Zimfest News Blog

December Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the December 12th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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Zimfest 2022 Applications Are Now Open

Greetings Zimfest community,

Applications for teaching, performing and presenting at Zimfest 2022 in Mount Vernon, WA are now open. Applications close February 28, so please get your applications in soon! We are aware that the omicron variant of COVID-19 is raging across the country, but we are forging ahead with the work of organizing an in-person festival June 24-26 with fingers crossed. Please read the current COVID Safety precautions provided by the ZA Board. 

Information and the application button for (live) performers is here
Information and the application button for those wishing to submit pre-recorded performances or presentations is here
Information and the application button for teachers is here. Once you have submitted a teacher application, you will be sent a link to propose one or more (in-person) workshops.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Performers may be accepted either for free daytime concerts at the Skagit County Fairgrounds or ticketed evening concerts at the Lincoln Theatre. The theater’s COVID health and safety policy appears here.
  • Individuals who are accepted as teachers will be asked to complete a background check if they did not teach at Zimfest in 2019.
  • We love to see workshop proposals for theoretical topics (e.g. African rhythms, song structure and improvisation), songs, and cultural presentations of all sorts – in addition to the ever-popular marimba and mbira.
  • Workshop times: participant feedback indicates that hosho and dance workshops of 90 minutes work well. Many intermediate marimba students have requested longer workshops, and we can schedule a few for 2  1/2 hours. See detailed Workshop Proposal information here (scroll down the page).
  • The Zimfest Organizing Committee is still looking for individuals with expertise in graphic design and concert production (both big jobs!). Please write to volunteers{at}zimfest[dot}org to volunteer or make suggestions!

Claire Jones, Festival Coordinator

Zimfest 2022: Music Dancing Across Borders

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Zimfest 2022 OC Plans

Greetings Zimfest community,
Happy New year!

Zimfest 2022 is scheduled to take place June 24-26, 2022 at the Skagit County Fairgrounds (daytime events) and Lincoln Theatre (ticketed evening concerts) both in Mount Vernon, WA. We are painfully aware that the omicron variant of COVID-19 is raging and could threaten to derail our plans, but if we don’t prepare now for the in-person festival that so many people want, we may all be sorry. The Organizing Committee (OC) wants to let you know some of the details as they currently exist to help you make your plans.

  • Workshops, concerts and an expansive marketplace will take place Friday to Sunday June 24-26. We will need assistance setting up on Thursday afternoon June 23, and final clean-up on Monday June 27 – you can sign up as a volunteer for those tasks when registration opens.
  • ZF 2022 will be primarily a camping festival! The Fairgrounds has ample space for camping and up to 40 RVs; you will be able to register for spots with us any number of nights between June 23 and 26. For those not interested in roughing it, we hope to arrange for a limited number of dorm room-style accommodations within easy driving distance, and will be publishing the availability of nearby motel lodging on the website. A quick search of Air BnB and VRBO shows many possibilities to book for yourself in Skagit County, which is a wonderful vacation area.
  • Since Zimfest is not being hosted by a college this year, there will be no dining service and you will be on your own for meals. However, there are no rules against food sales onsite, so we look forward to lining up a number of food vendors. Downtown Mount Vernon with many restaurants to explore is also within walking distance.
  •  Due to the uncertainties of the COVID epidemic, travel restrictions, visa delays and the lack of an institutional sponsor, Zimfest regrettably will not be sponsoring guest visas this year. We would be happy to accept touring Zimbabweans on P or Q visas, but sponsors applying for those probably need to have their applications already in process at this date.
  • We are pleased to announce that the ticketed evening concerts at the Lincoln Theatre will feature both live bands and pre-recorded performances in streaming format. In this way we will be able to feature Zimbabweans who we are unable to bring here this year because of the pandemic.
  • As always, those wishing to help Zimfest 2022 happen by volunteering their time, please write to volunteers{at}zimfest{dot}org.
  • Look for applications to open very soon for: teachers and workshop proposals; live performances; and pre-recorded performances and presentations.

Stay safe and well!

Claire Jones and Zimfest 2022 OC

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New Membership System

Dear Zimfest Association members and friends,

Once again, we find ourselves at the end of a trying year, but the holidays are upon us and with them comes the Zimfest Association’s annual campaign and membership drive! We want to continue to grow the festival and provide the best experience we can, and here are some ways that you can help.

