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History and Milestones

HISTORY

Celebrating the 70th Anniversary in 2019!

Explore key milestones in ISPA’s history. To view more stories, click photos.

Jump to:
- 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s

1948

First New York Congress and decision to organize as the National Association of Concert Managers (NACM).

Delegates at New York 1950 Congress
Patrick Hayes

1949

NACM incorporated in Texas and Patrick Hayes is appointed as founding President.

1956

A group of university managers split off to form the Association of College and University Concert Managers (forerunner of APAP).

1970

Organization name changed to International Association of Concert and Festival Managers (IACFM).

1975

Distinguished Artist Award presented for the first time to Beverly Sills.

Beverly Sills

1980

Patrick Hayes Award introduced and bestowed on the award namesake.

ISPA Awards
Clinton Norton and his colleagues

1982

Incorporation of the International Society of Performing Arts Administrators Foundation and the first (part-time, volunteer) Executive Director is appointed, Clinton Norton.

1985

The first philanthropic honoree was acknowledged with Angel Award.

1987

First international congress takes place in London with 200 delegates from 4 countries.

International Citation of Merit established.

1991

Clinton Norton retires, leaving a membership of 480 in 27 countries.

1995

Organizational name changed to the current International Society for the Performing Arts. Click to see the branding history of ISPA.

ISPA Branding History

1997

50th anniversary celebration.

2004

First Latin America Congress held in Mexico City.

Photos from the 2004 Mexico City ISPA Congress

2007

First fellowships introduced.

2008

ISPA office established in New York City.

2013

65th anniversary celebration. Watch the video created in celebration of the 65th anniversary – ISPA members share what it means to be a part of ISPA.

65th anniversary video thumbnail
Bogota 2014 ISPA Congress

2014

Bogotá 2014 ISPA Congress attracts 503 delegates from 37 countries (a record for the international congress).

New branding introduced.

Current ISPA logo

New branding introduced.

2015

First bi-city, bi-country congress held in Malmö, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark.

Malmö/Copenhagen 2015 ISPA Congress
2017 Cohort of ISPA Fellows

2017

10th anniversary of ISPA Fellowship Program celebrated by exceeding more than $1,000,000 grants awarded. Meet past and current ISPA Fellowship Participants.

Montréal 2017 ISPA Congress

ISPA's 100th congress took place in Montréal, Canada.

2018

ISPA membership celebrated a record of 526 strong from 60 countries.

2019

New York 2019 ISPA Congress was sold out with record attendance of 640 delegates from 245 cities and 51 regions.

40th Board Chair Tisa Ho welcomed. View the full list of ISPA Board Leadership

70th anniversary celebrated.