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In a sea of options, why choose ISPA?

Thursday, July 28, 2016   (0 Comments)

I don't even remember the season. I just remember walking between them and feeling for the first time that I belonged somewhere.” 

― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The world is full of options but for most of us, resources are limited. As with any purchase, when making an investment in our professional networks, we need to do research and identify the option that best suits our needs personally and professionally.

There are more membership networks out there than there are combinations of letters in the alphabet.  Acronyms abound as does confusion about how and if to participate in one or more of the many membership organizations available. Generally these organizations are targeted to one specific market. The Australia Performing Arts Market and the Association of Asian Pacific Performing Arts Centres are two examples of membership associations focused on a region and activity. These organizations have well-articulated names that outline the general identity of their membership. Similarly, it is pretty clear who will be most interested in Dance/USA. Despite the names of these organizations, they are generally open to those who may not fall within the seemingly narrow constructs but who may have a professional interest in participating in the respective network.

At the International Society for the Performing Arts, both region and activity are broadly construed and though we have a marketplace component, the focus of participation is idea exchange and network development. As we approach our 100th Congress, balancing expectations with innovation is an ongoing challenge. Today, we are pleased to say that ISPA is an increasingly diverse organization and we continue broaden and strengthen that diversity. However, you shouldn’t take our word for it – here is what some of our current members are giving for the reasons they chose ISPA!

Why I chose ISPA


Michael Stevens

Director of Programming

Arts Centre Melbourne

(ISPA Member since 2010)

The first ISPA congress I attended was in New York in 2010. At that stage I was attending about 5 or 6 international conferences annually that were largely characterised by being transaction-focused. ISPA is much more about long-term relationships, and shared interests and aspirations rather than short-term business ends, and is unique in design and atmosphere, and in the quality of the network it opened up. In an increasingly fractured world this is ever more valuable.

Sylvie Krauss

Director, Int'l Tours & Projects

Wu Promotion

(ISPA Member since 2011)

With a European background, a North American second home and a new challenge now living in Asia, the international and diverse ISPA family always makes me feel like a fish in the pond.

The richness of the exchange, the space for new ideas and people as well as the welcoming warmness and trust between the members makes every time a real pleasure to participate. With its long tradition and experience, ISPA is the future.

Allen Moon

Director of Touring & Artist Management

David Lieberman Artists’ Representative

(ISPA Member since 1996)

ISPA’s membership organization model allows for an environment that keeps the aims of the organization in reflection of the aims of the members. Platforms are provided for voices to be heard, content is developed out of the expertise of the members and varied expressions are strongly encouraged. Committees are constantly encouraged to remain responsive to the memberships’ needs in order to allow organizational growth that’s focused tightly on the mission.

Shoshana Polanco

International Producer
La Teatreria

(ISPA Member since 2014)

I remain in ISPA because I believe that in order to be a good arts mover and shaker, I need to be connected with my international colleagues. Otherwise, my work is isolated from the rest of the world. ISPA is a family, and functions as such in between congresses: wherever you travel for business, and even for vacation, you will surely find an ISPA member who will be willing to show you around and share great insight. You will never feel alone.

Judy Harquail

Arts Consultant

(ISPA Member since 2009)

I enjoy being a member of organizations like ISPA because they provide a window and connection into an international conversation. As the world in which we live continues to get smaller, it is important for the cultural community to have organizations like ISPA where we can gather to meet new people, hear important stories, get new ideas, be inspired by the work of our colleagues who are living in parts of the world where it’s a struggle to be an artist and to just generally rejuvenate oneself.

ISPA by the Numbers

498 Members 56 Countries

Regional representation

>> Visit Member Directory

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