If only there were a kind of farmers' market for people in the arts, where writers and performers could display their wares, and producers could wander through, sampling and scrutinizing until they found exactly what they wanted. It would simplify life for both the vendors and the prospective customers, opening dialogue between the two halves of the production equation.
Somewhat surprisingly, that isn't just a dream. Every other year since 1984 the gathering now known as Commerce international des arts de la scène—or, as it's generally known, CINARS—has offered a conducive environment for people with the money to mingle with the people with art.
The next five-day CINARS gathering will kick off Tues., Nov. 28 in Montréal, Canada, attracting dancers, actors, singers, puppeteers, acrobats, clowns, and other performance artists who mostly defy easy pigeonholing, as well as producers, promoters, bookers, and agents. Both the artistic types and the money types come to the conference from around the world with a vision of spreading their influence to the far corners of the globe, an idea CINARS supports wholeheartedly. Breakfast workshops at this year's conference, which runs until Dec. 2, will focus on opening markets in Spain, Portugal, and Italy to international performing artists.
Five performances that will play at CINARS, and several others off-site, will provide a showcase to scores of Canadian performers, including Grand Dérangement, The Arrogant Worms, Théâtre Le Clou, and wheelchair dancer Dulcinée Langfelder. It will also display the kind of multinational multiculturalism that Canadians consistently endorse—they are fond of saying their country isn't a melting pot as much as a salad bowl—including Sèmola Teatre of Spain, Handspan Visual Theatre of Australia, Touré-Touré of Senegal and Mauritania, and Virpi Pahkinen of Sweden, a dancer who frequently collaborates with Ingmar Bergman.
For additional information, call (514) 842-5866, or write CINARS 2000, 3575 boul. Saint-Laurent, bur. 216, Montréal, Québec, H2X 2T7, Canada.
Communities and constituencies
Another conference the following month is expected to attract nearly 50 speakers, including a wide range of international arts leaders, to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in New York City. The International Society for the Performing Arts Foundation, or ISPA, will hold its 53rd annual conference Dec. 16-19 to "confront the question of what we, as arts professionals, will need to know if we are to meet the challenges of connecting our work with the communities and constituencies of the coming decades."
ISPA was founded in 1949 to nurture, energize, and educate arts leaders and performing arts professionals. Now with more than 600 members, from more than 50 countries in every region of the world and in every arts discipline, the group remains committed to increasing international communication, understanding, and cooperation among all arts professionals through its programs, meetings, and services, and strengthening the leadership capabilities of member arts institutions. By providing support to enrich creative potential and intellectual growth in the field, it seeks to provide members with the best possible support, information, and opportunities for collegial exchange, and to affirm the importance and necessity of the performing arts in today's society.
The foundation holds two major meetings each year to provide a wide variety of opportunities for business and social exchange. The location of the June International Congress changes each year, with the next slated for Sydney. The Annual Conference takes place in New York, and includes an exhibit hall where members may make contact with artist management and consultants.
The conference at the Crowne Plaza will feature a two-day exhibit hall to provide members "maximum opportunity to meet with professional colleagues." Other notable plans include an opening night dinner for introductions, an annual awards dinner to be held at the St. Regis Roof, and a performance night party.
For more information about ISPA and the conference, call (914) 921-1550, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, log onto the ispa.org website, or write ISPA, 17 Purdy Ave., P.O. Box 909, Rye, NY 10580.