ISPA Preview

The International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) descends on Manchester in England this month for its 2023 mid-year Congress,
centring on the theme of working together to build the future

In line with its commitment to provide a space for conversation and exchange in the performing arts world, the Manchester 2023 ISPA Congress (MCR23) invites participants to reflect on what co-creation looks like and how it could help the sector move forward with “intention, relevance, and resilience”.

 The congress will feature a diverse range of panel discussions, from long-standing questions about power imbalance and representation in the sector to wage levels and the role of the state in the arts sector. Opening with a wide-ranging discussion about the role of true collaboration in shaping the future of international performing arts, congress attendees will be invited to imagine a sector fuelled by genuine partnership to propel positive change across communities. 

This theme continues across the conference, with the final panel discussion looking far beyond the sector to the role of the arts in international conflict resolution, asking how arts projects can effectively raise awareness about those who are impacted and promote resolution – a fitting theme for the current climate.  

 Thought-provoking panel events are supplemented by ISPA’s trademark “cocktail klatches”, an opportunity for guests to have informal discussions and build connections, a feature ISPA sees as essential to its wider mission.

 Taking inspiration from a city brimming with creativity and culture, ISPA’s 2023 Congress in Manchester promises to challenge and inspire, invigorating the performing arts sector with a renewed energy to direct towards co-creation for the remainder of 2023.

The MCR23 full schedule can be found at