IJA eNewsletter – February 2019


IJA Home Page

   IJA eNewsletter   

February 2019

Editor: Don Lewis

 Want this in your inbox?  Click here to join the IJA to get your own copy each month, and get full access to eJuggle too!


  • Chair’s message
  • Festival Registration Starts March 1st!
  • Getting to Fort Wayne
  • Festival Hotels
  • New Events at the IJA Festival
  • First Special Guests for the 2019 Festival Announced
  • Silent Auction
  • 2020 Festival Director – Call for Letters of Interest
  • Patron Saint of Juggling
  • 2018 Festival Video available in IJA Store
  • Latest articles in eJuggle
  • Upcoming juggling festivals


2019 IJA Festival – Fort Wayne, Indiana – June 24 – 30, 2019

Yes, exceptionally the festival is in late June this time!

Check out Fort Wayne at https://www.visitfortwayne.com/#

Chair’s message, by Exuro Piechocki

Far beyond the IJA Festival that brings our membership together, the IJA touches lives far and wide, and we are aiming even higher. I often like to use this space to advocate for you to take up arms and join me and many other in volunteering our time to the IJA, but this month I’d prefer to highlight some of our amazing programs and their Directors, namely the IRCs and the YJA. 


The IJA Regional Competitions (IRC) have been overseen by IRC Program Director Erin Stephens since their inception. Over the years, Erin has attentively cultivated this program into something that genuinely changes lives for those who participate in it. It is the embodiment of bringing together our community on an International scale, the likes of which the juggling world has never seen before. Having heard of the impact of this program, several donors have reached out specifically to donate to the IRCs to ensure it continues on into the future. Through the generosity of these donors, funding for the program has gone up 1000% from what was once budgeted in the early years of the IRCs, allowing Erin to more fully implement her visions for the program. Always dreaming bigger, Erin has outlined a vision for growth far into the future that will expand the IRCs to more and more places around the world, so that should we see another ten-fold increase in funding for this program, we have a direction to move in.


The Youth Juggling Academy (YJA) Is currently run by YJA Program Director Galen Harp. Under Galen’s supervision, the YJA has gone from a loose idea that we ought to aid and provide service to younger jugglers, to having a tangible direction and plan for the future. Galen now works with a small team of volunteers that are passionate about empowering young people to juggle. They are meeting regularly to discuss – among other things – how to go about implementing juggling into the physical education curriculum of multiple countries. Galen recognizes that it is not just about making juggling desirable to young people, but also about reaching those that provide their education and convincing them of the undeniable benefits that juggling can have on the mind, body, and soul, of a young person, through representing the IJA at conferences designed for school directors and physical education teachers. This is an exciting time for the YJA, and looking several years ahead I am confident that these actions will help us to bring about a renaissance for juggling.


Thanks to the time and effort that Erin, Galen, and many others have dedicated to the IJA, we are transforming lives around the world every single day. It can be challenging sometimes to see our own impact on the world around us. It is through sustained efforts that great changes can happen, and so I commend them and all the volunteers of the IJA on taking action to render assistance to fellow jugglers.


Looking forward,

Exuro Piechocki
IJA Chairman


Festival Registration Starts March 1st

We’ve been hard at work getting everything ready to open up registration for this year’s festival and making sure everything is just right. With that, we are pleased to announce that on March 1st, registration will be live online along with information on stage competitions, lodging, and more! Be sure to follow the festival’s Facebook event page, and watch our festival section for more festival information as it is released.

Early Bird Registration closes at 11:59 EDT March 22nd, 2019.

Advanced Registration closes at 11:59 EDT May 24th, 2019.  After that date you can register in person at the festival.

Vendor Registration closes on May 24th, 2019.

Championships – Applications are due by April 23rd.  Finalists will be announced May 23rd. Complete information at https://juggle.org/festival/ija-stage-championships/

Joggling – Pre-registration and Day of Event Registration available.

