Zimfest News Blog

June, July and August Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the June 13th, July 11th and August 8th meetings of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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Zimfest 2021 Live Workshop Recordings

Greetings Zimfesters,

A belated Thank You to all who attended or participated in Zimfest 2021! Those who tuned in for the weekend were wowed by the number, diversity and quality of Zimbabwean performers and presenters! 

For those of you who missed one or more of the Live Workshops (on Zoom), we are providing on-demand access to the video recordings on a donation basis. Registration is now open for all of the workshops, and the recordings will be available through September 2021.  

Check out complete descriptions of all the workshops along with teacher biographies on the Live Participatory Workshops page. Once you register for a recording, you will be able to view it at any time you wish during the month of September.

Claire Jones, Zimfest Coordinator

(PS – Reminding you that the 2021 concerts are still viewable on Zimfest’s Facebook Live Videos page.)

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Zimfest reminders and Village Meeting Zoom Link

Greetings Zimfest-ers,

Zimfest 2021 starts tomorrow – Friday July 30! We kick off at 2:00 pm PDT with two Live Participatory Workshops on Zoom.

  • The Friday evening concert, taking place on Zimfest Facebook Live opens with tributes to Sekuru Cosmas Magaya and Matemai Newton Cheza-Chozengwa at 5:30 pm PDT. 
  •  There are plenty of openings in all Workshops – take a look at the offerings here. The link to registrations (required) is at the top of the page.
  • We encourage you to tune into the timely and important Live Workshop with Māhealani Uchiyama and former Zimfest Board member Rujeko Dumbutshena discussing engagement in Zimbabwean music through a lens of racial and cultural appreciation/appropriation issues: Sunday 2 -3 pm PDT.
  • The Zimfest Association Village Meeting takes place at 3:15 to 4:15 pm PDT on Sunday in its own Zoom room – registration not required, open to all interested parties.

Join Village Meeting on Zoom (room opens 3 pm)

Meeting ID: 997 8206 6327

Passcode: 625830

 

Hope to “see” you at Zimfest!
Claire and the Organizing Committee

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2021 Zimfest Message from the OC

Hi Zimfest Fans,

As I am sure most of you are aware, the Zimfest Organizing Committee has been busy putting together an awesome show for this year, with some great favorite players like mbira master Musekiwa Chingodza, and some totally new folks to Zimfest, like dancer Ndomupeishe Chipendo.

The OC has been hearing from folks that they would much prefer a live event instead of the online show that is being presented.  We get it and completely agree that seeing folks up close and personal would be the best, and we would much rather have a live event as well.  However, it was obvious that we would not be able to get anyone into this country from Zimbabwe by July.  Sadly, the situation is getting worse now, very few Zimbabweans have been vaccinated and Covid is spreading rapidly through Zimbabwe, so our crystal ball was correct.  We also did not know what the situation would be like in July in America either, and the Covid cases have been climbing here as well. 

However, we equally know that our Zimbabwean friends could really use a cash infusion, so let’s support them in any way that we can, which in this case is supporting their efforts to provide us with some great performances and workshops.  On the bright side, this year we are able to present some folks that we have not been able to bring to Zimfest due to cost constraints, but we are able to include them in our online presentation.  So check out our great program schedule for the weekend of July 30 – August 1 and join us.  If that weekend does not work for you, the concerts will be available on demand and you can view them later at a time of your convenience. 

The full schedule and concert lineups have now been published on our website and on our Facebook page.

So let’s enjoy this awesome show and see you all in person in 2022!

Thanks,
Jim Levine and the Zimfest Organizing Committee

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The Make It Grow Project

Make It Grow: Supporting community-based food initiatives in Zimbabwe to fundraise using participatory video proposals

[Posted on behalf of Pamela Richardson-Ngwenya and the Make it Grow project]

In an attempt to empower communities to alleviate increasing food and nutritional insecurity, especially during the pandemic, the Make It Grow Project has been running online capacity-building workshops with community groups and NGOs in Zimbabwe to equip participants with the skills needed to create their own video proposals, using smartphone technologies. These video proposals pitch home-grown ideas for community food projects and can be used by the community groups and NGOs as a fundraising tool. The intention is to increase the accessibility of start-up funds for implementing community-based, sustainable food projects, while at the same time building up local video-making and project planning skills.

