Juggheads Youth Juggling Company's grand finale after a 31-year run

Under the glow of theater lights, confidence blossoms as young people find a place where the mind meets the physical through the art of juggling. 

For 31 years, Paul Arneberg has dedicated himself to this mission, using juggling as a tool to change lives.

Arneberg believes juggling empowers young individuals to set and achieve goals, from the simple act of juggling one ball back and forth to competing internationally and winning medals. 

"It's an inherently healthy mental, physical, and social youth development tool," Arneberg explains.

It all began when Arneberg received a set of bean bags as a gift during his college years. He started sharing his hobby with kids as a camp counselor and eventually founded Juggheads Youth Juggling Company. 

All these years later, over a thousand youths have participated in the program, making close friendships and developing their personal skills.

"I've made a bunch of my close friends through the program, and I've also just learned how to be a more personable person," Maria Hadjiyanis, a Juggheads student, said.

Unfortunately, Maria and her fellow jugglers will be among the last to experience the program, as this marks the Juggheads' final performance.

Arneberg attributes the closure to the devastating impact of the pandemic. Lockdowns and social distancing measures led to a sharp decline in enrollment, and the company was unable to recover. 

"But rather than fizzle out or go away with our tail tucked between our legs, we're doing it with a big grand hoorah," said Arneberg.

With the theater lights dimming on three decades of fun, Juggheads Youth Juggling Company is going out the only way they know how — with one grand finale. Despite the bittersweet ending, the company takes pride in ending on a strong note, cherishing the positive impact they have had on the lives of young jugglers throughout the years.