The Legend of the Great Spirits of Jugglingcraft

(If you’re suddenly very confused, it might help to read last week’s post first, after, or at some random point in the middle of this.)

Once upon a dark and stormy night, in a nearby land, a child cried out in boredom. This cry was followed shortly by another more terrible cry… the sound of the child’s parent. The powers of these cries echoed across the land, floated up the Potomac, swung from tree to tree into the misty mountains, and eventually but surely reached the quiet abode of

THE GREAT SPIRITS OF JUGGLINGCRAFT

Caught in the midst of a fierce debate over the exact weight of the perfect juggling ball, the Great Grandmama Spirit and Grandson Spirit of Jugglingcraft suddenly fell silent, heads turned to better catch the echoes.

Their hearts were moved at these pitiful sounds of boredom, frustration, Zoom meetings and idle hands wafting up from the region. With great dedication (and relief for Grandson who had been losing the argument), the two great spirits and their loyal pup set to work.

Each juggling set was meticulously assembled of the finest, upcycled, recycled and regularly printed materials. Each individual juggling ball’s contents was measured precisely with kitchen spoons, and the final product was inspected with a master’s eye, infused with the joy of learning new things, and neatly tucked into a patented plastic-juggling-ball-bundle with a nifty set of beginner-friendly, easy-to-understand instructions, and sealed with a beautiful sticker. Each bundle was a work of art; a masterpiece.

When all the juggling bundles were finished with love and packed into the handy dandy carrying case from their favorite circus organization, the Great Spirits of Jugglingcraft rested. Grandmama Spirit invited Grandson Spirit to sit with her on the seat in front of their wooded abode.

“Grandson,” she said to him in a quivering voice thousands of years old, “you have worked hard and become a great master of the ancient jugglingcraft. These are skills and techniques that have been passed down since the very beginning of the universe itself. I am growing older, and it is time that you inherit our ways. We have reached the end of an era. There are new styles that need to be invented, new kinds of juggling balls to make, new ways of juggling heretofore unknown.” She paused to catch her breath.

“I want you to come with me on this trip,” Grandmama Spirit said. “Let us journey together to the District of Columbia and its surrounding lands to bring these good people the joy of juggling.” At these words, Grandson Spirit leapt up, filled with joy and pride.

“I will try hard, and I won’t let you down!” he said.

And so, off they went.

Down the mountain slopes, navigated the great forest…

…passed over treacherous landscapes…

…and through strange and foreign spaces.

After a long and difficult journey, they arrived at their first destination: a place of thoughts, hopes and dreams. Carefully avoiding any passerbys, the pair of Spirits carefully placed one of the lovingly crafted juggling kits for a curious soul to find.

This was only the beginning though. They had a lot of work ahead of them, and a lot of distance to travel. There were many curious things in this world, and they tried their best to stay focused on the task at hand. Mostly.

Using a variety of stealthy transportation options, they soon arrived at the next of many, many, many Little Free Libraries– the best method for bringing the joy of juggling to all people of the DMV! With great secrecy, the Spirits secreted away this bundle of juggling goodness into the Little Free Library.

After this victory, they went on to hide bundles of juggling balls in Little Free Libraries all across the District, Maryland and Virginia (but not too far out, because they were traveling by scooter after all). From neighborhood to neighborhood, east to west to north to south, the Great Spirits of Jugglingcraft journeyed to bring the joy of juggling to the people of the District.

Grandson Spirit learned all the magical ways to travel, to bring a juggle bundle to even the most populated areas without being seen, and most importantly, to make sure his hand wasn’t caught in the door when Grandmama Spirit was in a rush.

After a long day, their work was finally done. The joy of juggling had been brought far and wide, and now that Grandson Spirit knew the way, he could continue to journey down the mountain and through the woods and take the S2 bus to deliver new juggling ball kits throughout the dark and cold DC winter to children and their parents. Because juggling is for everyone: old and young, thrill-seekers and patient perseverers, the easily bored and the hyperactive.

With an empty carrying sack and light hearts, the Grandmama and Grandson Spirits of Jugglingcraft made their way home, and celebrated with a well-earned relaxation.

They all lived happily ever after.

THE END.


