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Physicality and Performing Arts Festival
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MotionFest History:
MotionFest began as a dialog between performers back in 1998 at the Portland Juggling Festival in Portland Oregon. Below is the text of the original proposal. Some of the people listed are no longer involved in the project, but are still listed because they were there at the beginning. This page is here to shed some light on the development and reasons behind the festival.


To All Who Love the Juggling Arts, Greetings and Welcome

This proposal comes from a group of concerned jugglers who believe that juggling should be promoted as a venue for performances, and by artists and audiences willing to make such a venue reality.

There are many juggling festivals with skill workshops, closed competitions and "public" shows but with extremely limited chances for performing and learning performance skills. They do not serve the practical, emotional or creative needs of a lot of people: the artists who perform, the producers who create shows, and the many that love to watch juggling in performance.

Unfortunately, there is presently no festival that focuses on performance, offering rare opportunities for amateurs and professionals to study, discuss mutual concerns, collaborate and work freely on stages in a nurturing environment.

These needs must be met, to see that senior artists continue to create and teach, that young artists are brought forward and helped to develop their craft, and that appreciative audiences are given their rightful due.

In order to ensure the growth and survival of our art, we propose and establish "NEW JUGGLING FESTIVAL '99", produced and performed by "We, The Jugglers", starting from the ground up.

We invite all jugglers who share our concerns to volunteer your talents to create a new event for juggling and jugglers. The following mission statement is in a process of evolution. We welcome your positive response and constructive input, your full participation, intelligence, skill, enthusiasm, ideas, and creative energy.

Mission (The current Mission Statement is posted here.)

  1. To produce a self-supporting, cross-disciplinary annual festival focused on performance of the juggling arts, open to hobbyist, amateur, and professional jugglers.
  2. To recognize jugglers of all ages and skill levels as artists, granting them all creative rights, freedom of expression, and the opportunity to present their work without fear of censure.
  3. To offer workshops focused on performance related skills for children and adults.
  4. To provide a bridge between artists and the industry that supports them through meetings and parties.
  5. To create a fun and nurturing environment where artists can work through experimentation, interaction, presentation, and critique to advance their skill and bring their concepts to fruition, in a setting where new performance concepts can be developed with an acceptance of the initial immaturity of new ideas.
  6. To encourage the exploration of juggling in conjunction with other disciplines such as magic, dance, acrobatics, clowning, comedy, puppetry, western arts, martial arts, poetry, acting, technologies, and mathematics.
  7. To offer appreciative audiences the opportunity to enjoy, support, and further the variety arts.
  8. To establish - as a long term goal - a permanent year round variety arts theater in the United States along the lines of the Wintergarten or Chamaleon Variety Houses in Berlin.

Festival Plans

The working name is "The New Juggling Festival". Suggestions for a final name will be posted, discussed, and voted on by jugglers on "The New Festival Web Site" and "rec. juggling.

Time, date, duration, and location are yet to be set. 1999 will be the event's first year. Juggling clubs and festivals presently running are welcomed to invite The New Festival to cooperate with them in producing the festival.

There will be performance opportunities for everyone. Producers, directors,and respected artists from many disciplines will participate through teaching stage craft workshops, creating and performing public and private shows, offering critique, hosting forums, and partying.

The festival site will have spaces conducive to comfortable performing, workshopping and experimenting.

Festival Structure:

  1. It will be a U.S. non-profit organization.
  2. It will be produced and managed by volunteers.
  3. A core staff, made up of people willing to volunteer their time, will be responsible for the festival operations.
  4. Basic production decisions will be made by consensus of the core staff.
  5. Artistic decisions will be made only by the artists involved.
  6. There will be no memberships, full time or paid staff.
  7. Bylaws will be developed by consensus of the core staff and with public input to ensure that there is no concentration of power or responsibilities in one small group.
  8. All income will be used solely for expenses incurred in the production of the festival, with profits rolled over to the next years' festival.
  9. Funds will be raised through private donations, sponsors, grants, ticket sales and festival fees.


The New Juggling Festival was born at the Portland Juggling Festival, Easter Sunday Morning, 1998.

The Portland Festival, other regional festivals, and the European festivals are the inspirations for creating The New Juggling Festival. Our concern and love for the future of the art of juggling is ourmotivation. If we do nothing to create such an event, then we are to be held responsible for the mediocrity, stagnation, and
creative impotence of our art form.

If you believe that by working together we can create a strong, beautiful, and enduring event, then tag your name onto this "manifesto" and send it to all your colleagues, giving support and best wishes. To join the fun from the bottom, please donate your time and talent to perform, teach, work, or watch.

We welcome all who wish to participate.

Signed and published this day, June 30, 1998

bulletBarry Bakalor
bulletBilly Barrett
bulletNgaio Bealum
bulletCharlie Brown
bulletSandy Brown
bulletAndrew Conway
bulletJim Dorman
bulletGraham Ellis
bulletTim Furst
bulletMichelle Gerdes
bulletSteve Gerdes
bulletBill Giduz
bulletEliot Goldstein
bulletLaura Green
bulletMichael Heatherton
bulletGary Karp
bulletBob Keilor
bulletTom Kidwell
bulletRobert Nelson
bulletAl Plotkin
bulletKaren Quest
bulletMike Rosman
bulletMardene Rubio
bulletNeil Stammer
bulletPete Walbridge
bulletDonna Wood


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