We devise learning resources for community groups and facilitators, to support straightforward ways of enhancing the social inclusion, production and dissemination of video proposals. We also work with the United Nations Development Programme’s Global Environment Facility (Small Grants Programme) and other donors to support and pilot the integration of video proposals into their grant management and application process, making it more inclusive for all. Following the workshop series, we continue to support our participants and their fundraising campaigns through ongoing public events and online publication of their video proposals.

We are now asking for YOUR help! Please support our community partners in Zimbabwe to fundraise for their sustainable food projects by donating to their crowdfunding campaigns and promoting their videos on your social media networks. Make It Grow is a Knowledge Exchange project from the University of Sheffield’s Institute for Sustainable Food, supported by the UKRI’s Economic and Social Research Council. You can visit our website at www.makeitgrow.org.

You can see some of the participants’ videos here: Video Proposals :: Make It Grow

Pamela Richardson-Ngwenya
Project Leader, Knowledge Exchange Research Fellow and Learning Facilitator
Make It Grow

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Zimfest 2021 Updates – Workshop Registration is Open

Dear Zimfest community,

Zimfest 2021 is less than two weeks away, taking place from July 30 to August 1. The Organizing Committee has been hard at work and has the following updates for you:

  • The Festival Schedule gives an outline of activities for the weekend. Detailed lineups will be posted soon.
  • See Festival Overview for an introduction to the amazing performers and presenters who will be joining us online on Facebook Live.
  • Live Participatory Workshops will take place on Zoom; registrations are required and donations requested. Workshop descriptions, teacher biographies and a link to the registrations are here
  • The 2021 Virtual Marketplace is now open, featuring vendors and importers selling instruments and wares made by Zimbabweans.
  • Emcees needed: why not get a buddy to hold a viewing party with you, enjoy the show for a 2 to 3 hour block of time, and get paid to engage with the music together! Write to volunteers{at}zimfest{dot}org for info. 

Zimfest mourns the loss of Gwenyambira Matemai Newton Cheza-Chozengwa, who passed away on Saturday. We extend our condolences to his family and friends, and all the mbira lovers whose hearts he touched. Enjoy the recording of Matemai singing with Rattletree Marimba at Zimfest 2009 on our homepage (lower left corner).

Zimfest Organizing Committee

Zimfest 2021: A Quilt of Local Events… Stitched Together

 

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Zimfest 2021 Village Meeting

Dear Zimfest Community,

Zimfest 2021 is now only 2 weeks away! (Friday July 30th – Sunday August 1st). Thanks to the work of this year’s Organizing Committee—headed by Claire Jones—a final schedule comprising three days of workshops, performances, and presentations will be posted in the coming days. Many performances will be by musicians in Zimbabwe who are new to Zimfest.

The last two years have required unprecedented changes to how Zimfest is structured and organized, and we hope that you will attend these sessions to learn from, and enjoy, some of the most talented teachers and performers of Zimbabwean music in the world.

In addition to attending the Festival, one of the most important ways you can support our community is by participating in the annual Village Meeting.

This year, it will be held virtually (by Zoom) from 3:15–4:15 PM PDT (08:15–09:15 UTC) on Sunday, August 1st. A Zoom link will be provided in a subsequent blog post and on the Zimfest Facebook page.

The Village Meeting serves as the required annual public Zimfest Association business meeting. It also provides an opportunity for us, the members of the Zimfest Association Board of Directors, and Organizing Committee, to hear from our community, and for you to voice your opinions about the Festival and how it is organized. This meeting is usually where the seeds of next year’s Festival are planted.

In particular, because we are planning for an in-person festival next year, your participation and ideas will be vital to putting on a safe and successful Zimfest 2022.

Finally, if you are interested in volunteering or learning more about volunteering, either as a member of the Organizing Committee, or Board, the Village Meeting is a great place to meet us and voice your support.

Looking forward to seeing you soon at Zimfest 2021!

Sincerely,

Alex Weeks
President, Zimfest Association Board of Directors

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Deadline Looming for Zimfest Performance and Presentation Applications

Hello Zimfest people new and old,

The deadline for Applications for Zimfest 2021 teachers, performers and presenters is June 30 – that’s three days from now! See all deadlines and dates here.

Please read the Information for Applicants and note:

  • We are only accepting Live Workshop applications from residents in North America and Europe as internet and electrical power are not reliable in Zimbabwe. 
  • Applications to submit Pre-recorded presentations and performances are open to everyone. You do not need to be ready with a recording when you apply – we will let successful applicants know by July 10 how to submit recordings.
  • We are arranging recording sessions in Harare for Zimbabwean applicants unable to access recording equipment themselves.

