ENICPA General Assembly Meeting, 22-23 March 1995, Sevilla (Spain), Photo: CIRAE / Luis Castilla.

History of ENICPA

The European Network of Information Centres for the Performing Arts was founded in September 1989 in Madrid as a non-hierarchic, non-centred network of national organisations working for the performing arts. Funding members were TIN (Theater Instituut Nederland), ONDA (Office national de diffusion artistique), Theatre Institute Barcelona, VTI (Vlaams Theater Instituut), El Publico, and others.

“Il est constitué aujourd ‘hui (septembre 1989) un Réseau Européen des Centres d’Information du Spectacle par les organismes ayant déjà ces objectifs dans leur pays ou leur région. Les buts sont de rassembler et mettre À la disposition les professionnels, de la manière plus large possible, toute information dans le domaine du spectacle, tant sur le plan européen qu’au niveau international. Grâce à une coopération étroite entre les centres concernés, tous les moyens seront mis en oeuvre pour une meilleure circulation d’information.” – Founding document ENICPA

In February 1990 the network was registered as an international non-governmental association under Belgian law seated in Netherlands/Amsterdam. The official constitution was signed by nine institutions:

  • El Publico, Madrid
  • l’Institut du Théâtre, Barcelona
  • Vlaams Theater Instituut, Brussels
  • Mouvement, Brussels
  • Theater Instituut Nederland, Amsterdam (three institutions which were later consolidated: Theatre Institute, Dance Institute and Mime Institute)
  • ONDA, Paris
  • le Théâtre contemporain de la Danse, Paris

The association concentrated on the aim to distribute theatre-related information on a transnational base. It soon became what it is today: a network for the expert exchange of information and documentation centres for the performing arts working on a European level, constantly enhancing its sphere of activity by inviting new members into the network. 

From the beginning the activities of the network included regular meetings to exchange expertise in the field of information gathering, data base work and documentation techniques within dance and theatre. 

Repeatedly, the network managed successfully to develop concepts for transnational Europe-wide projects with its members and beyond, funded by various European funding organisations. These projects aimed at consolidating information data, mapping the field of the performing arts landscape in Europe, as well as visualizing the comprehensive and diverse forms of the performing arts in publications such as festival guides, venue overviews and artists networks. 

Working languages are French and English.