Zimfest News Blog

Zimfest News

Greetings all,

The Zimfest 2019 Organizing and Tech committees have some festival updates for you:

  • The Festival Concert Schedule has been posted online. See biographies and photographs of performers here (check back later for information not yet available on a couple of groups).
  • Our host Western Oregon University has informed us that there will be mini-fridges and microwave ovens in all Ackerman dorm rooms! To ensure that this privilege is extended beyond 2019, be sure to dispose of all food and other waste properly, and please clean out fridges when you leave. 
  • There are a number of fascinating and informative cultural presentations on offer this year, and our webmaster Larry has created this Presentations page with all the relevant information.  The cultural presentations cost only $10 per hour – a great deal!
  • Don’t forget to sign up for volunteer shifts to help the festival run smoothly. Write to our volunteer coordinators at volunteers{at}zimfest{dot}org if you can take on any special assignments (e.g. host the Green Room on Sunday, or help wrangle marimbas on Thursday).

Your Zimfest Organizers

Music Dancing Across Borders

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What’s New at Zimfest 2019

Zimfest organizers and participants have been quiet since registration went live on May 1. Take a look at What’s New this year and kick up the interest level! Make your plans and register now for some of the new offerings for Zimfest 2019:

  • Come learn about a different type of Zimbabwean culture: Alternative Agri-cultures in Zimbabwe. This special workshop presentation/exhibit/discussion led by musician and scholar Pamela Ngwenya is produced by Zimfest 2019 as a multi-session workshop on Saturday afternoon August 10 at discounted presentation costs (by donation); we need your registrations for either or both sessions to make it happen! Those who are motivated to give back to Zimbabwe will want to attend to learn about projects being carried out in areas impacted by Cyclone Idai and how to support them.
  • Gumboot Flash Mob – Festival Highlights Finale on Sunday, Aug 11, 4:40 – 5:00 p.m. at The Grove. Student groups from two gumboot workshops will show off what they have learned, and Lucky Moyo and Sinini Ngwenya will invite everyone at the Grove to join in with some awesome body percussion! Let’s get everyone dancing – gum boots not required! For more information, see Festival Events.
  • Some people have been confused between the skill level terms “beginner” and “novice” (introduced last year). We encourage you to look at it this way: Beginners are still the lowest skill level, ranging from those just starting out to one year of experience. We promise we’ll never change that! Novice, the next skill level beyond beginning, is the new term that replaced the old “advanced-beginner” level (which was confusing to people new to this community).

Enjoy the long weekend and remember our veterans!
Claire and the 2019 Organizing Committee

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Zimfest 2019 Fundraising Challenge

Zimfest 2019 fundraising has been off to a slow start, but we have a fantastic group of Zimbabweans coming to teach and perform that we need your help to support while at Zimfest. Here’s the challenge, if we hit 20 new donations by the end of May we would unlock a $500 gift. You can enter a one-time gift or choose the monthly recurring option at https://zimfest.org/about/support-zimfest/. Don’t forget about renewing your Zimfest membership if you haven’t done that yet for the year. The Zimfest Board thanks you for all your support.

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March Board Meeting Minutes

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

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Zimfest Registration is Open

Dear Zimfest community,

Online registration for Zimfest 2019 is now open! Visit the How to Register ‎page on the website for instructions (please read!) and the direct link to our online system RegFox. A few new tips and reminders:

  • Marketplace booth applications are also open for all new and returning vendors. Please go to the Vendor Information page for guidelines and a link to the Vendor applications. This application is not connected to the online registration form, and vendor applicants will have to make a separate payment for booths using PayPal (sorry!).
  • An eleventh-hour development strengthens our efforts to make Zimfest more affordable for families – meals are now discounted for children 11 and under! See Festival Costs for prices. When you enter the age range of the person for whom you are registering in RegFox, the correct meal prices will be displayed and computed for you.
  • All Zimfest registrants must confirm that they have read and agree to the Zimfest Code of Conduct.  If you are not aware of this initiative by the ZA Board to ensure that the festival remains a safe and non-threatening environment for all, please read about it here.
  • Zimfest Association members are exempt from the $15 Registration fee. Become a member and support Zimfest before you register.
  • Those purchasing concert tickets only are also exempt from the registration fee, and can skip down to the concert ticket section in RegFox.

