At the closing ceremony of the 35th International Theatre Institute (ITI) World Congress in Segovia, Spain, last Saturday, Director of the Da Nang Culture and Sports Department Huynh Van Hung received a flag from ITI’s President Mohammed Saif Al-Afkham to represent the city’s hosting of the 1st ITI World Performing Arts Festival in 2018. This festival will celebrate the 70th birthday of ITI (1 July 1948 – 1 July 2018).

ITI was created on the initiative of the first UNESCO Director General, Sir Julian Huxley, and the playwright and novelist, JB Priestley in 1948, just after the Second World War and at the beginning of the Cold War, when the Iron Curtain divided the East and the West.

The intention of ITI was to build an organisation that was aligned with UNESCO’s goals on culture, education and the arts, and which would focus its endeavours on improving the status of all members of the performing arts professions.

ITI has now developed into the world’s largest organisation for the performing arts, with more than 90 member nations worldwide. Viet Nam was recognised as an official member of this organisation at the 30th ITI World Congress in Tampico, Mexico, in 2004.