Youth Groups Registration closes 11:59 EDT May 24th.

Register on-line at www.juggle.org/festival


Festival Hotels

Our festival hotels will be announced on the website shortly.  Last minute negotiations are taking place to insure that jugglers will get the best deal possible.  A free brunch will be provided to pre-registered jugglers on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  

New this year will be a cancellation fee for hotel reservations.  This is something that a lot of conventions have to put up with now as the industry gets smarter.  The IJA has negotiated the ability to swap a reservation.  There will be a web page where you can transfer your reservation to another juggler at no charge if events conspire to keep you away from the festival. It also means that the special IJA room rate will transfer as well.  In the past if you cancelled your room, it dropped out of the IJA discount block, and wasn’t counted as an IJA room even if another juggler picked it up at full price.

In any case, we do not expect that the discounted hotel rooms will sell out during pre-registration.

See our website for up-to-date hotel information as it becomes available.

Getting to Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne is the second-largest city in Indiana, one of America’s most affordable cities, and consistently ranks in the Top 10 of “Best Places to Live in the US.”

Two hours by car from several other midwestern cities, Fort Wayne has everything the IJA needs for a fabulous festival, all in a revitalized, safe, clean, compact, affordable and vibrant downtown.

Fort Wayne is in the Eastern US Time Zone (GMT -5).


Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA) is just 9 miles south of all of our festival venues in downtown Fort Wayne, and connects Fort Wayne to the world with over 30 flights a day to seven world air hubs: Chicago O’Hare, Detroit/Metro, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Minneapolis/St. Paul on flights from American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines.


Fort Wayne is located near I-69 in northeastern Indiana.


Greyhound serves Fort Wayne with frequent bus service to over 600 cities on their route network throughout the US and eastern Canada.

Barons Bus serves Fort Wayne with service to over 50 cities in the midwest.

Miller Transportation / Hoosier Ride serves Fort Wayne with bus service throughout Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Michigan, as well as Chicago.

All buses use the downtown Fort Wayne Transit CitiLink terminal at 121 West Baker Street, just an eight-minute walk south (0.3 miles) of our main festival venues and both hotels.

New Events for the 2019 IJA Festivalby Nathan Wakefield

IJA Festival Director David Cain is flexing his creative muscle and bringing in several all-new exciting events for this year’s festival. Here is a breakdown of the new additions that festival attendees can look forward to in Fort Wayne.

Juggling Film Festival
At this year’s festival we are holding the world’s first ever juggling film festival! Though we love watching juggling highlight videos, this event is all about showcasing short films with a plot that relate to juggling in some way. They can be of any genre (comedy, drama, horror, etc.) and will be showcased at a special screening night. Any IJA member attending the festival can enter! Here is a quick rundown of the rules:

– Entries need to have a narrative plot and not just be trick highlights.
– Entries must relate to juggling.
– Content should be kept PG-13 or lower in rating.
– Entries must be between 5 and 15 minutes in length.
– Deadline for entry is May 20th.
– Entries cannot be shown publicly prior to the festival.

Submit your entry to IJA Festival Director David Cain (davidcainjuggler@hotmail.com) by the deadline. The winner will be chosen via audience vote at the event. We hope to see your work on display at the film festival!

Challenge Night
It’s humans vs. props in the battle of the ages at Challenge Night! At this event, stations will be set up for participants to test their skills against a number of objects that were selected and/or designed specifically because they are difficult to juggle. Put your skills up against floaty clubs, chaos rings, slippery clubs, mega clubs, mega balls, apple seeds, and more!

Juggling Game Show Night

Just what is “Game Show Night”, exactly? While we are keeping it a secret for the time being, a fun time will be had by all as popular game shows get a juggling twist.  More information coming soon!

First Special Guests for the 2019 Festival Announced!

