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|About ISPA - ISPA International Society for the Performing Arts|
Welcome to ISPA, the International Society for the Performing Arts, and thank you for visiting our website! While ISPA is very much about the personal connection, electronic communication and social media are key to keeping us connected throughout the year.
ISPA is a global network of more than 500 leaders in the performing arts with representation from more than 185 cities and all regions of the globe. ISPA members include facilities, performing arts organizations, artist managers, festivals, funders, consultants and other professionals working in the performing arts.
But what does that mean?
As we approach our 75th anniversary, I hope you’ll join us at ISPA, where you will discover your next great idea!
The mission of the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) is to strengthen the performing arts globally through the advancement of leadership, the exchange of ideas, and by fostering a diverse and engaged membership.
To be a leading global network of diverse cultural professionals, reflecting the entire ecosystem of the performing arts. This network will strengthen communities, and further develop and promote the appreciation and recognition of the importance of the arts to society.
As an organization we aspire to uphold a set of commonly held values as follows:
Professional Integrity and Excellence
Acting with honesty, integrity, and openness to achieve the highest quality in our own work and in that of our members'
Collaboration and Cooperation
Promoting collaboration, cooperation and partnership among members and with others globally
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Proactively ensuring the right of all members to participate without discrimination, including with respect to: political and/or religious beliefs, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic circumstances, national origin, race, age, or disability
The strategic plan was adopted by the Board of Directors at its meeting in May 2017 in Montreal. The plan articulates three specific goals and outlines the strategic framework through which we will achieve the goals. The plan will guide ISPA's priorities through 2021.
View the plan
ISPA is committed to transparency and clarity. We believe that as custodians of our members’ fees and recipient of contributions from the broader public, we have a responsibility to the proper stewardship of these funds. Click below to review financial information from our most recently audited fiscal year as well as request additional information.
ISPA acknowledges the existence of climate change and will contribute to the stewardship of our planet in the various aspects of our day-to-day operations as well as our congresses, both in New York and internationally. Where possible, we strive to limit emissions, conserve water, use renewable energy sources, move toward zero waste, reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Look for the leaf symbol () in our congress information to find ISPA’s sustainability in action.
Leadership - Board of Directors
Head of International Development & Programming/Artistic Director
Board Leadership History
1949 Patrick Hayes
1956 Roland Chesley
1964 Harold Jordan
1972 Patrick Hayes
1979 Earl Williams
1987 Geoffrey Butler
1991 Richard Pulford
1998 Judith Allen
2006 Martha Jones
2013 Anthony Sargent
Committee participants must be a member in good standing and work full-time in the performing arts or related field. In addition to the committees listed below, there are three sub-committees, Fellowship, Annual Congress Planning, and Pitch New Works which report to the Program Committee and an Investment Committee which reports to the Finance Committee. The Board Chair and CEO are Ex-Officio on all standing committees. Interested in serving on a committee? Contact David Baile at dbaile[at]ispa[dot]org
Simon Reinink, Het Concertgebouw, Netherlands
Elizabeth Bradley, Tisch School of the Arts, USA
Emil J. Kang, Carolina Performing Arts - UNC Chapel Hill, USA
Leonard Auerbach, Auerbach Pollock Friedlander, USA
Tisa Ho, Hong Kong Arts Festival Society, China
Alicia B. Adams, John F Kennedy Center, USA
Ian Smith, European Music Council, Germany
Fannie Bellefeuille, RUBBERBANDance Group, Canada
Steinunn B. Ragnarsdóttir, Icelandic Opera, Iceland
Ane Alsløv, Danish Agency for Culture, Denmark
Rasmus Adrian, Hotel Pro Forma, Denmark
Jim Beirne, Live Theatre, UK
Gaurav Kripalani, Singapore International Festival of Arts, Singapore
Mary Lou Aleskie, Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth
Rebecca Dawson, Punchdrunk, UK
Kai Amberla, Findlan Festivals, Finland
Michelle W. Witt, Meany Center for the Performing Arts, USA
Shoshana Polanco, La Teatreria, Mexico
Lene Bang Henningsen, Lene Bang Org, Denmark
Chief Executive Officer
David Baile is the Chief Executive Officer of the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) based in New York. ISPA is an international network of more than 400 leaders in the performing arts from 50 countries. Prior to joining ISPA in 2007, David enjoyed a 20-year career in the arts in Toronto in both management and consulting roles and in a variety of disciplines including contemporary dance, theatre, literary arts, and music. For the 7 years prior to ISPA, David was the General Manager of Opera Atelier, an internationally renowned company noted for its period productions of baroque opera/ballet. Prior to this appointment, David was the Managing Director of Factory Theatre. In his current capacity, he is a frequent speaker and contributor with a variety of global organizations including the Shanghai Performing Arts Fair, Association of British Orchestras, Sphinx Organization and Association of Asian Pacific Performing Arts Centres to name but a few. He holds an Honours B.A. in Urban Development from the University of Western Ontario. In addition to his professional involvement in the arts, David is also very active with volunteer positions including past membership on the Mayor’s Round Table on Arts and Culture (Toronto) and positions on the Board of the Toronto Arts Council (Chair of the Large Institutions Committee), and OPERA America. He is a Chief Executive Global Fellow of National Arts Strategies and currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Master of Arts Management Program at Carnegie Mellon University.