We look forward to hearing from you very very soon!

Stay cool,
Zimfest 2021 Organizing Committee

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April and May Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the April 11th and May 16th meetings of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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Zimfest 2021 Applications Are Open

A quick alert for Zimfest participants:

  • Performers and Presenters Applications are now open; follow the link on the Information page. Please act fast – the deadline is June 30!
  • Reminder that Applications for Virtual Vendors selling Zimbabwean-made wares are open, with a deadline of July 10.

 

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Zimfest 2021 – How to Create Your Square of the Quilt

Zimfest 2021 - A Quilt of Local Events... Stiched Together

Dear Zimfest Family,

We hope our previous blog post has sparked some creative thoughts on how to participate in Zimfest 2021, taking place July 30-August 1 online. This post will give additional structure to our Quilt theme and answer some logistical questions.

Types of Squares: The Organizing Committee (OC) is looking for three types of Squares that we can stitch into a Zimfest 2021 Quilt.

  • Live Participatory Workshop or Presentation – Involves realtime interaction between teacher/presenter and students. Hosted on Zoom, only North American and European residents please. Duration of 30, 60, or 90 min.
  • Prerecorded Performance or Presentation – One or more songs or talks from individuals or groups. Hosted on YouTube and/or Facebook with interactive chat. Applicants may propose a cluster of performances, but each video file should be no longer than 30 min to allow the OC some flexibility in the stitching process.
  • Livestreamed Performance – One or more songs from individuals or groups, no longer than 60 min total. Hosted on Facebook Live (Zoom often fails to deliver high quality video of live music). This option should only be used by experienced hosts of livestreaming events and it would be wise to submit a prerecorded video as a backup.

These guidelines are not meant to be rigid limits, so let the OC know (oc{at}zimfest{dot}org) if you have an idea that doesn’t quite fit within them.

Focus on Supporting Zimbabweans and Expanding Participation: The online emphasis of Zimfest 2021 is an opportunity to involve more Zimbabweans than we can typically host at an in-person festival, as well as others who cannot normally travel to the festival. In the spirit of inclusiveness, we encourage proposals from all over North America as well as Zimbabweans throughout the global diaspora!

Applications and Content Submission: An online application where individuals or communities can describe their proposed Square(s) is available here, with a deadline of June 30. The Zimfest OC will select from these Squares as we do each year for an in-person festival and send successful applicants upload instructions. Videos should have a minimum resolution of 720p (1280 x 720 pixels) and be in .mp4 format. We will notify successful applicants no later than July 10 and we must receive videos no later than July 23 to allow for testing before we present the overall Quilt.

Suggestions for Teachers or Performers in Zimbabwe: Internet connections in Africa are not reliable enough for livestreaming, so we request that video from there be prerecorded. For accepted proposals requiring recording facilities in Africa and video file upload, Zimfest will cover reasonable studio and data expenses. Jennifer Kyker and Musekiwa Chingodza demonstrated in 2020 that co-teaching with one teacher live and the other providing recorded material can be quite successful, so we suggest that proposals may be based on this model.

Reduce Screen Fatigue: After 2020, we all know how our attention can wander during an online event. To avoid this during Zimfest 2021, consider having a ‘watch party’ where you gather (in a pandemic-safe way) to watch together.

Calling Virtual Volunteers: As with an in-person festival, the OC needs your help to make Zimfest 2021 a success. We need MCs to introduce videos, video editors to add captions where needed, viewers to screen submitted for quality, etc. Please write to volunteers{at}zimfest{dot}org to learn how you can help.

Newly-revised Homepage: Check out the Quilt-themed artwork and other updates at https://zimfest.org/.

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Introducing Zimfest’s Virtual Marketplace

Hello Zimfest Community,

Zimfest 2021 is instituting a Virtual Marketplace featuring vendors and importers selling instruments and other goods made by Zimbabweans. There will be no fees for 2021 Virtual Vendors, as Zimfest wishes to provide a service to Zimbabwean instrument makers and craftspeople during these trying times.

Vendors of Zimbabwean goods: are you able to carry out mail order sales and shipping, and do you have a website (or reliable email) for visitors to browse and shop? The Zimfest Virtual Marketplace on our website will help to connect buyers and sellers but will have no role in the resulting transactions.

Applications are now open for vendors or importers of Zimbabwean instruments and other wares. Go to the Virtual Vendor page for more info and the link to applications. Questions? Write marketplace{at}zimfest{dot}org. 

 

Program information and performer/presenter applications coming soon!

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