Steve Rawlings 

Bob Cates 

Jon Udry 




 Annie Kupper

 The Kalvan Family



Silent Auction at the 2019 IJA Festival, by Nathan Wakefield

We’re bringing back the silent auction at this year’s IJA Festival! Currently, we are in the early stages of collecting various memorabilia and other juggling-related goods to offer to at the event. The proceeds raised from the auction will go directly back to the IJA to help support the many programs and functions that we serve world wide. If you have anything you would like to graciously donate to the silent auction (props, books, posters, etc.), please contact IJA Festival Director David Cain: festival2019@juggle.org

Festival Volunteers Needed, by Sofia Noethe

Coming to the Festival ?  Have a few hours to spare ?  Join our team of Volunteers !  

We need people like you to help make the festival as awesome as it is and run as smoothly as possible.  Contact Sofia Noethe, Noethe@juggle.org if you can help out in any of the following categories.

Registration Desk: Giving out information, T-shirts, directions to Box Office. Shifts are 9:00 – 1:00, 1:00 – 4:00

Access Security: Checking entry credentials, wrist bands.  Shifts are 9:00 – 1:00, 1:00 – 4:00.  Shifts can be shared with other jugglers .

Brunch Security: Checking brunch passes. Shifts are 10:15 – 11:00, 11:00 – noon, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Stage Hands: Help shows run smoothly. Shifts are 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Tuesday, Saturday

Joggling Time Keepers: Saturday 8:00 – noon

Joggling Drivers: Saturday 7:30 – noon

Joggling First Aid: Saturday 8:00 – noon

2020 IJA Festival Director – Call for Letters of Interest, by Exuro Piechocki

The search is on for who will direct the 2020 IJA Festival! The 2020 IJA Festival will be in El Paso, Texas, July 13-19, and we are now looking for who will be the Festival Director for this event.


The Festival Director works closely with all aspects of the event and is responsible for overseeing the production of the festival. Each year the director assembles a team of volunteers to assist in the production and operations of the festival, and works with the IJA staff and board to create an unforgettable experience for all of us to participate in. There are a number of events that happen every year such as the competitions and shows, but there is some creative freedom left to the director for what the festival will offer. Take for example the Film Festival being held at the 2019 festival under the guidance of this year’s Festival Director, David Cain.


If you believe that you have what it takes to create the greatest week of juggling in 2020, or if you’re interested in more information about what the job entails, please contact IJA Chair Exuro Piechocki (ija.chair@juggle.org). Please respond by March 31st, 2019.

Saint John Bosco, by John Gallagher

Editor’s note: Shortly after last month’s issue of the newsletter went out, Fr. John Gallagher wrote to remind me that Juggling does have a patron saint.  The feast of Saint John Bosco is celebrated on January 31st.  St. John Bosco was profiled in the winter 88-89 edition of Juggler’s World. The Juggler’s World collection is archived on the old IJA website at https://dev.juggle.org/history/archives/jugmags/Index2-4/index_2.php


When most people, Catholics or not, find out that there actually is a Catholic saint whose sphere of influence includes jugglers and magicians, they generally question the fact.  After all, Biblical references to “magic” are, without exception, the manipulation of supposed preternatural powers usually associated with conjuring spirits in order to foretell the future, sorcery or dealing with astrology.

Suffice it to say that, inevitably, the kind of “magic” that is referenced in the Bible is not stage magic.

January 31 is the day set aside on the Catholic liturgical calendar to honor St. John Bosco, an Italian priest born in Becchi, Castelnuovo d’Asti, Piedmont, Italy.

Many people wonder how the Catholic Church and Jugglers and magicians could get together in the first place.  During the latter half of the 19th century, as Europe’s poor were suffering from the effects of industrialization, John Bosco saw how most of the children in his village remained uneducated and without faith in God.

John’s father died when he was only two years old.  As was common at the time, he helped the family’s finances with different jobs.  Whenever he had an extra penny for himself, little John would go to the many circuses, fairs and carnivals that visited his part of Italy.  He watched in rapt attention when jugglers and magicians performed seemingly impossible, preternatural effects.  Being a precocious child, he reasoned some of them out and those he could not, he would beg magicians to teach him.

