International Explainer: What is ISPA?

The International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA), a global network of over 500 leaders in the performing arts with representation from more than 185 cities and all regions of the globe, includes facilities, performing arts organizations, artist managers, festivals, funders, consultants, and other professionals working in the performing arts.


  • serves as a meeting place, hosting two Congresses every year – one in New York and another in a different global city, along with several regional events annually.
  • acts as a resource for expanding one’s personal and professional network.
  • offers opportunities to learn about performing arts in various regions of the world.
  • facilitates staying up-to-date on issues, challenges, and solutions from colleagues worldwide.
  • focuses on facilitating emerging, mid-career, and established leaders in their careers, both locally and internationally.

What Are ISPA Congresses?

Twice a year, ISPA Congresses bring together performing arts leaders from across the globe to discover the next great idea, and strengthen relationships, fostering connection and exchange.

Who Attends ISPA Congresses?

ISPA congresses are attended by more than 500 leaders from more than 50 regions around the world, representing different genres and disciplines within the performing arts field. Programming is geared toward both established and emerging leaders. Congress attendees include presenters, festivals, producing companies, artist managers, consultants, and government cultural leaders.

What is Pitch New Works?

Developed from a program which originated at the Banff Film and Television Festival in Canada, Pitch New Works is a forum for creators and arts professionals to share and discover new performing arts projects at ISPA congresses. Twice a year, ISPA holds a public call for applications from which ten submissions are selected to be presented at the following ISPA congress.

Upcoming Events:

  • International Congress: Perth, Australia, April 30-May 3, 2024
  • New York Congress: January 14-16, 2025