International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) was incorporated in 2001 as a service agency for producers, promoters, and presenters in the field. It grew out of the efforts of the pioneers of quality children's programming in the United States and Canada to organize the Annual International Showcase Conference. The first International Showcase was presented in Chicago in March 1979.
In 1988, the Association of International Performing Arts Festivals for Children created a standing Showcase committee. In 1998, that committee began hosting a series of vision meetings with artists, presenters, and managers in the field which led to the formation of IPAY, a membership organization that to this day holds a central presence in the community and a reach that extends its impact throughout the year.
In doing this work, IPAY challenges those in the field to continue to create, present, and contextualize youth and family programming to the highest possible standards. IPAY's membership consists of over 150 presenters, artists, and agents/managers from throughout North America. Leadership for the organization is provided by senior management from performing arts centers, artists doing exemplary work, and creative and committed managers/agents.