Zimfest News Blog

Posts Tagged "Zimfest organizing committee"

Zimfest 2019 Housing and Dining

Greetings Zimfest community,
In an ongoing effort to respond to festival feedback and survey comments, the Zimfest Organizing Committee wishes to share with you some of the arrangements with our 2019 host institution, Western Oregon University. Our contract with WOU Conference Services includes housing in their dorm rooms (Ackerman and Butler Halls this year), dining in Valsetz Hall, the services of maintenance and groundspeople, and the use of various facilities and classrooms across campus. As with many universities, hosting conferences during the summer months allows WOU to retain their employees on the payroll rear-round. In order to keep the cafeteria open and food service workers employed during the summer, WOU Dining requires conference groups to purchase meals from them. This is the reason why Zimfest and WOU require festival attendees staying on campus to purchase WOU meals. Our relationship with WOU is a mutual one: they support Zimfest (and they have been very supportive of us as a non-profit!) and we,  in turn, support WOU Housing and Dining Services.

  • A number of people complained in 2018 about the lack of flexibility in meal purchasing, so we have negotiated a new set of meal plans. WOU requests that each participant staying in the dorms pre-purchase at least two meals for each night. Those who do not wish to purchase the All-Meal plan (Thursday dinner through Monday breakfast) may select any combination of two meals for each night signed up for in our registration system. For more details, see On-Campus Dining on the website.
  • Another of the problems encountered in 2018 was that tent campers in the football practice field were subjected to flying footballs at 7 a.m.! WOU people have responded with a new location for tent campers: the Hammer Throw area, a shady square next to the football stadium. They promise there will be no hammer-throwers during Zimfest! For details, check On-Campus Housing (scroll down to the middle of the page).
  • By popular request, we will be publishing the workshop schedule before registration opens, so that people registering large groups will be able to plan ahead. Look for that publication within the next 10 days!
  • The OC and Tech committees are still  targeting early May as the opening date for Zimfest 2019 registration.  Woo hoo!

Thanks for reading,
Zimfest 2019 OC

 

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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 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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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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Zimbabwean Guests

Greetings,

Many of you have heard that we have had sad news about several Zimbabwean teachers and performers who are unable to come to this year’s festival. Polyphony Marimba had applied for visas for Tawanda Mapanda and Barnabas Ngalande. Their petitions were still not approved by the time the group was ready to leave for their tour, so they had to abandon the applications. They will try again for next Zimfest! The OC has worked hard to engage several experienced teachers to take over their workshops or offer others in their place.  Please consult the Festival Updates and Workshop Changes page for all workshop adjustments and replacement teachers.

Jacob Mafuleni and Martha Thom, both veterans of prior Zimfests, were inexplicably denied their visas at the US Embassy in Harare. This was devastating news to Dana Moffett and Matanho Project, their sponsor, who worked very hard to bring Jacob and Martha back to the US. However, their son Abel Mafuleni has been granted his visa and is coming. We look forward to Abel’s workshops and performance representing the Mafuleni Family and Tsoro Arts. Again, check the website for Workshop Changes; you may find some enticing new offerings on the workshop schedule!

Finally, we are not out of the woods yet. Marimba specialist Patience Musandirire has received his visa and was intending to purchase his own plane ticket as he has no sponsor. However, because of the drastic shortage of foreign currency in Zimbabwe, he has been unable to acquire enough US dollars for the ticket. He needs financial assistance. What would help most at this point is for someone to help him by setting up a GoFundMe campaign here in the US. If you think you can help, please write to the OC as soon as possible at 2018 {at} zimfest {dot} org.

Music Dancing Across Borders
Help these folks cross the the border!

Claire Jones, Festival Coordinator
On behalf of the 2018 Organizing Committee

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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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Zimfest 2018 Updates

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

Zimfest 2018: Music Dancing Across Borders

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Opportunities to Support Zimfest

Greetings,

Giving Assistant

You can now earn money back for yourself plus donate to Zimfest while shopping online at more than 3,000 stores. Giving Assistant Logo Sign up now for Giving Assistant. You can give up to 30% of your purchase price to Zimfest Association! It only takes a minute to set up your account with Giving Assistant, and Zimfest will automatically be selected as your charity of choice if you use this link.

