Zimfest News Blog

Posts Tagged "Zimfest 2019"

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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Introducing the Zimfest Code of Conduct

Dear Zimfest community,
This year’s post-festival survey included two separate comments alleging sexual misconduct or assault either at the festival or elsewhere by persons known to the Zimfest community. The Zimfest Association Board of Directors takes these allegations seriously and wishes to follow up on them. In the interest of facilitating safe and non-threatening environments at future festivals, the ZA Board has generated a policy statement addressing sexual and other forms of harassment: the Zimfest Code of Conduct. The purpose of the Code, which applies to all Zimfest participants (including performers, teachers, volunteers, staff, and other attendees), is to ensure that the festival is an inclusive, welcoming, and safe space free from harassment and/or abuse. All Zimfest applicants will be requested to read the form and share with band mates or others for whom they are applying. The Zimfest Code appears here on the website.

The Code includes options for reporting complaints of sexual and other harassment. The ZA Board has followed up with one of the respondents who made sexual abuse allegations within the 2018 festival survey. The second comment was totally anonymous, and we have no idea who the complainant is, or the alleged perpetrator or the alleged victim. If you or someone you know made the anonymous comment and wishes to provide further information, please call or email any of the individuals designated to receive complaints in the “Reporting harassment and other complaints” section of the Code.

Thanks for your attention. We will have more feedback on the 2018 festival survey in the coming weeks along with news about the 2019 festival. Look forward to applications for Zimfest coming online on January 2!

On behalf on the Zimfest Board,
Claire Jones, Festival Coordinator

Music Dancing Across Borders

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Announcing Zimfest 2019

Dear Zimfest community,

The Zimfest Association Board of Directors and I are pleased to announce that we will be producing a festival next year! Zimfest 2019 will take place at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, from  August 8 to 11. Mark your calendars and make your plans!

When this year’s festival ended, we were unsure whether we had enough committed volunteers to staff an organizing committee (OC) for 2019.  It has been very gratifying to see a number of new recruits raise their hands to volunteer, and I have been in touch with almost everyone who wrote to us or signed up at the festival. While we are confident we have enough people onboard for the OC, we still – always – need volunteer help leading up to and/or at the festival. You can always write to volunteers{at}zimfest{dot}org or complete the form at the bottom of the Why and How to Volunteer page.

To those of you who are unable to attend Zimfest on the dates WOU is available to us (the second weekend of August): we are sorry we have not been able to accommodate you and are continuing to seek dates earlier in the summer. We are looking ahead to Zimfest 2020 at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, where we have been promised (fingers crossed) an earlier date. We cannot confirm an exact weekend for Zimfest 2020 however.

Blessings to all, enjoy the fall colors!
Claire (Jones)
Zimfest Coordinator

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Looking to Zimfest 2019

Greetings lovers of the music and people of Zimbabwe!

Wow, what a great festival we had this year. Taking some time off really helped to accentuate all the things that make Zimfest so wonderful: great teachers from around the world, music all day and night, and connections with friends both old and new! Those of you who attended our Village Meeting this year are probably waiting with bated breath to find out whether or not a festival will take place in 2019. What we can say at this juncture is this: while we are cautiously optimistic about having the festival next year, there are still a few things that need to come together before we can confirm with absolute certainty. We have had an outpouring of support from people all over the country who are interested in helping to organize Zimfest 2019, but we still need a few more. We are specifically looking for people to populate our organizing committee, a job that requires meeting by Skype every couple of weeks starting in mid December, usually with tasks to carry out in between meetings. We also need support personnel who don’t have to meet with the Organizing Committee and whose tasks would vary in duration. In other words, there are a number of crucial jobs to fill with varying levels of commitment, so please consider helping out in whatever way you can.  In the meantime, we hope you all sit tight and stay tuned. And don’t forget, it’s not too late to get involved. If you have any interest in helping out, please contact the board by writing board{at}zimfest{dot}org!

Hope to see all of you sooner than later,

—Your Friends on the Zimfest Board

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