Message from the Chair, June 2013

Hello, and hope this message finds you all well! It is a good time to be a juggler; let me remind you a few of the reasons.

World Juggling Day is almost upon us. On June 15th, join jugglers around the world in celebrating what we do and the wide range of reasons we do it. Whether you choose to juggle alone, juggle with others, teach someone new to juggle, learn something new, participate in the IJA-driven WJD programs, etc. etc., make sure you carve out some time to really appreciate juggling. Visit our Facebook page for the event to learn more about what we’re doing, and how you can be a part of it. I’ll be traveling in Europe at that time, so I plan to do a little international juggling of my own…

Our festival draws closer. Just a little over a month until I’ll be seeing many of you in Bowling Green, Ohio. The details continue to come together. The list of special guests includes Jonglissimo, Markus Furtner, Jeton the Gentleman Juggler, Svetlana Zueva, Steven Ragatz, Jay Gilligan, Rob Torres, and Thomas Dietz. Not just one, but three of our guests (Thomas Dietz, Steven Ragatz, and Jay Gilligan) will be running special workshops during the festival. We had a huge number of entries for the championships, so I expect them to be pretty epic. The workshop lineup is coming together, but we can always use more; you can volunteer to teach a workshop here. And in addition to all the great festival features you are accustomed to, get ready for Open Stage, the return of the Busking Competition, an improved Juggling History Lounge, a supervised Kids Corner for parents who need some help enjoying the festival, fire nights, and lots more. If you are still sitting the fence about coming, allow me to push you off the fence onto our side. You really want to be there.

While you are all getting pumped up for the 2013 festival, we are already at work trying to line things up for the 2014 festival. We’re happy to announce we have now finalized details for our 2014 site. The 2014 IJA Festival will be held at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. We’re excited to have lined up another university setting for the festival. It will once again feature low-cost university housing to try to keep your costs for the week low. I’m assured the facilities are gorgeous, and more than adequate for our needs. We’re aware that this is just a few hours from Bowling Green, and this is a big country (and an even bigger world). It is hard to get everything you want in one reasonably priced package, and the other things Purdue brought to the table were too attractive to pass up. Future festivals will move around more. But for 2014, I think you’ll all be very happy at Purdue. I’ll see you there.

As a reminder, one of the benefits of being an IJA member is that you can take advantage of our Vendor Discount Program, where a variety of vendors provide goods and services at a discount to our members. I’d like to welcome Three Finger Juggling to the program, starting right now. We try to provide a wide variety of props and services through this program, and Three Finger nicely complements the existing set of vendors by providing a variety of “danger props.” If you’re looking for knives, axes, or cleavers, check them out. You can see a summary of the participating vendors and discounts here. If you are a vendor who would like to join the program, drop us an e-mail to learn more.

We did have one rather strange thing happen since I last wrote to you. Every year at our festival, we hold an election to update the members of our board of directors. This year three positions open up, and as the deadline passed for board nominations we received… zero. Not a one. We get lots of feedback that people like the festival. You like the work the IJA is doing around the world with our regional competitions. You like the work we do to make World Juggling Day something special. And so on. And sometimes we very clearly get the message that you don’t like what we’re doing, or how we’re doing it. But nothing happens without the work of volunteers, and most big decisions require the dedication of a board of directors. If you want to make sure the IJA is able to effectively keep doing the things we’re doing, and you think you could help, think about running for the board. If you don’t like what we’re doing, and you think you could do better, think about running for the board. If you are scoffing at the idea, then you are in the same boat I was in just a few years ago, and I’m now writing to you as the chair. Getting things done requires dedicated members that are willing to do some work to shape this organization into the one they want. We’ve extended the deadline to June 17th, and we have received two nominations for candidates already. Be a part of something kinda awesome…

Dave returned to the world of juggling in 2010 after a 20 year hiatus. He currently chairs the Board of Directors of the IJA, teaches juggling to middle school kids, and is a spectacularly average juggler. In his real life, he lives in the Bay Area, CA and is a software engineer, working on Yahoo! Fantasy Sports.

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