IJA eNewsletter – June 2022

IJA Home Pagewww.juggle.org   IJA eNewsletter      June 2022

Editors: Don Lewis & Martin Frost(ijanews@juggle.org)


  • IJA Festival news, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, July 11-17
  • Call for festival volunteers
  • Sky King, 1956 – 2022
  • Save time by signing your fest waiver now
  • Get ready for the festival
  • Eating and drinking guide to Cedar Rapids
  • Online voting open for 2022 IJA Board of Directors Election
  • Latest articles in eJuggle (find a few that interest you and check them out)


Cedar Rapids IJA FestivalIJA Festival news, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, July 11-17 by Festival Director Afton Benson

Only a few more sleeps until the 75th annual IJA Festival!

All the pieces are coming together, and I am beyond excited to see you all.  Didn’t get a chance to register?  No problem.  Starting in the morning on Tues, July 12th, you’ll be able to register for the festival on-site.  Save yourself a step and make sure now that your IJA Membership is up-to-date.

Fire night will be happening immediately after the Flow Show on July 13th, at the Cedar Rapids Public Library.  Bring your fire and glow props!  If you have a fire blanket that you can bring, it would be greatly appreciated.  The IJA will provide fuel for the event.  There will be no fire eating or breathing permitted.

Keep your eyes peeled for the IJA Raffle!  This will take place online again, so even if you cannot attend the festival, you can participate in the raffle.  Vendors that want to contribute to the raffle should contact Eric Shibuya at raffle@juggle.org.

As we head back to meeting in-person, make sure to be mindful and respectful of one another and individuals’ comfort level for space.  I cannot wait to see everyone and reconnect with the juggling community after two years apart.

All the best,Afton Benson

Call for festival volunteers  by Sofia Noethe

Hello everyone,

I cannot wait to see you this summer at the festival in Cedar Rapids.  My name is Sofia Noethe, and I am the volunteer coordinator for the many volunteer needs of the festival.  I am seeking some help for a couple of volunteer roles we have open slots for:

  • Door security – checking that each person who enters the gym has their festival pass each day.
  • Registration desk help – manning the registration desk, typically with a couple others.

Each of those positions has 3-4 hour long morning and afternoon shifts available during the festival.  Whatever you’re able to volunteer for is much appreciated!

If you want more information, have questions, or if you have some time to help out, please email me at volunteers2022@juggle.org.

Thank you!

Sky King, 1956 – 2022

The juggling community and IJA family has lost one of its most loved members.  Gail Sky King, known as Sky King to most of us, passed away on May 16th, 2022.  She was a cherished and long-time member of the IJA, a very successful composer, and friend to many.  She was born in Queens, NY in 1956, but lived in Harlem during most of her adult life.  She was a true Renaissance woman, having a myriad of talents.

Editor’s note: The foregoing text is an excerpt from an obituary written by David Cain on eJuggle.  Please click here to read the entire article.

Save time by signing your fest waiver now  by Mike Sullivan

You can speed up registration at the fest.  Just download the fest waiver form, print and sign it, and bring it with you to the festival.

There are two half-page versions of the waiver on the one page of the downloadable form.  One is for adult participants; the other is for youth under 18 and needs to be signed by a parent or guardian. Cut the page in half and bring to registration the signed part(s) that apply to you.

Get ready for the festival  by Don Lewis

This is exciting!  We are actually getting together again to juggle.  Some of us will have improved a lot, and others will be a bit rusty from inactivity.  Some of us will do well to remember to warm up and take breaks to stay comfortable for the entire week.

The travel landscape has changed in the last couple of years.  Places have reopened, but staffing shortages may make for unanticipated delays.  May as well plan some extra time and enjoy the trip to the festival!  Depending on where you’re traveling from, or how, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got all your travel documents updated and ready to go.  Make sure to pack a mask to be mindful of others and for places that are still encouraging or requiring them.  While the United States has updated travel regulations for testing, people traveling into the United States will need their proof of vaccination against covid-19.  You can find the up-to-date festival guidelines here.  Even if you have the proof on your phone, consider carrying a paper copy just in case.

