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What is IDEA?

IDEA is an international not for profit association. It is the peak body for drama/theatre and education. It operates across time zones, countries and cultures.

IDEA is open to national, regional and international associations and to other institutes, bodies, networks, organisation and individuals working in drama/theatre and education.

IDEA is an open and inclusive association. IDEA opposes discrimination on the basis of race, colour, national origin, language, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability.

IDEA runs democratically. This means that decisions are made for the benefit of members collectively reflecting the will of the majority of members. A sense of fairness and social justice, respect and open dialogue are essential to the successful culture of IDEA. In discussions and in General Council and Elected Officers meetings, there is active listening, respect for the rights of others to speak and be heard. Meetings follow agreed procedures that are clearly stated and practiced. Decision making is by discussion, debate, negotiation and wherever possible by consensus.



Overview of the IDEA story

IDEA was founded in Portugal in July 1992 through the initial Congress in Oporto and was registered under Portuguese law in 1994.

While the international organisations for theatre such as ITI, ASSITEJ and AITA/IATA included education within their charters, IDEA was formed to foreground more strongly drama/theatre and education.

IDEA has provided an international forum for communicating about, promoting and advocating for drama/theatre and education in schools, communities and all fields of endeavour. It does this through advocacy, publications, projects, research, Young IDEA, congresses and conferences and collaborations.

IDEA has held international congresses: Brisbane, Australia, 1995; Kisumu, Kenya, 1998; Bergen, Norway, 2001; Ottawa, Canada, 2004; Hong Kong, SAR China, 2007; Belém, Brazil, 2010; Paris, France, 2013; the ninth Congress scheduled for Ankara, Turkey in 2016/2017 was first postponed and then cancelled because of civil unrest.The 10th Congress in Beijing, China, was cancelled due to the Coronavirus COVIC-19 Pandemic.


Why IDEA uses the term Drama/Theatre

When the IDEA community came together there was a recognition that the term used for our field had different traditions and use in different cultures and places. The inclusive term Drama/Theatre recognises the importance or inclusively respecting language.

Sharing the story of IDEA is an ongoing project for IDEA.

A major history writing project is in the pipeline. 

As documents are shared, they will be added to this web site (like this one about the contributions IDEA made to the development of the World Alliance for Arts Education and the work of UNESCO.

UNESCO, WAAE and Arts Education before Lisbon 2006 (and the role of IDEA in this action)

A short summary by Tintti Karppinen 29.11.2019

Click here for more details.

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