Zimfest News Blog

Posts Tagged "Zimfest organizing committee"

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.t1537777893sefmi1537777893z@eri1537777893alc1537777893, or our Volunteer Coordinator at gro.t1537777893sefmi1537777893z@sre1537777893etnul1537777893ov1537777893.

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.t1537777893sefmi1537777893z@eri1537777893alc1537777893, and/or Volunteer Coordinator Carla Starck at gro.t1537777893sefmi1537777893z@sre1537777893etnul1537777893ov1537777893. 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.t1537777893sefmi1537777893z@dra1537777893ob1537777893 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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Zimfest Year Off in 2017

Dear Zimfest Community:

We hope that you are all doing well and are looking forward to another amazing Zimfest in Monmouth, Oregon, in less than two short months. We are writing at this time to share a decision that the Zimfest Association Board recently made regarding Zimfest 2017. For a variety of reasons as explained further below, the Board is not planning to hold a Festival during the summer of 2017. This was not an easy decision for us to reach; however, we believe that in the long term it will be a positive move for the Festival and the Association. We are open to your constructive input if you have thoughts on this matter. The Board has spent many months in discussions leading up to this decision including a two-day face-to-face retreat on Whidbey Island.

Please review the rationale below – and feel free to email us at gro.t1537777893sefmi1537777893z@dra1537777893ob1537777893 with your thoughts.

The Zimfest Association Board

 

Zimfest 2017 – Rationale for the Decision to Take a Year Off

Why did the Board choose to skip a year in 2017?

  • The core members of the organizing committee have remained unchanged for several years and they need a break. The Zimfest community owes a great deal of gratitude to these people. The Board’s decision in no way suggests a failure on the part of these generous volunteers nor on the part of our paid coordinator, Claire Jones.
  • We have a wonderful and hard-working community willing to volunteer their time. However, there has been an inadequate response to calls by the Board for volunteers to help with “off-season” festival planning and organizing; difficulty in recruiting for core positions on the yearly Organizing Committees; and insufficient volunteer hours contributed during festivals to ensure smooth operations.
  • The infrastructure necessary to run Zimfest (primarily in the form of the software necessary for registration) is not yet self-sufficient and requires a great deal of work each year to develop and sustain. The bulk of this work falls on 2-3 individuals with technical expertise.
  • Beginning in 2013 the Board shifted to a centralized organizational model. The benefit of this approach has been to create continuity in organization from year to year while improving and standardizing the underlying processes involved in putting on a Festival. We believe that many improvements have resulted from this approach, but ongoing review of how best to serve the Zimfest community is an important Board responsibility.
  • The complexity of organizing Zimfest has increased over the years, in part due to challenges of working with our host facilities. Despite attempts by the Board to identify one or more “semi-permanent homes” for Zimfest to ease these complexities, we are still seeking a good match for our needs.
  • The Board recognizes that having local organizing committees can contribute to unique and successful Festivals. Since the site for the 2018 Festival has not yet been selected, the Board encourages any community that is interested in hosting Zimfest 2018 to contact us now so that we can begin discussions at this year’s Festival.
  • The Board is responsible for the financial soundness of the Festival. In recent years, the costs associated with putting on Zimfest have increased faster than revenues. During our off year, the board will focus on improving the financial model of the Festival, while keeping the Festival affordable.

What are the benefits of taking a year off?

  • It will provide the core organizing team an opportunity to regroup.
  • It will provide an opportunity to invest in needed infrastructure (e.g., registration software) with the goal of improving sustainability and reducing reliance on the same people year after year.
  • It will allow focus on finding a site for 2018 that has the potential to become a semi-permanent home for Zimfest while remaining open to a local committee organizing Zimfest in their community.
  • We are hoping that the Zimfest Community will choose to come out in force to support Zimfest in 2016. By increasing participation and revenue, we hope to enter our off-year with funds in the bank which we can invest in improving and sustaining the Festival.
  • We also hope that after a year off, the 2018 Festival will have strong participation.

What are the risks and downsides of taking a year off?

  • We will all miss an opportunity to gather as a community in 2017 to celebrate Zimbabwean music, as we have done since 1991.
  • There is potential for negative financial impact on our Zimbabwean teachers. We feel we can best serve our Zimbabwean teachers over the long term by taking this break to focus on Festival sustainability.
  • There is the possibility that skipping a year might reduce momentum in the community to help organize and attend future Zimfests.

The Board is dedicated to working diligently over the next year to improve the sustainability of Zimfest and ensure a very successful Festival in 2018. We encourage Zimfest community members to consider service on the Zimfest Association Board, the 2018 organizing committee, or to contact us to see how you can help keep the Zimfest spirit alive and thriving.

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

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Zimfest Online Applications Are Open

Dear Zimfest Community,

Applications are now open for Zimfest 2016. All performer and teacher applications are available online at https://apply.zimfest.org. As introduced last year, you will need a Google account (gmail will work) in order to log in. The deadline for submitting applications is March 12, 2016; don’t delay!

Each year we seek to offer a balanced number of workshops, including singing, dancing, drumming and the instruments performed in traditional and modern Zimbabwean music. This year’s emphasis is on Cultural Presentations. We encourage you (especially Zimbabwean instructors!) to propose workshops on a variety of cultural topics of interest to American students and fans of Zimbabwean music. Personal discussions of your own experiences in the music and growing up are welcome! Students: please take note that these presentations are half-price! Teachers: please take note that the Zimfest Association Board has approved an increase in pay rate (to $70 per teaching hour) for teachers of workshops with 20 or more participants. We would love to see Presentation topics that attract large groups!

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 2016 Zimbabwean Music Festival, August 11-14 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, OR. Please remember that the festival needs your volunteer help! If you are interested in volunteering, please write volunteers {at} zimfest (dot) org.

Best regards on behalf of the 2016 Organizing Committee,

Claire Jones, Zimfest Coordinator

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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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Zimfest – It Takes a Village

Hello Zimfest folks,

The Zimfest Association Board and I recently made the announcement that the 2016 Zimbabwean Music Festival will be held at Western Oregon University in Monmouth OR, August 11-14, 2016. I am happy to say that the Tech Committee has already started meeting in preparation for the next festival, and we are targeting mid-January for online applications to open on the festival website at https://zimfest.org. There is much to do before that date, and I am actively recruiting team members to work on the Zimfest Organizing Committee. It really does take a village—we are in desperate need of people who can give up some time to make the next Zimfest a great one! Helping out with the annual Zimfest gathering is a great way to give back for all the joy and enrichment you have experienced through this wonderful music.

What You Can Do to Help

If you have the time and commitment, volunteer for the core organizing committee (OC), members of which meet regularly via skype and take responsibility for major areas of the festival. We still need people to work on the following: Teacher and Workshop Scheduling; Concert planning and Performer Liaison; Zimbabwean Guest Coordinator; and Marketplace Coordination. Some 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: Instrument Procurer and Coordinator; T-shirt production and sales; Registration (non-tech) lead.

If you have small chunks of time, there are many other tasks that you can do before (as well as at) the festival: publicity and marketing; website content proofing and updating; festival guide proofreading; coordinating Portland shuttles and airport pickups/drop-offs.

If you are a group that would like to work on a project together there are several opportunities: work party to put together registration packets; festival decorations; festival signage; festival site cleanup crew.

Please let us know if and how you can help: e-mail: gro.t1537777893sefmi1537777893z@sre1537777893etnul1537777893ov1537777893 or gro.t1537777893sefmi1537777893z@eri1537777893alc1537777893, or phone me at 206-328-4011.

Happy Turkey Day,

Claire Jones
Zimfest Coordinator

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