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About ISPA


CEO Greeting

David Baile

Welcome to ISPA, the International Society for the Performing Arts, and thank you for visiting our new website! We have been working over the past year to optimize the website for whichever device you are using. We hope you find the site clear and seamless to navigate but don’t hesitate to send us your feedback.

ISPA is a global network of 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?

ISPA is:

  • A meeting place – we hold two Congresses every year – one in New York and one in a different global city
  • Your resource for expanding your personal and professional network
  • Where you will learn about performing arts in different regions of the world
  • How you keep up to date on issues, challenges, and solutions from your colleagues around the world
  • About facilitating emerging and mid-career leaders in their careers both locally and internationally
  • Stronger with your participation!

As we approach our 75th anniversary, I hope you’ll join us at ISPA, where you’ll discover your next great idea!

About David


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

Strategic Plan

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

Organizational Effectivenes

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.

Learn More

Leadership - Board of Directors

Mary Lou Aleskie
Board Chair

Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College

Tisa Ho
Board Chair-Elect

Executive Director
Hong Kong Arts Festival

Maria Claudia Parias
Vice Chair

Batuta Foundation

Ian Smith

European Music Council

Alicia Adams

Vice President, International Programming & Dance
John F Kennedy Center

David Baile

Chief Executive Officer

Jim Beirne MBE

Chief Executive
Live Theatre
United Kingdom

Marc Blondeau

Place des Arts

Collette Brennan

Chief Executive Officer
Abbotsford Convent Foundation

Tim Brinkman

G Live
United Kingdom

Jeff Daniel

Broadway Across America

Rebecca Dawson

Executive Director
United Kingdom

Åsa Edgren

CEO/Managing Director
Loco World

Alison Friedman

Artistic Director, Performing Arts
West Kowloon Cultural District Authority

Judy Harquail

Ontario Presents

Emil Kang

Executive and Artistic Director
Carolina Performing Arts - UNC Chapel Hill

Gaurav Kripalani

Artistic/Managing Director
Singapore International Festival of Arts

Igor Lozada Rivera Melo

Universidad de Guadalajara (Cultura UDG)

Steinunn Ragnarsdóttir

Chief Executive Officer
Icelandic Opera

Simon Reinink

Managing Director
Het Concertgebouw N.V.

Piotr Turkiewicz

Head of International Development & Programming/Artistic Director
National Forum of Music/Jazztopad Festival

Aurea Vieira-Goncalves

International Advisor
SESC - Servico Social do Comercio

Max Wagner

Managing Director
Gasteig Muenchen GmbH

Michelle Witt

Executive and Artistic Director
Meany Center for the Performing Arts

Hanako Yamaguchi

Director, Music Programming
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.


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


Marc Blondeau, Place des Arts, Canada

Committee Members

Elizabeth Bradley, Tisch School of the Arts, USA
Judith Lisi, David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, USA
Ian Smith, European Music Council, Germany
Sarah Verge, Artifax Software, United Kingdom


Emil J. Kang, Carolina Performing Arts - UNC Chapel Hill, USA

Committee Members

Leonard Auerbach, Auerbach Pollock Friedlander, USA
Dani Fecko, Fascinator Management, Canada
Peter H. Gistelinck, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, USA
Rika Iino, Sozo Artists, Inc., USA
Aurea Vieira-Goncalves, SESC - Servico Social do Comercio, Brazil
Denisse Flores Somarriba, Cultura UDG, Mexico
Emma Stenning Bristol Old Vic, United Kingdom
Anna M. Thompson, Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, USA
Daniel Weinzweig, Searchlight Recruitment Inc., Canada


Mary Lou Aleskie, Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College, USA

Committee Members

Alicia B. Adams, John F Kennedy Center, USA
Jim Beirne, Live Theatre, United Kingdom
Marc Blondeau, Place des Arts, Canada
Rebecca Dawson, Punchdrunk, United Kingdom
Tisa Ho, Hong Kong Arts Festival Society, China
Emil J. Kang, Carolina Performing Arts - UNC Chapel Hill, USA
Maria Claudia Parias, Batuta Foundation, Colombia
Steinunn B. Ragnarsdóttir, Icelandic Opera, Iceland
Ian Smith, European Music Council, Germany
Piotr Turkiewicz, National Forum of Music, Poland
Michelle M. Witt, Meany Center for the Performing Arts, USA


Ian Smith, European Music Council, Germany

Committee Members

Fannie Bellefeuille, RUBBERBANDance Group, Canada
Ragnar Berthling, Musikcentrum Öst, Sweden
Julia Glawe, Milwaukee Ballet, USA
Alfonso Leal del Ojo, Dunedin Consort, United Kingdom
Colleen A. Smith, Canada
George Trudeau, Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State, USA
Sarah Verge, Artifax Software Limited, United Kingdom


Steinunn B. Ragnarsdóttir, Icelandic Opera, Iceland

Committee Members

Rasmus Adrian, Hotel Pro Forma, Denmark
Ane Alsløv, Danish Agency for Culture, Denmark
Paul Fitzpatrick, Imaginate, United Kingdom
Margaret Genovese, Genovese Vanderhoof & Associates, Canada
Carl Giegold,Threshold Acoustics LLC, USA
Andrew Manning, European Concert Hall Organization, Belgium
Max Wagner, Gasteig Muenchen GmbH, Germany


Jim Beirne, Live Theatre, United Kingdom

Committee Members

Mary Lou Aleskie, Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College, USA
Tisa Ho, Hong Kong Arts Festival Society, China
Gaurav Kripalani, Singapore International Festival, Arts House Limited, Singapore
Allen Moon, David Lieberman Artists' Representatives, USA
Maria Claudia Parias, Batuta Foundation, Colombia
Anthony Sargent CBE, LUMINATO - Toronto Festival of Arts & Creativity, Canada


Rebecca Dawson, Punchdrunk, United Kingdom
Piotr Turkiewicz, National Forum of Music, Poland

Committee Members

Kai Amberla, Findlan Festivals, Finland
Cathie Boyd, Cryptic, United Kingdom
Tim Brinkman, G Live Guildford, United Kingdom
Marie-Christine Dufour, Lemieux Pilon 4D Art, Canada
Åsa Edgren, Loco World, Sweden
Cindy Hwang, InPulse Creatives LLC., United States
Simon Reinink, Het Concertgebouw N.V., Netherlands
Michael Stevens, Fiery Angel Ltd., United Kingdom
Hanako Yamaguchi, DirLincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., USA


Michelle W. Witt, Meany Center for the Performing Arts, USA


Judy Harquail, Ontario Presents, Canada

Committee Members

Lene Bang Henningsen, Lene Bang Org, Denmark
Thorben Dittes, Sage Gateshead, United Kingdom
Kristopher McDowell, KMP Artists, USA
Shoshana Polanco, La Teatreria, Mexico
Rob Robbins, Alliance Artist Management, USA
Jaume Soler, SoundArts Consulting Inc., USA
Peter Wilgotsson, Musik i Syd, Sweden


David Baile

Chief Executive Officer
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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.

Ann Pattan

Manager of Membership & Events
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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.

Minji Kim

Communications & Events Coordinator
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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.

Nora Fleury

Program and Development Associate
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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

Finance Consultant
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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.

Sissi Xiqian Chen

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Sissi Xiqian Chen is an MA student at NYU's Performing Arts Administration program interested in musical theater. With the academic background of Journalism and Communication Studies, her work now focuses on the global cross-cultural intercommunication and especially theater industrial collaboration between East Asia and the United States.