IJA eNewsletter, August 2017

Editors: Don Lewis and Martin Frost

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  • Chair’s message
  • It is never to early for you to promote the next IJA festival
  • Call for IJA Volunteer Officers
  • Reports on three 2017 IRCs
  • Latest articles in eJuggle
  • Upcoming juggling festivals

Chair’s message, by Nathan Wakefield

We’re very fortunate at the IJA to have supporters and volunteers of all varieties. Without the generous efforts and contributions of these individuals, the organization would not be what it is today.

Our festival over the summer was a huge success! Without all the hard work of the festival volunteers and all the jugglers that attended the 70th anniversary event, it would not have been feasible to have put on such a phenomenal event. The festival itself featured a variety of enhancements that were funded by anonymous donors iiWii and Unna Med.

Those of you that were present at the event probably recall the free brunches that were served throughout the week. This function was funded exclusively by iiWii, who came up the with the idea for last year in El Paso, and decided to bring it back this year. Brunch continued to be a hit this year, and we are pleased to announce that iiWii will again be funding festival brunch next year.

You may have also noticed several other fun things at the event, like the performer trading cards, commemorative ribbons, DJ services, and that crazy glasses station with the weird eye wear that made it challenging to juggle. Not to mention, did you know that the back of the festival shirts glow in the dark? These were all items decided upon by the Awesomeness Committee, which allocated money from a festival enhancement fund once again provided by Unna Med, who also contributed some of the Championships prize money.

We greatly thank the kindness of these generous donors and anyone who makes contributions to make the IJA festival all that it is.

Our year-round programs and operations would also not be possible without all of the hard work of our dedicated team of IJA Officers. On that note, we are currently doing our annual call for IJA Officers (see below). If you’ve ever wanted to help out and lend your skills, we are always looking for people willing to help make the IJA be the best that it can be.

Grateful for all our wonderful supporters,

Nathan Wakefield
IJA Chairman

It is never too early for you to promote the next IJA festival
, by Don Lewis

Fall is quickly approaching, and, for many, school is starting.  Juggling clubs are starting fall activities.  It is a time when you re-connect with local jugglers.  Naturally you have serious bragging rights from attending the IJA festival in Cedar rapids.  It is an opportunity to create serious envy!  It is also a great opportunity to show off the new skills you learned at the festival workshops.  If you don’t practice them, you’ll lose them.  The best way to consolidate those skills is to teach them to others before you forget how. 

Sharing new skills and juggling experiences is a fun way to render assistance to other jugglers.  IJA founder Art Jennings felt that helping other jugglers to advance was the main reason for creating the IJA.  One of the most concentrated juggling experiences that you can have is attending an IJA festival with all its workshops, shows and jugglers.

A surprising number of jugglers put off attending a festival because they think they are not good enough.  Everyone needs to work hard to dispel that myth!  Yes, there are a lot of extraordinary jugglers in the gym.  And there are a whole lot more jugglers just having fun and getting a bit better each year.  One first time attendee told me she was astonished that the beginner workshops really are for beginners.  Of course they are.  Just because someone is a superb ball juggler does not mean they’re automatically going to know how to get started with other props.  So we have workshops at all levels.  And there are breakout sessions for those who want to push the boundaries with a specific prop or technique.  There is something for everyone, and usually quite a bit of it. 

Take advantage of that envy you’ve generated and plant the seed that the IJA festival is for everyone.  Let’s try to get a lot of nervous jugglers convinced that there is a welcoming place for them at the next festival in Springfield, Massachusetts, July 16 – 22, 2018.


Call for IJA Volunteer Officers

Until about September 15, the IJA Board of Directors will be accepting “Letters of Interest” (via email) from people desiring to fill one of the volunteer IJA officer positions. The positions have a variety of focuses and require a minimum of a one year commitment. Officers help to direct the activity of the organization and bring fresh and dynamic ideas to the Board regarding their particular area of focus. 

Why “Letters of Interest”?  Associations tend to have a fairly small set of volunteers that keep things going.  Newer members often want to get involved but can’t see a point of entry that won’t offend an  existing volunteer.  At the same time, some existing volunteers despair of ever finding someone willing to take on their task (or some part of it).  The “Letters of Interest” give the Board a chance to know what volunteers are out there, and what they might be willing to do to help.  You might not get chosen, or you might get to assist another volunteer while learning. 