Enjoy the spring weather!
Claire and the OC

Music Dancing Across Borders

 

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Zimfest Workshop Schedule is Online

Dear Zimfesters,

As promised, the Zimfest 2019 Organizing and Tech Committees have published the workshop list, grid and teachers information in advance of the registration opening date so that registrants will have plenty of time to peruse the selections. We hope this will decrease the errors made by people rushing to complete their registrations on the first day! We would rather you take your time to explore the website and all this year’s offerings before you set out to register. A few other pointers at this time:

  • We have taken some steps to make Zimfest more family-friendly. If you are a parent accompanying a child aged 7 or under in a children’s workshop, your workshop fee is waived. See details under Children’s Workshops on the About Workshops page.
  • Also, it is now easier to qualify for a family discount on housing at the festival; you need only have one child below the age of 12 to qualify. See On-Campus Housing.
  • We request that no group (youth or adults!) sign up for more than half the slots in any one workshop – this is one of the few ways we have of trying to make workshops equally accessible to all Zimfest participants. If you are a group leader and want your entire group to work with a particular teacher, or learn a particular song or dance, please consider arranging a private or pre-fest workshop. See details here.

Have fun exploring the website and all that Zimfest 2019 has to offer! Look for online registration to open on May 1 or shortly thereafter.

Claire and the Organizing Committee

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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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Marimba Concert Fund-Raiser in Portland April 6

Hello Portland-area marimba lovers,
Put on your dancing shoes and help MyLinda King and her marimba students raise money for Zimfest and four different charities working in Zimbabwe!

When: Saturday April 6, 2019
12:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Where: Alongsiders Church
2830 NE Flanders St.
Portland, Oregon 97232
Why
An amazing raffle and silent auction will benefit Zimfest 2019, offsetting travel costs for Zimbabwean musicians coming to the festival. This year’s Africa-inspired quilt (quilt4africa.com) will benefit Tariro, Ancient Ways, Portland-Mutare Sister City and Unicef, all charities working in and for Zimbabwe.


FIVE marimba bands playing music from Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa.
FIVE non-profits working on behalf of Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans.

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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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Call for Zimfest Tech Volunteers

Dear Zimfest Community,
I’m here to pass on a request from Nora Holmquist, head of the Zimfest tech committee, who has been working hard over the last few years to improve the technical infrastructure of the festival:

Volunteers wanted: do you have technical skills? A bit of time? The Zimfest Tech Committee is looking for help in the following areas: a) spreadsheet formula scripting to help us streamline the workshop scheduling process b) website graphic design to help us re-envision the website c) google doc scripting to generate workshop acceptance letters d) data mashup and reporting.

Please contact za-tech [at] zimfest {dot} org if you can help in any of these areas.

– Nora Holmquist
Zimfest 2019 Workshop Coordinator & Tech Team Lead


Alex Weeks
Zimfest Board President

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Seeking New Board Members

Dear Zimfest Community,

Zimfest Association would like to recruit 1-2 additional board members over the coming month or two. If you are interested in joining the board, please send a letter expressing your interest to the board at board [at] zimfest {dot} org. If you have questions, send Alex, the Zimfest Association Board President, a message at alex.weeks [at] gmail {dot} com. Alternatively, if you are aware of individuals who you believe might have the skills and interest in joining the board, please let us know at board [at] zimfest {dot} org. Information on board membership can be found here https://zimfest.org/about/board-members/zimfest-association-board-recruitment/.

Thanks from the Zimfest Board

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February Board Meeting Minutes

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

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