Our Founder and Director, Shoaib Iqbal is in New York for the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) Fellowship Program. ISPA is about sharing, exploration, and collaboration with other performing arts organisations globally.

On the first day, fellows from the previous two cohorts also joined. There were nearly 95 arts organisations from 55 countries in the room.

The conference kicked off, with nearly 400 delegates from all over the world, and two sessions on the 1st day. There was a very engaging discussion on the relationship of artists and communities, and on how artists tell stories that encourage dialogue and spark debate.

The Second session was all about performance as a change agent, with stories from Zimbabwe, Sweden (by Scandinavian indigenous people) and MET USA, talking about the intrinsic power of arts and how artists are leveraging it.

“To preserve the fire of the arts, it needs to leap its current containments and break through the borders. If we want a different future, we need to imagine it.” – Provocateur Yaron Lifschitz

Reframing the Conversation | Art and Borders

Stimulating conversations on a range of issues was truly amazing with quality of curation and content. Bold ideas were shared and presented that affects performing arts, artists and the world from politics, exclusion and to environment. There was a great sense of community that prevailed throughout.

“Amplify that counterpoint, and hold together that polyphony.” – Matthew Covey, USA.

Shoaib Iqbal also met Alicia Adams, VP International Programming at The Kennedy Center who taught him during his fellowship days there, thanks to Elizabeth Bradley, Professor at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University for being his partner and mentor, and Rachel Cooper, Director Global Cultural Diplomacy Initiatives at Asia Society for sharing wealth of knowledge.

“The opposite of war is not peace, it’s creation! Therefore, we are in the business of world peace.” Alison M, Closing remarks

“Open museum of the real manifesto on the walls.” – Pamela and Ximena, Chile

Kudos to David Baile, Nora Fleury and whole ISPA team for creating such an experience!