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Spotlight on You | Getting to know Joan Picanyol

Wednesday, December 5, 2012   (0 Comments)

Spotlight on You | Getting to know Joan Picanyol

Joan Picanyol

At the young age of 33, Joan Picanyol has already enjoyed an impressive career having worked at the top levels of some of Spain’s important performing arts organizations. With a resume showing studies in management design, international relations, brand management, and a Masters in Business Administration it’s clear Joan has a handle on the many challenging facets that affect arts organizations.

An ISPA member since 2008, Joan is currently the International Relations Manager at the Teatro Español. Dating back to 1565, Teatro Español has a rich history of presenting theatre to the residents and visitors of Madrid. Once a medieval farmyard that presented small shows, today the Teatro Español presents a range of performing arts including theatre, music, and dance in its three halls and café.

Teatro Espanol In addition to his role at Teatro Español, in 2012 Joan was the Director of Madrid’s first Fringe Festival where he was responsible for the festival’s design, implementation, and execution. Previously, Joan was the Subdirector at the Niemeyer Center for four years where he is proud to have worked on such productions as the Bridge Project with Kevin Spacey as well as the 20th Anniversary celebration of The Alchemist.

 When people ask Joan why he has decided to pursue a career in performing arts management, he says:

"because I have been very lucky and have had the chance to work with inspiring friends and professionals who have always helped me to grow and go beyond. At the same time, the arts have lead me to different positions in diverse sides of the arts at all levels. Never as an artist, but in any other role, and it is always fun!”

Teatro EspanolIt’s no secret that Spain has experienced a recent economic downturn. Joan explains:

"The Argentinians are known to be exaggerated (we all know Ricardo Kugler), but it seems true that in the hard years following the debt crisis, a hundred spaces for the performing arts opened in the Buenos Aires. There is something of that spirit going on in Madrid. For example, last summer Fringe Madrid gathered 37 companies from all over Spain and 6 other countries. Innovative spaces like Microteatro por dinero are selling out every night 5 times over. The performing arts are alive in Spain because there is talent, good ideas and passion. However, the situation is severe. Beyond the budget cuts, the government isn’t helping. Since the last reform, the arts have become considered a luxury good by the Spanish tax law and, the VAT on the arts is now the highest in the EU at 21%. So the real problem is the system, with 50% of Spain’s young workforce currently unemployed. This is the most prepared generation of Spaniards ever: they have Masters degrees, international experiences, speak several languages, dominate technology and are audacious and brave. The good news is they will be working with you in NY, Cairo, Sydney, Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Seoul or Durban very soon. And they will be passionate about whatever they do.”