IJA eNewsletter – February 2023

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   IJA eNewsletter
 February 2023Editors: Don Lewis & Martin Frost


  • 2023 Festival registration opens March 15th
  • Nominations open for annual IJA honorary awards
  • J. Todd Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund applications open
  • Passing it on
  • IJA Board meetings
  • Latest articles in eJuggle



2023 Festival registration opens March 15th
by Exuro Piechocki, 2023 Festival Director

IJA 2023 Festival South BendThis is it, folks, the moment that many of you have been waiting for is nearly upon us!  IJA Festival registration goes live on March 15th!  Early Bird pricing will only be available for three weeks, so get your festival packages by April 4th, after which the price goes up to the normal rate.  Head on over to the festival website to kickstart your daydreaming about your favorite week of the year!

As part of your visualization exercise, think about who you might want to share a hotel room with for the week.  Booking links for our deeply discounted hotel rates are now live on the Lodging page of the festival website.  Both the DoubleTree and Courtyard are directly across the street from the Century Center and are the closest you can be to all of the action.  Our room blocks will sell out, so don’t sleep on locking in your stay at the best spots in town.

For those who are flying in from outside the region, this is going to be the most inexpensive IJA to get to in many years.  Our Getting There page features detailed information on how to travel to South Bend by way of Chicago.  Because Chicago is a hub for direct flights from all around the country and the world, round trip access to South Bend via Chicago can be had for under $400 from almost anywhere inside the USA, and for under $1000 from almost any major city in North America, South America, or Europe.

We’re also extremely thrilled to have such amazing support for our festival from the local South Bend area.  The St. Joe County Public Library will be hosting our Planting The Juggling Seed show, a free show for kids and adults alike.  The South Bend Cubs minor league baseball team is offering additional busking opportunities to the IJA, so if you are interested in street performing during the week and haven’t already let us know, send an email to festival2023@juggle.org with the word “busking” in the title.

We’ll be releasing information about our performers and other special guests over the course of the next few months via social media, so make sure you’re following @ijajugglers on Instagram and Facebook to catch all of the updates as they happen.  I know that the shows are my personal favorite part of the week, and I’m just bursting at the seams with excitement to begin revealing the insane talent that our shows team has been cooking up for your viewing pleasure.



Nominations open for annual IJA honorary awards  by Martin Frost

Do you know of someone IJA Award of Excellencethat you think should be presented with an honorary IJA award at this summer’s IJA Festival?  Past award recipients talk about how meaningful the awards have been to them, so is there someone you believe should be honored?

Nominate them by March 15, 2023, by submitting their name, award title, and reasons for their deserving the award, in an email to awards@juggle.org.

Our website lists all the previous IJA award honorees: www.juggle.org/history/honorary-awards

Nominations are open for the following IJA awards:

In recognition of excellence in the art of juggling through professional performance.

In recognition of a lifetime of influential work and extraordinary achievement in juggling performance.

In recognition of years of coaching and mentoring jugglers to help create and improve their acts.

In recognition of a consistent commitment to provide outstanding support and promotion for the field of juggling.

In recognition of outstanding efforts to teach juggling to non-jugglers and expand the knowledge of those who already juggle.

In recognition for providing exceptional promotion to the public of the art of juggling.



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.



Passing it on  by Don Lewis

There are a lot of meanings to the word passing in the juggling world.  The first thing that comes to mind is passing props with other jugglers in simple or complicated patterns.  Another meaning might be legacy giving where you leave a gift in your will as a way of thanking an organization that has had an important impact on your life.  Another meaning is helping others enjoy juggling as much as you do.

The IJA festival is well known for its wall to wall workshops.  Lots of jugglers give up an hour of their time to teach a workshop to pass on their skills.  A lady I met at a festival was amazed that there really are workshops for all levels in most props.  Well, of course there are.  Just because someone is a god with clubs doesn’t mean that they know which end of a diabolo is up.  It’s fun to try new things, and you can do that at a workshop without looking worse than everyone else.

One thing that you should consider is teaching, or helping with a workshop.  You often see the same people teaching workshops at festivals, and that is a good thing.  What is less good is when those people can’t show up, and no-one is ready to step in.  You may be good at something, but unless you’ve thought about it in advance you may not be comfortable teaching it.

If there is a prop that you like, think about how you would teach someone else to juggle with it.  Consider observing a basic workshop to see how the leader explains things and makes the group progress.  You can approach the person leading the workshop and explain why you are there.  Usually they will be flattered and ask you to help with demonstrations.  In my version of the basic club tricks workshop, I explain how each trick works and demonstrate the movements and how to put all the parts together.  Then I walk around and critique each student and offer tips specific to their difficulty.  It’s really great when someone helps with that part.

You may never actually teach a workshop, but you can be ready if you ever need to.

You haven’t truly mastered a skill until you can teach it and pass it on.



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 find out the times of this month’s vision and business meetings, or to attend, please email ija.chair@juggle.org and state which meeting you’re interested in.



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