With the knowledge he cobbled together, he was able to put on little magic shows free of charge for his friends.  Even at that age, he would make sure that the poorest children in his neighborhood would be in attendance. Being devout, he would take the opportunity, in front of his impromptu congregation, to repeat the homily he heard at church on the previous Sunday.

As John grew up, he chose to became a priest.  He was ordained in 1841 and dedicated his priesthood ministry to teaching and working exclusively with the poor children and youth in the city of Turin. He served as chaplain for a hospice for wayward girls and feeding and clothing the poor was his main concerns. Once accomplished, he turned his attentions to their spiritual development.

He needed a way to get kids interested in coming to church, back in school and accepting the aid he was offering. He remembered his early success as a child with the impoverished children of his neighborhood and decided to use puzzles, gags, riddles and juggling.  But it was the magic that caught the kids’ attention the best.  Stories that have come down from John Bosco’s contemporaries include some specific tricks he used.  He was said to be especially good at tying three ropes together to form one seamless rope in order to explain the mystery of the Most Blessed Trinity.  He also would pull coins from ears and change pebbles into candy, delighting the children who were under his care.

Later in life, Don Bosco started a community of Catholic priests, nuns, brothers and lay people who to this day help street kids and youth in gangs throughout the world — including the largest cities in the United States, South America, Asia, Europe and Africa.  John Bosco was canonized in 1934 by Pope Pius XI.  Considering John Bosco’s association with juggling and magic during life, it’s not a stretch of the imagination to understand why he is dubbed the “Patron of Juggler’s and Magicians”.

In January 2002, hundreds of European and American magicians presented a petition to Pope St. John Paul II asking him to declare St. John Bosco their patron saint.  His Holiness was presented with a magic wand made in India as part of the ceremony.  The wand was a present from a young Indian orphan who was being cared for in one of Mother Teresa’s orphanages. The wand had belonged to the boy’s father, who had been a magician.

2019 Atlanta Groundhog Day Festival, by Charles Shapiro


 PHIL Award Winners

 Cabaret Performers


Winners of the coveted PHIL award this year were Chuck Clark, Kira DiPietrantonio and Joshua Romeo. Congratulations!

Two hundred and one registered jugglers attended the 41st Annual Groundhog Day Jugglers Festival, held January 26-28 at the Yaarab Shrine Center less than a mile from the Fox Theater near downtown Atlanta. The festival was moved forward a week because Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta made it impossible to get our space at the correct time (February 1-3) this year. The Center has been upgraded recently, with better lighting, replacement back doors, and auto-flush urinals in the men’s room. The lights were particularly welcome.

Friday night started off with over a hundred jugglers in the auditorium, including a couple of individuals working on qualifying with 9 balls off in one corner (and getting 12 and 15 catches). A spiffy new paper schedule listed several well-attended workshops, including Lucy Eden’s “(4x,2) is the new 3”, Kendama 101 with Alan Tidwell, and an impromptu club-passing workshop led by Rick Purtee. By the end of the festival over 114 people attended 43 workshops, including at least 20 folks newly introduced to 3-ball juggling. Our wonderful food vendor was back this year with a big selection of ramen, meat pies, cheese cake, and other delicacies, including vegan and vegetarian options. We had the space until 11 pm; the last jugglers left the room at around 10:45.