Become a Member

Thanks to the hard work of the Zimfest Tech Committee, becoming a member is now even easier! Simply go to https://zimfest.org/about/membership/. From there, you can become a member, renew a membership, or verify your membership status by plugging in your email address. We are excited to announce that there is finally an option to auto-renew, which defaults to “yes.” Simply uncheck this box if you do not wish to auto-renew. Previously, memberships went by calendar year, but now the renewal date will be 1 year after the purchase date.

We are also pleased to announce that all Zimfest Association members will not only have their festival registration fees waived as before, but will also have early access to register for all the workshops at the festival! This additional membership perk comes with the decision to raise our membership prices for the first time in well over a decade, or maybe ever. We hope you will decide to take the plunge this year and become a member!

Provide Charitable Donations

Perhaps you’re already a member, but you want to know how you can help out even more? Consider a tax-deductible donation! While membership dues are a significant contributor to our community, your donations continue to be essential. Your money goes straight to things like paying travel expenses for Zimbabwean teachers, paying teachers for performances and workshops, our travel fellowship program for Zimbabwean artists, and most recently, things like paying for studio space and recording equipment for Zimfest Online. To donate, go to the Support Zimfest page.

Other Ways to Contribute

As you’re finishing up your holiday shopping, remember that when you shop on Amazon, you can support Zimfest by choosing the Zimfest Association as the organization you would like to receive 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases (see https://zimfest.org/blog/2014/support-zimfest-when-you-shop-at-amazon-com/). Also, if you’re selling stuff on eBay, you can choose to donate a percentage of the final sales price to the Zimfest Association. See https://charity.ebay.com/charity/i/Zimfest-Association/85993 for more information.

Finally, if your company supports matching donations, find out from your supervisor or Human Resources department how your company can match your contributions!

Whatever you’re celebrating this year, we hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and we’re crossing our fingers that we will finally see each other again next year!

Warmly,
The Zimfest Board

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Zimfest 2022 Announcement

Dear Zimfest Community,

It is with great excitement that I am writing to announce the location and dates for Zimfest 2022, which we plan to hold in-person!.

At this point, I need to stress that we will not be able to move forward without additional help on the Organizing Committee, and many more onsite volunteers. Please see the information below to learn how you can make this festival happen.

Zimfest is scheduled to be held June 24-26, 2022 (Friday-Sunday; possibly also Monday), at the Skagit County Fairgrounds, in Mount Vernon, WA. Evening concerts will be held at the classic Lincoln Theatre, a 10 minute walk away.

Being approximately 1 hour north of Seattle, 30 minutes south of Bellingham, and 1.5 hours from Whidbey Island, Mount Vernon is located at the heart of the Washington State Zimfest community and also has ready access to major airports for those traveling from farther away.

We are still early in the planning process, and with the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, many aspects of the festival remain uncertain. The board has formed a COVID Safety Committee to make additional recommendations for the Festival, which is likely to include proof of vaccination, and universal masking at all Zimfest events in addition to following local and state guidelines/mandates in place at the time of the Festival.

Finally, I want to thank Claire Jones, Festival Coordinator, and the small group of volunteers who have already stepped up to serve on the 2022 Organizing Committee. This year will require more volunteer involvement during the planning stages due to some unique aspects of the venue.

If you want Zimfest 2022 to move forwards, please contact Claire Jones (claire[at]zimfest[dot]org), or volunteers[at]zimfest[dot]org as soon as possible to learn more about how you can help. The Organizing Committee meets by Zoom, so both local and more distant volunteers are welcome.

We need you to make Zimfest 2022 a success!

Sincerely,
Alex Weeks
Zimfest Association Board President

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Village Meeting and November Board Meeting Minutes

The Zimfest Association board of directors has posted minutes from the August 1st Membership/Village Meeting and the November 14th board meeting.

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October Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the October 10th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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September Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the September 12th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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Zimfest 2021 Workshop Access Ends

Dear Zimfest community,

Registration for access to the Zimfest 2021 Live Workshop recordings closed September 30, and we thank all who participated. The Zimfest Organizing Committee is now in its resting phase, with no news to report on plans for Zimfest 2022.

Posting on behalf of Blessing Chimanga
Musician and producer Blessing Chimanga, who oversaw recordings of performers in Harare for Zimfest 2021, has announced plans to record his third album. He intends to put out a message of Hope in both chiShona and English, and is seeking sponsorship for his project. If anyone would like to assist Blessing, please write directly to him at Dreams TV, legendbled{at}gmail{dot}com.

Stay well and stay safe,
Claire and the Zimfest Team

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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)

(Zoom meeting access info was posted here)

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

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