Over the next three days, performers will fling balls, pins and rings in Robertson Gym and Isla Vista Theater all in an effort to raise funds for rape counseling and prevention programs.
The 32nd Annual Isla Vista Juggler’s Festival & Vaudeville Show will take place throughout this weekend, starting tonight at 7:30 p.m. with open juggling in Rob Gym. The festival celebrates the life of Patty Laney, a former UCSB student and juggler, who was raped and murdered 32 years ago. In her memory, all proceeds from the event will go to the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center in downtown Santa Barbara.
Rape Crisis Center spokeswoman Alena Donovan said that the event, while entertaining, is also a great way to educate the community about sexual assault and celebrate Laney’s life through an activity that she had once enjoyed.
“The festival works both to raise awareness about sexual assault in the community and to celebrate the life of Patty Laney, herself a juggler and Rape Center volunteer,” Donovan said.
The event will include juggling demonstrations tonight, tomorrow and Sunday, with a special Vaudeville Show on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in I.V. Theater. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. All other festival events throughout the weekend are free.
Juggling experts from the Santa Barbara Jugglers Association will perform in the gym throughout the weekend to show off their skills and keep beginners from dropping the ball. Experts will be on hand to provide instruction and support.
The history of the event began 32 years ago when Laney’s friends hosted the first Isla Vista Juggler’s Festival two months after the woman’s death. The group held the first juggling festival in Anisq’ Oyo’ Park and donated the income from T-shirt sales to the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center. The event has become an Isla Vista tradition ever since.
“All the proceeds from shirts and tickets sales come directly to us at the Rape Crisis Center,” Donovan said. “The event is a great fundraiser and celebration of Patty’s participation in the community.”