Seven competitors took the stage at The Competition, staged early (12:45pm) to accomodate the Seed and Feed Marching Abominable Band, who had another gig later that day. The crowd was noticeably lighter than in past years, although the hat looked pretty good. Jerry “Free Hugs” Taylor returned as Timer this year, to general acclaim. Competition Winners were Chuck Clark of Detroit Michigan (Crackin’ Phenomenal), for a Danger act juggling 3 baseball bats with circular saw blades attached; Josh Romeo of Woodstock, Georgia (“Whiz Bang”) for an act featuring gymnastics which included a 5-ball juggle and culminated in a 3-ball front-flip catch; and Kira DiPietrantonio of Philadelphia PA (“Spiffylicious”) for another gymnastic act using 3, 4, and 5 red stage balls. Lucy Eden was Master of Ceremonies and provided the interstitial act while the judges deliberated. Other notable acts included Cate Flaherty (Cate Great, Cambridge MA) performing a behind-the-back 3-ball juggle while balanced on two right-angled rola-bolas and a remarkably poised unicycle/juggling act by Nash Abrahams (Lithonia, MI) which included a side mount from the floor while juggling 3 clubs.

Spencer Schwab ran the juggling games once again this year, with shiny plastic trophy cups for each event. Christian Kloc (Washington, DC) won the 3-ball Simon Says. Aaron Shojinag (Charlotte, NC) took home the Blind Juggling trophy. Jacob Tillman (Tallahassee, FL) won Club Crown. Chuck Clark (Detroit, MI) won Club Balance. The team of Dan Howard (Atlanta, GA) and Dave Ferman (Jacksonville, FL) took the 7-club passing crown. Austin Bruckner (Davidson, NC) won 5-club endurance. Christian Kloc and Max Poff (Atlanta, GA) won the Huggling contest.

Lao Alovus (Tallahassee, FL) ran the juggling combat events. Max Poff (Atlanta, GA) took home another trophy for ball combat. Chuck Clark won the club combat competition, after making simultaneous drops with Christian Kloc when the final round was down to two and then triumphing in an epic face-off.

Jenny Oberhauser (Jenny the Juggler, Cambridge, MA) emceed the Saturday cabaret show, with 14 very strong variety acts. Highlights included Denise Beck and Thomas Bednarski (Dorfprozelten, Germany) with a truly innovative partner poi routine, Christian Kloc (Washington, DC) with a bounce routine culminating in a 7-ball lift bounce, and Mike Hayataka (Rockford, MI) performing a remarkable hoop routine featuring some new and amazing balances, tosses and upper-body manipulations. The show ended with astounding unicycle and balance work by Sem, Teresa, and Nash Abrahams (Detroit, MI). Spencer and Shivella Schwab won the Mouse award this year, with a properly touching acceptance speech by Shivella.

The weekend ended with the traditional prix fixe dinner at Panahar Restaurant (3375 Buford Highway, Atlanta, GA), attended by 18 rather exhausted jugglers and guests. Toasts were made, delicious Bengali food was consumed, and nobody died on the way home.

2018 Festival Video Available

The DVD is up and can be purchased in our online store here: https://ym.juggle.org/store/ViewProduct.aspx?id=12959088

IJA members can view parts of the video as a members only benefit on eJuggle


Latest articles in eJuggleEJUGGLE ARCHIVES


Upcoming juggling festivals

Below is a list of some upcoming juggling festivals.  For a list of even more fests, check our worldwide juggling event listings.

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.

6. Wintercon 2019

    1 Mar – 3 Mar 2019

    Kulturzentrum dasHaus Ludwigshafen, Bahnhofsstraße 30, 67059 Ludwigshafen Germany (Deutschland)


Juggling Kohlvention Oldenburg
1 Mar – 3 Mar 2019
Unisport Oldenburg, Uhlhornsweg 49-55, 26129 Oldenburg Germany (Deutschland)

Pocono Juggle/Circus Arts Fest 2019

    1 Mar – 3 Mar 2019

   Panther Valley Jr/Sr High School, 912 Coal Region Way, Lansford, PA 18232 USA


University of Waterloo Juggling Festival
15 Mar – 17 Mar 2019
University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

FlowMotion Symposium 2019

   15 Mar – 17 Mar 2019

   Monroe Convention Center, 302 S College Ave, Bloomington, Indiana 47403 USA


WeltenCon 3.0
29 Mar – 31 Mar 2019
Raiffeisenstrasse 25, 24392 Süderbrarup Germany (Deutschland)