And with that oddity,
dear friends, we’d like to bid you happy holidays,
a great Hanukah, merry Christmas, cheery Kwanza, delicious Ōmisoka,
and a brilliant New Year with Peace and Circus for all,

Christian & Lottie


Behind the Scenes Making of:
The Legend of the Great Spirits of Jugglingcraft

You can read more about the Free Juggling Ball Project in last week’s post. Special thanks to local artists, Pablo and Rodin, for their beautiful masks and embodying the Spirits of Jugglingcraft.

*Please note: The 5 members of the Jugglingcraft Project operated as an isolated “bubble” before and during the production of this project, so you won’t see any facemasks in these photos while we’re indoors. We bubbled to keep us safe and you safe while we assembled your juggling ball kits. While all kits did additionally sit for at least two weeks after assembly and before distribution, we recommend using alcohol to wipe down the surfaces before use. It’s always a good idea to make sure your equipment is clean, even in normal times.


Found a juggling ball in your nearby Little Free Library?

A mysterious thing is occurring across the city…

Juggling ball kits are appearing in Little Free Libraries! How can this be?

On an exceptionally rainy weekday evening earlier this fall, a clandestine operation was taking place in Takoma. The infamous Thom Wall, of Philadelphia’s Modern Vaudeville Press, ran across the street hugging a giant black trash bag nearly bursting with *dramatic music plays* empty plastic balls. He deposited the bag into the open trunk of a nondescript white vehicle, and ran back to gather an additional box of Supplementary Materials. Meanwhile, the owner of the nondescript white vehicle began to plot a secret route to acquire the valuable Ball Filling Supplies. Thus was the beginning of the Great DC Juggling Ball Project! *more dramatic music*

At least, it happened more or less like that.

As the Modern Vaudeville Press explains,

Thanks to an incredible donation from the Flea Theater in New York City, Modern Vaudeville Press has found itself in a unique position — we have supplies to make some 3,500 juggling balls using mostly upcycled materials. With this shell donation, we can make hundreds of juggling kits to give away at extremely low cost / free to community programs all along the East Coast.

And we just had to get involved. Who knows which of these lucky finders may become the world’s next famous juggler? We requested help from some local friends, and have so far assembled and distributed 50 free juggling kits for the joy and amusement of people of all ages across the DC area.

Who are those juggling-ball-assembling friends, you may ask? Why, the Great Spirits of Jugglingcraft, of course. Next week, you can follow their story as they made their magical visit down to DC.

And if you haven’t found a set yet, don’t worry.

Maybe the Spirits of Jugglingcraft will hear your plea, descending from their foresty mountain home to leave a kit sometime this winter….

Spirits of Jugglingcraft prepare juggling balls

Sunset & Chill S2E2

May 25th @ 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Join Sunset & Chill this spring for their usual line-up of great music, awesome vendors and uninterrupted flow artistry. Show up early for a $5 yoga class, stay late for the amazing DJs and mesmerizing fire circle.

Cost:
$10 GA tickets at the door (cash or card)
$5 12-under with adult
$5 fire spinners
FREE for guests wearing Sunset and Chill merchandise (available here).

If you wish to spin fire, you must attend one of the two safety meetings (7 p.m. or 8 p.m.). Once you have completed the safety training, you will receive a bracelet to

Activity/Music Schedule:

6-7 p.m. Yoga with Nicky Pham
7-10 p.m.: Fire Spinning + Music by Marko Peli, SHAFT XXL and Raptorstein

Check out the Facebook event page for more information.

Note: This event has zero tolerance for racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, unsolicited touching or any other oppressive behavior. Please report any of this behavior to Wade, Sam or Ethan. Please send anonymous reports to sunsetandchilldc@gmail.com. All reports will receive a response within 24 hours.

Olde City Farm and Garden
925 Rhode Island Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

Juggle Jam @ CHAW

May 17th @ 6-7 p.m.

Visit the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop for this casual and fun class devoted to the unparalleled joys of juggling. The workshop begins with a brief demo, moves into hands-on practice and concludes with a collaborative performance. No experience necessary, and all equipment is provided.

Feel free to RSVP at the Facebook event page. Cost is a $5 suggested donation to CHAW’s tuition assistance fund.

