ISPA CEO David Baile previews NYC Congress

Maria Roberts catches up with ISPA CEO David Baile ahead of ISPA NYC Congress 2016 taking place in January

The theme for ISPA 2016 is Performance: from nature versus nurture, to wellbeing and the role of arts in the community, a broader sense of what can be achieved will be under negotiation. There’s also a sense of cross-pollination: arts, health, science, formal, informal, indoors, outdoors – boundaries are blurring.

Explains CEO David Baile: ‘In our session, Going Mainstream: Street Art and Immersive Theatre, we’ll be talking about how what we have typically considered to be part of the urban arts scene is now being presented on the main stage. Conversely, work that has been traditionally performed in classical theatres is now moving out onto the streets. We’re seeing a real change happening in terms of the broadening of the artistic experience for the audiences, the artists, and the curators.’

Does he think that this trend is more than a passing fad? ‘I think it’s a new reality: the broadening of our individual perception of what constitutes art is changing,’ adds Baile.

But there is a difference, surely, between a cultural experience, entertainment and the performing arts. Not everything should be classed as a performing art – or should it?

‘In New York delegates will be encouraged to question just this,’ says Baile. ‘How can we capture the interest of nations in ways that appeal to them? How do we deliver what audiences want to see, all the while remaining true to our artistic intentions? Within all this, there must be breathing space for innovation and experimentation.’

ISPA’s 2016 Congress takes place in NYC from 12-14 January

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