The 42nd RIT Spring Juggle-In

   5 Apr – 7 Apr 2019

   1 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester NY USA


Tucson Juggling Festival 2019

   5 Apr – 7 Apr 2019

   Catalina State Park, Tucson, Arizona 85737 USA


British Juggling Convention

    10 Apr – 14 Apr 2019

    Nottingham, UK


Flame Festival 2019

   11 Apr – 14 Apr 2019

   2035 Old Mineral Springs Road, La Fayette, GA 30728-6876 USA


2. Ab ‘in Pott – Convention

   12 Apr – 15 Apr 2019

   Anne-Frank Gesamtschule, Carl-Holtschneider-Straße 8-10, 44145 Dortmund Germany (Deutschland)


Aichtaler Jonglierconvention

   19 Apr – 22 Apr 2019

   Aichbachwasen 2, 72631 Grötzingen, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany Germany (Deutschland)


IJC 2019

   21 Apr – 25 Apr 2019

   Gan HaShlosa National Park, Israel Israel (ישראל)


Dali Flow Festival 2019

   22 Apr – 29 Apr 2019

   Dali – yunnan – China China (中国)


Adelaide Juggling Convention

   25 Apr – 28 Apr 2019

   Goodwood Community Centre 32/34 Rosa Street, Goodwood, South Australia, Australia Australia


Ignite 2019 (5th anniversary)

   26 Apr – 28 Apr 2019

   T’île Malines Rode Kruisplein 12, 2800 Mechelen Belgium (België)


Thomas Dietz Jonglier-Convention bei der Traumfabrik

   26 Apr – 28 Apr 2019

   Regensburger Turnerschaft e.V., Schopperpl. 6, 93059 Regensburg, Germany Germany (Deutschland)


Universal Flow Gathering 2019

   2 May – 5 May 2019

   Apple Valley, California 92307 USA


Manchester Aerial & Acrobatics Convention

   3 May – 5 May 2019

   Ordsall Leisure Centre, Manchester, M5 3JW UK


Bungay Balls Up 2019 – XX!

   17 May – 27 May 2019

   Hulver Farm, St Michael South Elmham, Bungay, Suffolk, NR35 1NF UK


Berlin FeuerCamp Convention

   24 May – 26 May 2019

   Abenteuerzentrum im Grunewald, Eichhörnchensteig 3, 14193 Berlin Germany (Deutschland)


Festival Cirkulart

   24 May – 26 May 2019

   Kaštieľský Park, Stupava, Slovakia Slovakia (Slovenská republika)


Seattle Juggling Festival

   24 May – 26 May 2019

   674 South Orcas Street, Seattle, WA 98108 USA


21. Freiburger Jonglierfestival

   30 May – 2 Jun 2019

   Sporthallen der Wentzinger Schulen; Seepark, Falkenbergerstraße 21, 79110 Freiburg im Breisgau Germany


NICE Jonglierfestival 2019

   30 May – 2 Jun 2019

   Neue Mittelschule/Florianer Halle St.Florian, Wiener Straße 44, 4490 St.Florian Austria (Österreich)


6. BachritterCon – Jonglier- und Akrobatikconvention

   13 Jun – 16 Jun 2019

   Bachritterburg Kanzach, Riedlingerstraße 12 88422 Kanzach Germany (Deutschland)


Alle mitmischen #11

   13 Jun – 16 Jun 2019

   Biedermeierstrand, 04435 Hayna, Sachsen Germany (Deutschland)


2019 IJA Festival

    24 June – 30 June 2019

    Fort Wayne, IN USA


European Unicycle Championships 2019

    25 Jul – 4 Aug 2019

    Milaanstraat 115, 6135 LH Sittard Netherlands (Nederland)


European Juggling Convention

    3 Aug – 11 Aug 2019

    Newark, NG24 2NY, UK


Leave a Reply