). As with the “by donation” workshops, it is our hope that you understand that donating the full amount supports Zimfest’s ability to bring these musicians to the festival. It is disappointing for us to see people donating relatively small amounts for children taking workshops, or American teachers signing up for workshops from Zimbabweans. We appeal to you as a community to help us out on this with your generous donations.

It will be many weeks before we know who will be coming to Zimfest this year, but we wanted to let you know of these plans in advance so that you can make your own plans accordingly. We promise the Sunday evening concert at Zimfest 2019 will be very special – you won’t want to miss out!

Until next time,
Claire Jones
On behalf of the Zimfest 2019 OC and ZA Board of Directors

Zimfest 2019 – Music Dancing Across Borders

 

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Online Applications Open January 2

Dear Zimfest Community,

Applications are now open for the 2019 Zimbabwean Music Festival. To apply to teach or perform at this year’s festival, go directly to the Teacher Application Information and/or Performer Application Information pages. Applications will remain open until February 28, 2019.

If you are applying to teach, you will be able to propose as many workshops as you wish after submitting the teacher application. 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. Based on feedback from previous Zimfest participants, we are making the following suggestions for 2019 workshop proposals:

  • Many 2018 marimba workshop participants expressed the desire for more time in upper level workshops. We can accept a limited number of 2.5 hour marimba workshops at the Intermediate and/or Advanced level.
  • Consider, however, that presentations, or workshops in dancing or hosho, might be better suited to 1 or 1.5 hours.
  • We can also schedule a small number of intermediate or advanced marimba workshops for teens. We no longer have a separate age level for teens, so please tell us in the workshop description or title if you are proposing a teen workshop.
  • We love to see workshops that educate about African music beyond just teaching songs. Sessions that integrate marimba with singing, dancing, drumming and/or hosho, bring home to American students the knowledge that these music and dance activities are rarely separate in Zimbabwe!

Send us your ideas, and we’ll see what we can schedule!

The Zimfest Association Board has chosen to carry over the 2018 theme, “Music Dancing Across Borders” for Zimfest 2019. Considering that legal circumstances for immigrants and residents both here in the United States and in Zimbabwe continue to be under threat, we remain steadfast in the belief that music and dance are unifying forces around the world. We look forward to dissolving borders and creating togetherness at Zimfest 2019, August 8-11 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, OR.

Happy New Year from the 2019 Organizing Committee!
Best regards, Claire Jones
Zimfest Coordinator

Music Dancing Across Borders

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