During Giving Week from now until December 3, when you shop at participating brands and donate to the Zimfest Association, Giving Assistant will double your cash back earnings which automatically doubles your donation amount to us. Eligible online brands include Etsy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Staples and Barnes & Noble.

Volunteer for Zimfest

Don’t forget we are actively looking for volunteers to work on organizing Zimfest 2018. See our previous post for jobs and e-mail me directly at gro.t1558895122sefmi1558895122z@eri1558895122alc1558895122, or our Volunteer Coordinator at gro.t1558895122sefmi1558895122z@sre1558895122etnul1558895122ov1558895122.

Zimfest 2018 – Music Dancing Across Borders
Regards,
Claire (Zimfest Coordinator)

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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.t1558895122sefmi1558895122z@eri1558895122alc1558895122, and/or Volunteer Coordinator Carla Starck at gro.t1558895122sefmi1558895122z@sre1558895122etnul1558895122ov1558895122. 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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ZA Call for Interest in Hosting 2018 Zimfest

Dear Zimfest Community,

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: https://zimfest.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Potential-Zimfest-Venues-2016-12.pdf

Should you be interested in organizing and hosting Zimfest 2018, we’d love to hear from you via gro.t1558895122sefmi1558895122z@dra1558895122ob1558895122 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
Rujeko Dumbutshena
Jacqueline Fallon
Chris Halaksa
Tapiwa Kapurura
Claire Jones
Daniel Lockley
Dana Moffett
Evelyn Mukwedeya
David Simon
Alex Weeks
Janis Weeks

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Drums and Mbira Needed for Zimfest Workshops

Hi all,

Zimfest needs loaner drums and mavembe/gandanga mbira for workshops.
 
If you have either a conga/djembe drum, or a mavembe/gandanga mbira that you are willing to loan, please bring it to the registration desk Thursday or Friday morning.  We will check it in, label it with your name, and treat it as if it were our own.
Thanks!
Zimfest 2016 Organizing Committee
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Zimfest Tips

Greetings Zimfest Participants,

There are now six days remaining before Zimfest 2016 launches! We have a few tips and reminders for Zimfest participants, whether you are new to the festival or an old hand:

  • The weather forecast for Monmouth OR is for continued sunny and warm weather,  likely to be in the 80s during the festival. Be sure to put on sunscreen and bring fans for your rooms. Like most colleges, Western Oregon University has no air conditioning in the dorms.
  • Zimfest supplies (borrowed) marimbas and hosho for workshops, but it can be challenging procuring enough instruments for the many types of workshops we offer. If you have or can borrow a mbira in the tuning a workshop will be taught in, please bring it; otherwise the teacher or Zimfest will provide one. The same goes for drumming workshops; if you own or can borrow a drum for a workshop you are taking, please bring it.  If you are taking a guitar workshop and have a guitar amp, please bring it as Zimfest cannot provide amps.
  • Zimfest online registration for housing, dining and workshops is now closed, but you can still sign up for volunteer shifts here. Onsite registration will open at the festival at noon on Thursday August 11. You will then be able to enroll in workshops that still have space in them by going to the Registration Desk.
  • Workshop registrations will close 15 minutes before the session starting time in order for staff to print final workshop rosters.  In some cases latecomers may request a “golden ticket” to sign up for an open workshop up until the start time of the workshop.
  • Very often bands performing at Zimfest like to sell their CDs after their shows. If you are performing on the evening concert stage, Zimfest can provide table space in the WUC West Lobby outside the Pacific Room concert hall. Please provide your own CD salespeople, as Zimfest volunteers cannot sell CDs for you.

Thanks for reading, and see you at the festival!

Zimfest 2016 Organizing Committee

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

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