IJA officers are covered by the IJA’s Directors and Officers liability insurance policy in case anything goes off the rails.

Below is a list of IJA officers.  To see what each does, check out their job descriptions. See if one of these calls out to you. Or if you have an idea for a useful new position to add, let us know your thoughts.

IJA Officers

Affiliates Director
Archives Director
Chief Teller
Communications Director
eJuggle Editor-in-Chief
eNewsletter Editor
European Rep
Future Festivals Site Coordinator
Graphic Designer
IJA Regional Competitions (IRC) Director
International Representatives
Marketing Director
Membership Director
Merchandise Distributor
Store Manager
Video Coordinator
Video Tutorial Director
Volunteers Coordinator
World Juggling Day (WJD) Coordinator
Youth Juggling Academy (YJA) Coordinator

If you would like to submit a letter of interest for any of the positions (or possibly a brand new one), please include the following:

– Your name.
– Position(s) you are interested in.
– Qualifications or experience you would bring to the position(s).
– Any new ideas or strategies you would like to see enacted.

Submit your letter no later than September 15, by emailing it to: ija.board@juggle.org.

The IJA Board will select the officer they think best fits each position. Whether or not you are selected as an IJA Officer, the Board is excited to find a good fit for you as a volunteer within the organization.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Board Chair Nathan Wakefield at: ija.chair@juggle.org.

Reports on three 2017 IRCs, by Erin Stephens

This summer has been filled with successful IJA Regional Competitions around the globe.  Here is a summary of what went down.

IRC South America 2017 Quito

In June, the IRC South America 2017 took place in Quito, Ecuador, featuring a diverse line-up of jugglers from Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Venezuela and Argentina.  This IRC had the widest variety of props in history, including hats, spinning tops, foot juggling, classic circus juggling, contact juggling, synchronized ball juggling, poi and dapos (six-pointed star carpets).  The props were diverse, and the audience was highly entertained. The event was hosted at the World Juggling Day celebration put on by Compañía Circómico.  The medalists are as follows:

Gold: Jader Oswaldo Mona Sanchez of Colombia – Spinning Top

Silver: Nebulosa Estelar featuring Alvaro Soto y Santiago Vega of Ecuador – Partner Hats and Balls

Bronze: Lebid Yobany Guerrero Arevalo of Colombia – Classic Circus Juggling

IRC Mexico 2017 – Men’s and Women’s Divisions

The IRC Mexico 2017 took place June 30th and July 1st in Toluca, Mexico – and was the first time the IJA has ever held a male and female division.  This was a trial run of having two divisions, with the goal of increasing female participation in the IJA competitions.  The idea came about after the realization that out of over 50 IRC competitors entering in 2016, only 3 of them were females.  After discussing this in detail at the end of 2016, Erin Stephens and Jorge Vilchis decided to experiment with two separate divisions.  And the result was a big success!

The IRC Mexico 2017 received the most preliminary video entries of any of the 18 IRCs to date – with 20 men and 10 women entering the competition.  After preliminary judging, it was reduced down to 8 female and 12 male finalists.

The IRC received a lot of local media attention, including being promoted on a few news stations and highlighted in three local magazines.  The nights of the finals were met with a full house and an enthusiastic juggling audience and were broadcast through Live Video Stream on the IJA’s Facebook page. Both nights were stock full of impressive juggling talent and received amazing response online as well as live. The medalists are shown below.

Women’s Division:

Gold: Kelly Cal

Silver: Kenya Florescente

Bronze: Noemy Vazquez

Men’s Division:

Gold: Braulio Lopez

Silver: Brayan Poblador

Bronze: Jafet “Padawan” Resendiz

IRC Far East 2017 Afghanistan

The first ever IRC Far East was held August 13th in Kabul, Afghanistan, as part of the Afghanistan National Circus Festival.  The process leading up to the IRC, and the event itself, were like no other previous IRC. While they are talented technical jugglers, this was the first time the jugglers of Afghanistan had been challenged to think of creative juggling, character development and routine creation.

All the IRC entries from Afghanistan were Teams competitors, with representation from four different provinces in Afghanistan. Also in the competition was one solo act from Iran.  The Far East region also includes India, Turkey, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.  It is our hope that more of these regions will be represented in the future, and we were pleased with 11 entries from two countries for the first year.

