IJA eNewsletter – February 2022


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   IJA eNewsletter   

   February 2022

Editors: Don Lewis & Martin Frost


  • 2022 IJA Festival updates
  • IJA Board nominations are open
  • Spread the festival enthusiasm!
  • 2023 IJA Festival Director – Call for letters of interest for the 76th annual fest
  • Latest articles in eJuggle (find a few that interest you and check them out)

2022 IJA Festival updates  by Festival Director Afton Benson

Hi everyone!

Festival registration is open and I am elated to see you all this coming July 11-17 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa!  If you haven’t registered, make sure you register online by 11:59 EST February 28 to get the best deal on your festival package.  The festival team is hard at work developing stellar shows and events for everyone to enjoy, we’ll be making announcements in the eNewsletter, the IJA Festival website, and on social media (Facebook/Instagram) so keep your eyes peeled.  There will be information about Joggling and the IJA Championships coming soon.

The most recent announcement is regarding IJA Festival Scholarships.  IJA members from around the world (with some special support from an anonymous donor) have come together to render assistance to fellow jugglers by donating to the IJA Festival Scholarship fund.  Have you wanted to attend the IJA Festival but some added financial support would make attending a reality?  Applications are now open for IJA Festival Scholarships.  The application process is open until March 27th, 2022 at 11:59 pm PDT so apply now.

If you are in a position here to render assistance to others, please consider donating to the IJA Festival Scholarship fund when you register for the festival, or you can make a donation today.

Please share about the IJA Festival and the Festival Scholarships with your friends, family, juggling clubs, or anyone.

Until I see you all in Cedar Rapids: get registered, stay safe, and keep making the juggling community a fantastic place to be.

Afton Benson

2022 IJA Festival Director


IJA Board nominations are open  by Martin Frost

Nomination are open for members of the IJA Board of Directors.

Many of you are probably thinking about how you can best serve the IJA and make it better.  The IJA needs interested Board members to lead it through the challenges ahead.

Nominate someone, including maybe yourself.  That’s right, it is perfectly acceptable to nominate yourself.

The IJA maintains Director and Officer insurance coverage to protect our decision makers.  Directors are considered to have a fiduciary duty to the IJA.  Fiduciary simply means managing in the best interests of the association, much as you might administer the affairs of a minor person that can’t make legal decisions.

Information about the nomination process is available at juggle.org/business/nominations.

The nomination deadline is 11:59pm PDT on May 15, 2022.  Participate!


Spread the festival enthusiasm!  by Don Lewis

It is rare enough that an organization lasts seventy five years.  The IJA has experienced a lot of change during that time.  Although the internet and social media have spelt the end of a lot of organizations, the IJA has held on and done its best to continue to be relevant and serve its membership.  So here we are, eagerly anticipating the seventy-fifth festival.  An in-person event.

The online events presented during the Covid emergency showed the resiliency of the juggling community, and probably exposed a lot of new jugglers to the thrill of seeing juggling done well.  Now our challenge is to convince all those people to get off their couches and experience a festival for real!  Being at a juggling festival really isn’t like anything else.

I have no idea how many times I’ve told people that they really need to be there to understand.  New jugglers are an especially hard sell.  They don’t think they’re good enough – someone might laugh.  That just doesn’t happen.  We’ve all struggled to learn new things and respect the effort that goes into it.  There is a lot going on at the festival: great shows, competitions, and a wide variety of workshops.  One of the most satisfying things, though, is that magical moment when a new festival attendee realizes with wonder that they have found their space.  One woman said to me that she hadn’t believed it, but there really were workshops at all levels – even the very basics.  Well, of course!  Experts in one prop can often be newbies in another – so there are lots of basic workshops along with sessions for experts.

Inspiration is really all around you at the festival.  You might see something intriguing performed at one of the shows.  The next day people are trying that same move in the gym.  And as if by magic, a workshop will appear on the schedule for that very trick.  Another interesting option is that you can go to a workshop and just watch.  You may think you are out of your depth for an intermediate or advanced workshop, but you just want to see how the experts do THAT trick.  And that is fine, you’ll probably go away understanding the building blocks that lead to the trick, and someday you’ll be doing it because the workshop stuck in your mind.  In fact, I used to think Chops with clubs was impossible, or an illusion or something.  Now I can teach the Chops workshop.

Learning doesn’t just happen in workshops.  You might be struggling to learn a new trick you saw someone else do, off in a corner of the gym.  After a few minutes someone might casually offer a couple of helpful tips.  It wouldn’t be unusual to see that same person on a stage during the festival.  Unlike many other sports, the “elite” tend to mix right in and have a great time with everyone else.

The most important thing that you can do for the festival is to convince the non-believers that there really is a place for them.


2023 IJA Festival Director – Call for letters of interest for the 76th annual fest

The 2023 IJA festival will be held July 17-23, in South Bend, Indiana (USA).  The IJA would like to hear from individuals who are interested in taking on the role of Festival Director for the South Bend fest.

The Festival Director works with the venue and the IJA staff and volunteers to create a fabulous week of juggling.  Volunteers help with most aspects of running the festival.  Previous festival directors are available to mentor you through the process.  Some aspects of the festival repeat consistently from year to year, such as the competitions and shows.  There is always room to try new things and put your personal stamp on the experience.

If you are interested in the position or just want to learn more about the job, please contact IJA Operations Officer Scott Steiskal.






Latest articles in eJuggle

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