About the artist: Christian Kloc learned to juggle at age six after seeing the Flying Karamazov Brothers perform. What started as a basic trick became an obsession. Christian grew up attending juggling festivals across the country and performing at local events. After 25 years, he is still surprised and amazed by the power of that ‘basic trick’ to change lives and cause spontaneous outbursts of fun in the world.

Capitol Hill Arts Workshop
545 7th St. SE
Washington, D.C. 20003

Empathy Media Lab — Spring Variety Art Show

April 27th @ 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Embrace a Saturday full of quality entertainment at the Spring Variety Art Show, including flow arts, live music, DJs, comedy and food vendors. If you can’t see the show in person, be sure to log on to the Live Stream on Empathy Media Lab’s Facebook page. The suggested donation for admission is $10. Performances start at 6 p.m.

Food by Max’s Meats (Brazilian Churrasco)

Flow artists:
Jeremy ‘SaymoSaymo’ Manson — Juggling cigar boxes
Melly Huang — Expressions through fire
Malaka Hasz — Fire hoops
KutMaster Breezy — Shaolin fire staff
B-Swiz / D-Watz — Poi

Empathy Media Lab
5512 Taylor Road
Riverdale, MD 20737

Silver Spring Flow Arts Night

May 1st @ 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Bring your favorite LED props (no fire) to Silver Spring for a night of spinning, juggling and flow arts. Groove to a soundtrack curated by local flow artists and check out demonstrations by Flow & Fly yoga (www.flowandflyyoga.com).

Check out the Facebook event page here.

Silver Spring Town Center
1 Veterans Place
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Congress of Jugglers @ UMD

May 3rd – 5th @ Ritchie Coliseum

Enjoy three days of juggling euphoria at the University of Maryland during the Congress of Jugglers, an annual celebration of juggling, fire spinning, circus and variety arts. This event is free and open to all ages and skill levels. The festival starts on Friday (4 p.m.-Midnight), continues all day Saturday (11 a.m.-Midnight) and concludes on Sunday (11 a.m.-6 p.m.). Fire juggling will happen on Friday and Saturday night.

On Saturday evening (8 p.m.), enjoy a juggling show featuring a tremendous array of local talent. There will also be juggling games and workshops throughout the weekend.

Want to help organize, run a workshop, suggest a game or perform in the show? Contact the UMD Juggling Club by messaging them on their Facebook event page or email umdjugglingclub@gmail.com.

All events will take place at:

Ritchie Coliseum
7675 Baltimore Ave.
College Park, MD 20740

Gymkana Homeshow 2019

March 29th and 30th @ 7 p.m.

Witness the incredible feats of the University of Maryland’s long-running (and long-flipping) gymnastics troupe at the Gymkana Homeshow. In this two-hour extravaganza, you’ll see trampoline, juggling, tumbling, partner balancing, and jumping through hoops of fire, among other electrifying acts.

Get tickets at this link.

Xfinity Center
8500 Paint Branch Drive
College Park, MD 20742

Cirque Goes Hollywood with BSO

April 4th @ 8 p.m. (Strathmore)

April 5th/6th @ 8 p.m. and April 7th @ 3 p.m. (Meyerhoff)

Behold great feats of acrobatics, aerials, juggling and more by Troupe Vertigo, set to live Hollywood hits played by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Get tickets at this link.

The Music Center at Strathmore
5301 Tuckerman Lane
Bethesda, MD 20852

Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
1212 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Juggle Jam @ CHAW

March 8th @ 6-7 p.m.

Visit the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop for this all-ages, all-levels and never-not-fun class devoted to the unparalleled joys of juggling. The workshop begins with a brief demo, moves into hands-on practice and concludes with a collaborative performance. No experience necessary and all equipment is provided.

RSVP at the Facebook event page. $5 suggested donation to CHAW’s tuition assistance fund.

About the artist: Christian Kloc learned to juggle at age six after seeing the Flying Karamazov Brothers perform. What started as a basic trick became an obsession. Christian grew up attending juggling festivals across the country and performing at local events. After 25 years, he is still surprised and amazed by the power of that ‘basic trick’ to change lives and cause spontaneous outbursts of fun in the world.

Capitol Hill Arts Workshop
545 7th St. SE
Washington, D.C. 20003