Erin Stephens worked directly with all of the IRC entries leading up to the competition, focusing specifically on the elements of performance and stage presence that had previously been lacking in a lot of the routines.  Each of the acts was receptive to feedback and ideas for improvement and worked hard to implement changes.  The progress made by all acts in a one-week period was impressive.

The finals were held at the Circus Center in Kabul.  Chairs were set up for the audience, and a gorgeous black curtain with a painted silver phoenix served as the backdrop.  A full two rows of international media filled the seats, including representatives from BBC and Pajwok (a media source providing coverage for news bureaus around the globe). The IRC Far East 2017 medalists are shown below.

Gold: Nadia and Rabia of Kabul

Silver: Omid, Farman, Bilal and Hewad of Jalalabad

Bronze: Mujtaba and Soraia of Kabul

Fun side story: When gold medalists Nadia and Rabia returned to their homes with their prize money, their fathers both said, “Now I will NEVER make my daughter leave the circus!”

Highlight videos of the medalists’ routines from all three IRCs can be seen on the IJA’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

Note: The final IRC of 2017 will be held September 21st in Melbourne, Australia!

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Latest articles in eJuggle

Upcoming juggling festivals

Below is a list of some upcoming juggling festivals.  For a list of even more fests, check the worldwide juggling event listings on our website at: dev.juggle.org/events.

To get a festival listed here for free, just drop a note to us at ijanews@juggle.org.  Hey, jugglers want to know about juggling fests.  Help them out and get more jugglers to your fest at the same time.

2ª Convenção Caipira de Malabarismo e Circo
    6 Sep – 10 Sep 2017
    Praça Cacilda Becker, s/n, Chácara Municipal 15090005 São José do Rio Preto Brazil

Mini passing and juggling convention in Israel
    7 Sep – 9 Sep 2017
    gan shmuel, ISRAEL Israel (ישראל)

Yavapai Juggling Festival – Prescott Arizona
    8 Sep – 10 Sep 2017
    Yavapai College, 1100 E. Sheldon St, Prescott, AZ 86301 USA

31st Swiss Juggling Convention
    8 Sep – 10 Sep 2017
    Sportplatz, Frick, Aargau Switzerland

2017 Kansas City Juggling Festival
    8 Sep – 10 Sep 2017
    Kansas City, MO USA

Broxford Juggling Convention
    9 Sep – 17 Sep 2017
    Kiln Farm, Kiln Lane, Oxford, OX44 9AR UK

Berliner JonglierConvention 2017 (Berlin Juggling Convention)
    14 Sep – 17 Sep 2017
    Berlin Germany (Deutschland)

La 1er Rencontre des Jongleurs d’Afrique
    19 Sep – 29 Sep 2017
    Cotonou, Benin Benin (Bénin)

JuggleMIT 2017
    22 Sep – 24 Sep 2017
    MIT, Cambridge, MA USA

Melbourne Juggling Convention 2017
    22 Sep – 25 Sep 2017
    35 Johnston St, Collingwood VIC 3066 Australia

12. J-Fest Türkiye Jonglörlük Festivali (Turkish Juggling Fest)
    25 Sep – 1 Oct 2017
    Sundance Nature Village Phaselis Caddesi, Tekirova, Kemer, 07980 Antalya Turkey (Türkiye)

Portland Juggling Festival
    29 Sep – 1 Oct 2017
    Reed College Sports Center, Portland, OR USA

6th Annual Cleveland Circus Juggling Festival
    29 Sep – 1 Oct 2017
    11892 Carlton Rd, Cleveland Heights, OH 44106 USA

Juggling Convention in SPB (Russia)
    19 Oct – 23 Oct 2017
    Russia, Saint Petersburg, “Red Triangle” Russia (Россия)

40th Annual Groundhog Day Jugglers Festival
    2 Feb – 4 Feb 2018
    Yaarab Shrine Center Recreation Building, 400 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA 30308 USA

The 25th Israel Juggling Convention (IJC)
    1 Apr – 5 Apr 2018
    Gan HaShlosha National Park (Sahne), Israel Israel (ישראל)

71st Annual IJA Juggling Festival
    16 Jul – 22 Jul 2018
    Springfield, MA USA

41st European Juggling Convention 2018, Azores
    28 Jul – 5 Aug 2018
    Sao Miguel, Azores Portugal