Hello, everyone! First and foremost, let me clear something up. As far back as the Winston-Salem festival, I have heard rumors and whispers. “I sure hope the Bowling Green festival goes well, because if it doesn’t, I hear it will be the last IJA festival!” And at every festival I’ve been to since, I’ve heard the same rumors. Let me say, as clearly as I know how, in the most public forum available to me: this is simply not true. We’re actively in the process of trying to get a contract signed for our 2014 festival, and already having (exciting) discussions about possibilities for the 2015 festival. I’m not sure how these rumors started or why, but they are nonsense. Don’t panic. And if you hear people continuing to spread this, cut it off; make sure people know that not only aren’t our festivals going away any time soon, they are actually getting more and more exciting. I appreciate the help; I’ve spent a year trying to quell these rumors on my own, and apparently I need more voices.
So all that foolishness being said, you really should be going to Bowling Green anyway! Plans continue to roll onward at an incredible pace. Kim Laird has been hard at work with people on the ground in Bowling Green, and things are really coming together. We have several confirmed performers: Svetlana Zueva and Jeton the Gentleman Juggler are already onboard, with other performers to follow. Jay Gilligan and Steven Ragatz will be offering special workshops. Laura Ernst is working on this year’s busking competition. The Fun Fund committee led by Warren Hammond is well underway, bringing back some popular ideas from past festivals as well as new projects. Our new holiday registration closed, and apparently you folks were big fans. The registration for the festival is already looking really healthy. So don’t miss it. Tell your friends. Tell your enemies. Tell everybody. And I’ll see you in Bowling Green.
I’ll discuss more details for future festivals once they are firmed up. The leading candidate for 2014 is another college setting within the U.S., complete with low cost housing options and other considerations to help keep your overall festival cost lower. As excited as I am about 2015, it is way too early to say much. I will say that we’re exploring more non-traditional festival arrangements, some of which are outside the United States.
Meeting minutes. It is always our intent to make the minutes of our board meetings available to the public, but we had fallen behind on that. They aren’t the most exciting reading in the world, but for anyone who is really interested in what we’re up to, or would like to get more involved, you can now see minutes for all meetings through December here. January minutes will be published once they are approved in the February meeting; that is how this works. Don’t be confused by the Archive section on that page. It is listing the months things were posted, which isn’t necessarily the month the meeting took place. So if you click on September 2012 and get minutes from July 2012, don’t be alarmed.
With the success of last year’s Mexico IRC, and the recent successes in Brazil and Chile, the IJA will be returning to Mexico in 2013! We’re really excited about the continued growth of the IRC’s. For those lucky enough to be able to attend and participate, everyone agrees they have been incredible. For those of us watching from afar, they’re giving us a fantastic window into the incredible juggling going on in Mexico and South America.
Speaking of the IRC’s, if you are an IJA member, hopefully you were able to view the member’s only video from the Brazil IRC. If you aren’t a member, think about it… These days your $30 for adult membership gets you access to our festival, and the Vendor Discount Program, and insurance, and members-only articles here on eJuggle, and an increasingly large library of members-only video. From Wes Peden to IJA champion Etoh Satoshi to the Brazil IRC, with more to come in the next few months, and new benefits being considered, this is really a pretty good deal. But beyond that, your membership fees help to support the programs the IJA is running. Thom Wall is ramping up this year’s Video Tutorial Contest. The IRC competitions require funding for IJA participation. The promotion and support we do for World Juggling Day costs money. The YEP program, which is training jugglers to introduce children to the world of circus arts is blossoming and thriving, but it can’t do so without funding. We are all about rendering assistance to fellow jugglers, but we can’t always do what we want to do without your help. I honestly think we’re at a point where your membership fee is a solid investment just in terms of the benefits you get. But beyond that you’re supporting a lot of well-liked programs to help other jugglers and promote juggling throughout the world. That has to be worth something…
I hope this finds you well. Keep ’em in the air. As the festival creeps closer, I’ll be starting to reach out to more and more of you about teaching workshops in Bowling Green, but feel free to reach out to me first if you’d like to teach a workshop!