IJA eNewsletter – January 2023

IJA logo
   IJA eNewsletter
 January 2023Editors: Don Lewis & Martin Frost

Happy New Year!


  • 2023 IJA Festival, July 17-23 — South Bend, Indiana — Save the dates!
  • NEW!  Pre-Festival City Walking Tour and Pub Crawl!
  • J. Todd Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund applications open
  • Flamingo Club Award nominations open
  • IJA Board meetings
  • Latest articles in eJuggle



2023 IJA Festival, July 17-23 — South Bend, Indiana — Save the dates!
by Exuro Piechocki, 2023 Festival Director

IJA 2023 Festival South BendThere are so many exciting things to share about our upcoming festival!  We’ve just completed a site visit to South Bend where we met with the operations teams at all of our venues, and I can confidently say that this year’s festival will be one for the books.

The Century Center has the ideal layout for us, with a walking time of less than 60 seconds to get from any one room in the building to any other room.  One of the amazing features that they have for us includes the Bendix Theater, located inside the convention center, where we’ll be hosting a couple of special shows as well as some of our main staple events.  Anyone want to make a guess as to who our special guests will be that are going to be featured in the Bendix?  Another amazing bonus is Island Park, an outdoor pavilion accessible directly from the convention center.  Not only is it a great place to enjoy the summer weather, this park is literally an island in the St. Joseph River where we’re expecting to host Fire Night!

The Morris Performing Arts Center, just two blocks away from the Century Center, is where we’ll be holding our biggest shows across four nights throughout the week.  They’ve just celebrated their 100th anniversary and received renovation funding from the City of South Bend, and let me tell you that the space looks absolutely beautiful.  Having a space like the Morris PAC is an absolute blessing for us.  Our shows team is crafting some unbelievably talent-packed performances for us, and we’re so excited to start pulling back the curtain in the coming months on who you can expect to see on stage.

The DoubleTree Hilton and the Courtyard Marriott hotels are both directly across the street from the Century Center.  Links will be available soon for you to book at our discounted room rate so that you can ensure that you won’t ever need to stray far from the action.  Both of these hotels are going to honor our rates of less than $110 per night (plus 15% tax) that were locked in when we booked our room blocks over three years ago.  Compared to their current rates, this makes them very affordable, particularly for those of you who want to split a double queen room with your favorite juggling friend(s) (up to quad occupancy).  Please don’t call the hotels or try to book a room now, as our rooms are not yet available.  More info will be in the next eNewsletter.

There will be busking opportunities this year for those of you who are looking to work where you play!  Several events around town will provide high foot traffic environments that we have been invited to place performers at.  Our friends with DownTown South Bend and Visit South Bend want to help give you the chance to pad your pocket, so if you have a street show that is ready to go, send an email over to festival2023@juggle.org with “busking” in the subject line to throw your hat(s) in the ring for this opportunity.  Space may be limited depending on the level of interest for this opportunity.

Finally, we’re still looking to hear from anyone who has an interest in becoming involved in the IJA Festival at a greater level.  There is a small number of super-volunteers who make the festival happen every year, and many of them are willing to mentor you in what they do.  This is an excellent opportunity for anyone who wants to develop their skills in event production.  Depending on the extent of work that goes into these roles, volunteers who put in the hours necessary for all of us to have our favorite week of the year together can receive a variety of benefits such as discounted festival passes or comped hotel room nights.  If you are as passionate about supporting the juggling community as you are about actually juggling, please send an email to festival2023@juggle.org with the word “volunteer” in the subject line.

That’s all for now.  Expect to see the 2023 festival website up in February, and an announcement about the release date for Early-Bird festival pass sales in the next eNewsletter.

Happy juggling!



NEW!  Pre-Festival City Walking Tour and Pub Crawl!  by Mike Sullivan

Jugglers, get to know your festival home by starting the week with a fun, easy walking tour of all our festival venues, some time to explore amazing local historic sites, and a pub crawl along the main drag in downtown South Bend!

You’ll get a guided tour of ALL of our juggling spaces, our Renegade venue, and the spectacularly beautiful theater where the nightly shows and Championships competitions will be held.

Then we’ll hop along the central business district and grab some refreshments along the route at two great local South Bend watering holes.  Next, it’s on to the truly incredible Studebaker National Museum and South Bend History Museum, which are must-see destinations when visiting South Bend.  We wrap up with a final stop for refreshments at the Studebaker Brewing Company, followed by an optional group dinner at the Tippecanoe Place Restaurant in an intimate, historic setting.

Our tour leaves at 2pm ET Monday afternoon, July 17, from the DoubleTree Hotel downtown.  Full details will be in next month’s eNewsletter, and you will be able to book your spot on the tour online.  Tickets will be $25 each, and all participants must be 18 years of age or older to enter the pubs along our route.

Space WILL BE LIMITED, so make plans NOW to be in town and ready to join our tour early in the afternoon on Monday!



J. Todd Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund applications open
by Afton Benson, IJA TreasurerIJA logoDonate online

The IJA J. Todd Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund is now accepting applications for 2023 IJA Festival Scholarships.  If you have wanted to attend an IJA Festival but have not had a chance and some support would help, apply!  Priority will be given to individuals who have not attended an IJA Festival before.  You can find the application here.  Please share info about this scholarship far and wide — it is open for jugglers around the world.  Applications close at 11:59pm PST on March 5, 2023.  Awardees will be informed by May at the latest.

This fund is named in honor of Todd Smith, one of the world’s top manufacturers of juggling equipment.  Todd was known for giving away props to aspiring jugglers and had the nickname of “the juggler’s friend”.  This scholarship fund will support new jugglers who have not had the chance to attend an IJA Festival.  Thanks to the generosity of Professor Arthur Lewbel and Mike and Marilyn Sullivan and the donations of fellow jugglers.

Interested in supporting the J. Todd Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund?  Fantastic!  You can donate here today.  Any questions can be directed to treasurer@juggle.org.



Flamingo Club Award nominations open  by Afton Benson, IJA Treasurer

The IJA Flamingo Club is accepting nominations for the 2023 Flamingo Club Award. The Flamingo Club provides the recognition, support and encouragement of female-identifying and non-binary persons, children, and families, in order to build a more inclusive juggling community.

The award is given to highlight a female-identifying or non-binary person who has shown outstanding support, inspirational skill, or exceptional promotion of juggling.  Individuals can, and are encouraged to, nominate themselves.

Nominate someone or yourself here today!  Nominations are due by 11:59pm PST on March 5, 2023.

The Flamingo Club is one of the IJA programs that are supported by donations from jugglers around the world.  Want to ensure the IJA has the means to support these and other programs please donate today!  Any questions can be directed to treasurer@juggle.org



IJA Board meetings  by Aslynne Howes, IJA Board ChairIJA Board meetings

IJA Board meetings are open to all IJA members and are hosted on Zoom.  To attend a Board meeting, please email ija.chair@juggle.org and state which meeting you’re interested in.

Vision meeting (future ideas and plans): Sunday, February 5, 2023, at 6:30pm ET.
Business meeting (for official business): Sunday, February 19, 2023, at 6:30pm ET.




Latest articles in eJuggle




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