Festival Cancellation in Brooklyn Press
Posted April 8, 2011
No Juggling Allowed! Pratt Nixes Juggle Festival!
A student club is told it cannot hold its 10-year-old "Juggle This!" extravaganza ever again.
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
After 10 years of beanbag tossing, unicycle riding, and bowling pin flipping, the Pratt Institute has given the annual “Juggle This!” festival the boot.
Now, members of the school’s Jugglers Anonymous club are wondering whether the showcase of their quirky hobby — which attracted juggling “artists” from around the world and drew some 500 spectators last month — will ever happen again.
"To not have it next year is upsetting" said Melissa Uhl, a senior at Pratt and the president of Juggler's Anonymous. "I know a lot who only come to this festival — that is how they meet other jugglers. It is going to have a big effect on them."
Organizers of the event say that “Juggle This!” was the first of its kind in the city when it began. The festival was not only a stunning display of the art of throwing things in the air and catching them — it was a chance for kids and adults to learn how to do it, too. The weekend-long extravaganza included workshops and lessons in the school gymnasium.
Apparently, several days of juggling-related activities was simply too much for the Pratt administration.
"Liability was the official reason, but they keep beating around the bush about exactly why," Uhl said. "They also said something about the club using the [gymnasium] and not paying money, but we're a student club and we're supposed to be able to use it for free."
A spokeswoman for Pratt said that the juggling festival would not take place on campus again due to renovations to the insitute's auditorium, as well as the amount of space required for the event.
Matt Guzzardo, the founder of the festival, was devastated.
"It has been my baby for 10 years," he said.
Others were in shock.
"It was huge — a highlight of the year for the juggling community," Gardiner said. “People came from all around the region, the country, and the world for it.”
She added that the festival had become a rich tradition; part of the fabric of Pratt.
"It's very rare for such a thing to go on when students have come and gone," said Viveca Gardiner, the producer of the show. "They were the ones putting in all the work and getting motivated to organize the whole thing."
But the loss was not limited to those with bowling pins in their dormitories. Local families also loved the yearly event.
"Everyone around the community knows it so well," Uhl said.
Organizers hoped that “Juggle This!” might live on elsewhere, but expressed doubt about gathering the necessary cash.
"It's probably going to cost a lot more money than the festival makes, because of the cost to rent the space," Uhl said. "Whoever is setting it up would end up losing money.”
See original article here
And very nice photographs here
Note from the JuggleNYC Editors: Posted as received, although we're not crazy about the reporting: bowling pins? Artists in quotes? Yuck! Also, Matt told the reporter he was "disappointed" not "devastated," and Viveca said students "come and go," not that they'd "come and gone," which wrongly implies this is no longer a student festival.