Manager of Membership & Events
An arts administrator who has built a diverse career, Ann's tenure with ISPA began just in time for the 2014 New York Congress. Prior to her time at ISPA, she served as a management consultant for Meredith Monk/The House Foundation, Brooklyn-based Triskelion Arts and Artichoke Dance among others. She worked as a Development Manager for Ballet Hispanico and has held positions with Gallim Dance, The Vail International Dance Festival, Baylin Artists Management, Dance/USA, and The Kennedy Center. She has served on the NY DCA Dance Funding Panel, has been a showcase panelist for South Arts and Arts Midwest, and is an alumnus of the Emerging Leadership Institute at APAP. Ann holds a Master's Degree in Dance and Arts Management from The American University in Washington, DC. She lives with her family in Queens.
Communications & Events Senior Lead
Minji joined ISPA as the Communications and Events Coordinator in October of 2013. Her interest in performing arts and the non-profit sector grew as she interned at Carnegie Hall as a graduate student. Prior to joining ISPA, Minji held various roles in marketing, membership, and fundraising with Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Japan Society, and BAM Música. Before moving to the United States, she worked for Biz Communication & Consulting, a PR agency in Korea, serving various clients in for-profit sectors. She holds a M.A. in Performing Arts Administration from New York University, a M.A. in Mass Communication from the University of Florida, and a B.A. in Public Relations and Advertising from Sookmyung Women’s University. Minji serves on the board of Emerging Leaders of New York Arts (ELNYA) and the Alumni Council of the NYU Performing Arts Administration program.
Program and Development Lead
Nora Fleury is the Program and Development Associate for the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA). Prior to joining ISPA, she held various roles in programming, fundraising, and marketing with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Carnegie Mellon University Master of Arts Management Program, 92nd Street Y, Luminato Festival, and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal. She has a Master of Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University. Having lived and worked in the United States, Canada, and France, Nora values the richness of cultural diversity and the role of the arts in connecting a global community.
Melanie Hopkins is a business management and financial consultant in the New York metropolitan area. Melanie’s career began in the finance departments of nonprofits, but while employing her skills to help an entrepreneurial friend open her business, she discovered a passion for helping business owners become empowered in their financial management. Melanie's client roster is now more than fifty-strong and ranges from human rights nonprofits to artisanal cheese makers to tech startups. She has taught "Artistpreneur" workshops at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts to recent graduates and has been featured as a guest speaker with Emerging Leaders of New York Arts (ELNYA). As a theatre producer, Melanie has produced five seasons with Fault Line Theatre, including the GLAAD award-winning "From White Plains" and "Breathing Time" by Beau Willimon (House of Cards). Melanie is a volunteer crisis counselor with Crisis Text Line and in July 2015 she completed her first (and only) triathlon.
Maria Sofia Hernandez
Maria Sofia Hernandez is a Mexican-American artist and producer. She is a B.A. candidate at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, with a concentration in Theater as an Expression Agent of Social Change, and a minor in the Business of Entertainment, Media and Technology. She founded Microtheater@NYU, and is currently part of the producing team at the Gallatin Arts Festival. Prior to interning at ISPA, she interned at The Old Globe Theater in San Diego. Having lived and worked in the United States, Mexico, Italy and Germany, Maria Sofia strives to participate in work that makes space for voices of previously underrepresented communities and creates conversation between different countries.