Identify your props and other gear.  There are a small number of prop makers, so it isn’t a huge surprise that a lot of props look exactly alike.  That isn’t a problem when you are at home, but it is at a festival with virtually thousands of clubs lying around on the gym floor.  You may remember exactly where you set your stuff down before going to lunch, but it might get moved to make a safer juggling space for others.  A lot of stuff winds up in the lost and found box that way.  Remember that you’ll want to identify any new props that you get at the festival as well.  Bring whatever you’ll need to do that.  What?  You aren’t planning to buy anything new?  Well, for a lot of us, that plan tends not to last too long.

It isn’t just juggling props that get misplaced over the week.  Lost mobile phones are regularly turned in.  Most of them have no way to identify the owners, especially if they have discharged to the point that they won’t turn on.  Even if they do turn on, the password screen usually doesn’t identify the owner.  Consider adding a name to your background image to help registration know who to get the phone back to.

Bring a comfortable pair of shoes!  You’ll be on your feet a lot, and you want to be comfortable.

Eating and drinking guide to Cedar Rapids  by Mike Sullivan

Cedar Rapids is little gem of a city: clean, safe, walkable, full of life and with plenty of great places to eat and drink during the festival!

We’ve updated and added to the downtown Cedar Rapids dining guide from our first visit there in 2017, and we’re happy to report that there are several new additions to the downtown dining scene.

Check out this updated dining guide and bookmark it to keep it handy during the festival!

The IJA fest website also has a Things To Do section, including info on restaurants.

Online voting open for 2022 IJA Board of Directors Election by Martin Frost

The annual IJA election for members of the Board of Directors takes place at the IJA Festival in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  The nominees and their candidacy statements are listed below.

The IJA Board of Directors is comprised of seven people who make policy and collectively decide on the direction of the IJA.  Each director is elected for a two-year term.  There are four director positions up for election this year, so IJA members can vote for up to four people in this election. The nominees and their statements are listed below.


All regular, life, youth, and family IJA members who are at least 13 years of age as of July 13, 2022, can vote.


You can vote at the fest on July 13, 2022, or you can vote online from now until 30 minutes after the end of the IJA annual meeting, which starts at 1pm CDT on Wednesday, July 13, 2022.  Voting either way is easy and only takes a minute or two.

You can use the following link to sign in and vote online now.  It will ask you to enter your IJA username and password and then it should take you to the voting page.  (If it doesn’t, after signing in, go to IJA 2022 election and cast your ballot there.)


Here are the nominees for member of the IJA Board of Directors along with their candidacy statements.

  • Benjamin Domask-Ruh
  • Sofia Noethe
  • Ross Berenson

Benjamin Domask-Ruh

Hello! My name is Benjamin Domask-Ruh. I have just completed my first year as a board member for the IJA. During this time, I have learned the ins-and-outs, ups-and-downs, sides-to-sides of how the IJA operates! We are all a part of a complex system that truly provides our fellow jugglers with opportunities. I have had the privilege to work with the board and discuss/implement a number of IJA topics such as the IRC competitions, the annual festival, and our amazing social media engagement! And, after being inspired by my fellow board members, I applied and was excited to become our new Director of the Youth Juggling Academy. As a board member, I feel there is much left to learn. With your help, I would like the opportunity to continue serving the IJA as a member of our board and facilitate our mission of ‘Rendering Assistance to Fellow Jugglers.’ With your vote, I will continue serving the IJA through our shared passion for juggling. Thank you so much!

Sofia Noethe

I’m Sofia Noethe and I am pleased to announce my candidacy for serving another term on the IJA Board of Directors. I previously served in this role from July 2018-2020, and am looking forward to the opportunity to serve the organization again in this capacity. As a lifelong juggler, I have benefitted from and appreciate that the IJA does for jugglers around the world and hope to lend my skills again alongside the other leaders here on the board to give back to the community.

Ross Berenson

My name is Ross Berenson, I have been an active IJA member for over 10 years. I have helped run four IJA festivals, including acting as the Festival Director for the 2021 Festival. Outside of the IJA, I have produced two NYC Juggle This! Festivals. In my daily life, I run my own web design and development business. I would like to bring these talents to the IJA board and help ensure the IJA is working with better tech to make the organization run a bit more efficiently. In addition, I would like to try and help the IJA becomes more self-sustaining.

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