Zimfest News Blog

May Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the May 19th meeting of the Zimfest Association Board of Directors have been posted.

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Online Singing Workshop with Moyo and Jennifer

We are posting this on behalf of Jennifer and Moyo.

Online singing workshop: Todzungaira
Date: Sunday, June 16
Time: 6:00-7:30 EDT / 3:00-4:30 PDT
Cost: By donation (suggested donation on a sliding scale of $15-$40)

Join Moyo Mutamba and Jennifer Kyker for an online singing workshop featuring a soulful set of call-and-response lyrics to the beloved Zimbabwe marimba and mbira song known as Todzungaira. All funds raised from the workshop will support the work of two non-profit organizations: Ubuntu Learning Village (founded by Moyo) and Tariro: Hope and Health for Zimbabwe’s Orphans (founded by Jennifer). 

The specific lyrics that Moyo and Jennifer will co-teach during this workshop are frequently sung in community at Ubuntu Learning Village. They were also part of Tariro’s winning rendition of Todzungaira at the 2023 National Institute of Allied Arts school music competition!

This workshop will include an online Zoom session, audio and video recordings, and a lyrics sheet. The Zoom session will be recorded and shared with all participants, making it possible to enroll in the workshop even if you cannot attend the Zoom session in person.

Registration is easy!

  1. Email Jennifer at: jennifer(dot)kyker{at}gmail(dot)com
  2. Send your donation via PayPal using Jennifer’s phone number: 541-729-2972 or her direct PayPal handle: @jenniferkyker1828

To learn more about the work of Ubuntu Learning Village and Tariro, and/or make an online donation, please visit the organizations’ websites:

Please feel free to share news about this workshop with your friends, band members, students, and anyone else who may be interested in attending! 

Best wishes,
Jennifer

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March and April Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the March 10th and April 14th meetings of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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February Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the February 11th meeting of the Zimfest Association Board of Directors have been posted.

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December and January Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the December 10th and January 14th meetings of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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LAST CHANCE for a 2023 tax-deductible donation!

Do you want to support Zimfest? Of course you do! Every time you participate in Zimfest you enjoy and experience the fantastic music and culture of Zimbabwe without having to travel to Africa. Think about all the money you have saved on airfare, and consider donating some of it to keep Zimfest going strong for years to come.

The engine that drives the Festival is the Zimfest Association. It consists of a team of dedicated volunteers who put the Festival together. We bring Zimbabwean teachers and artists here to share their music and culture through teaching and performing. Our community is enriched in so many ways, and we are able to provide financial support to Zimbabwean teachers and artists.

A healthy Zimfest Association has the means to provide financial support to Zimbabwean teachers and artists during non-Festival years, too, by presenting online programming. Your support can help provide these opportunities.

Your support also is important for the health of the organization itself, which still incurs fixed operational expenses in non-Festival years. Donations at this time will also help cover the 2023 Festival deficit.

Please consider giving your support to Zimfest Association by giving an end of year tax deductible here.

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November Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the November 12th meeting of the Zimfest Association Board of Directors have been posted.

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Call for ZA Volunteers

Greetings Zimfest community!
Despite our long silence, members of the Zimfest Association Board want you to know we are busy making plans for the next couple of years and working on various projects. We need your help, even (especially!) if we will not be producing an in-person festival in 2024.  Can you:

  • Edit Zimfest video and audio recordings and post to social media?
  • Research funding sources and/or write grant applications on behalf of ZA?
  • Help out with the Zimfest website?

Check out the Why and How to Volunteer webpage for a list of needed and hoped-for volunteer tasks. Fill out the Volunteer Contact form on the bottom of the page to indicate your skills, interest and availability.

Heads-up!
The Support Zimfest page has been updated with new ways to support ZA, including online shopping with goodshop.com and igive.com.

We are working on updating the Virtual Marketplace in time for the holiday shopping season. If you know of anyone selling Zimbabwean crafts who might like to listed on this page, please let us know at marketplace{at}zimfest{dot}org.

Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!
Claire Jones and the Zimfest Board

 

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October Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the October 8 meeting of the Zimfest Association Board of Directors have been posted.

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September Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the September 10 meeting of the Zimfest Association Board of Directors have been posted.

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July Board Meeting and Village Meeting Minutes

The Zimfest Association board of directors has posted minutes from the July 9th board meeting and this year’s Village Meeting.

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Zimfest Updates and 2024 Announcement

Greetings Zimfest community,

The Zimfest Board and I want to communicate with you all before too much time passes about plans for next year. We have, regretfully, decided not to try to produce an in-person festival in 2024. The reasons are many: you may recall that we had planned to hold Zimfest 2020 at The Evergreen State College in Olympia WA when the COVID pandemic hit. We also had hopes of going there in subsequent years, but their Conference Services informed us last year that they can no longer accommodate a group of our size during the summer. Due to the lack of planning for alternate sites, we have been in the position of hastily arranging in-person festivals at venues that are new to this Organizing Committee both in 2022 (Skagit Valley Fairgrounds in Mt. Vernon, WA) and this year (OSU in Corvallis, OR). Organizing for a new site (housing and dining details, registration, facilities, contractual obligations, etc.) is extremely time-consuming and a drain on the resources of the OC. There is currently no site (university or otherwise) lined up for next year. Rather than scrambling to arrange for a venue, we have decided to step back and take a break for 2024. The core of the current hard-working OC has been together for several years now and needs a rest; the ZA Board, with the support of the community, needs to apply its energy towards long-range planning for the future. We hope to work on a five-year plan in which all possibilities are on the table: moving to a festival every other year, alternating between agreed-upon sites in Oregon and Washington, etc.

Other comments:

  • Minutes for the Village Meeting will be posted very soon, for those were unable to attend. The decision to pause the festival in 2024 was made at the Sept. 10 board meeting, minutes of which will also be posted soon. While there will be no in-person festival, online and/or local activities may be considered.
  • As always, it takes (more than!) a village to produce Zimfest, and that includes our village hosts! Thank Yous for those who contributed to the 2023 festival have been posted here.
  • We appreciate your taking time to fill out the post-festival survey, and several members of the OC and board have gone through the responses. There are a number of useful suggestions which we hope to take up in the coming months. There are also some comments on issues that we had no control over. For example, more than one person complained about having to pay for a triple room that they didn’t need:
    • OSU Housing and Dining proved awkward for Zimfest to work with as most of their summer conference groups are youth camps. We were not notified of the distribution of rooms in our assigned dorm (McNary Hall) until just before we opened the registration system. At that point we were unhappy and frustrated to learn that most of the rooms were so-called “economy” triples, with elevated beds that our mostly-adult participants do not care for. We would need to contract for different dorms with more single rooms if Zimfest were to return to OSU.
    • Some survey respondents who were not renting rooms in the dorms had complaints about not being allowed access to McNary during concerts. All activities in and access to the dorms must be approved by the OSU Office of Youth Safety & Compliance. As access to the dorm stairwells and elevators (as well as outside doors) are controlled electronically, we had to negotiate to allow non-dorm residents access to the upstairs lounges while Zimfest workshops were taking place. The Youth Safety people were not happy about letting non-dorm residents into McNary, but allowed it for Zimfest 2023 workshops.
  • On a more positive note, most Zimfest participants and performers loved having all concerts outside on one stage. We took the opportunity to make all evening concerts by donation so that all Zimbabweans could perform during evening concerts without worries about visa restrictions, and were happy to see the supportiveness of concert attendees in paying the requested donations. There was a request, however, to move the mostly-Zimbabwean concert to Friday or Saturday so that more Americans (many of whom leave on Sunday) could enjoy it. We want you to know that few of the American bands were available to perform on Sunday—that is why we had more Zimbabweans performing then!

Thanks for reading, you will be hearing more from us soon!
Claire Jones, Zimfest Coordinator

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