Symposium 2019: Community Building and Audience Research

Who's there? Who is visible? Who should see? Who may be seen?

November 29, 2019, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
Neuköllner Oper, Karl-Marx-Straße 131/133, 12043 Berlin

The independent performing arts are marked by a diversity of topics, forms and working methods that are formed by coming to terms with (production) locations, people and societal contexts. Within independent production processes, a special relationship to the audience as well as different dimensions of the communication of arts is visible. This concerns practices that go beyond generating audience numbers; it concerns shared learning processes, the shaping of the schedule of programming by the participation of the city and its inhabitants, cooperative and collaborative creative processes, empowerment instead of routing at artistic institutions as well as encounters, communities and aesthetic communication. Or, at the very least, we like to think so.

Detailed Schedule of Events

Symposium 2019: Collective. Networked. Solidary. Forms of Collaboration in the Independent Performing Arts

May 17, 2019, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Lettrétage, Mehringdamm 61, 10961 Berlin

In May 2018, we launched an intensive examination of working models and structures within the independent performing arts with our first symposium "Working Independently – Models, Structures and Future" and began taking stock of the various forms of work.

At the symposium Collective. Networked. Solidary: Forms of Collaboration in the Independent Performing Arts on May 17, 2019, we will present our new handbook that presents seven working models, explains the accompanying legal forms and formulates texts for work forms.

In addition, we will contemplate topics in think tanks together with our guests and all interested parties such as collective leadership structures, solidary networks and the feedback effects of production conditions on the art itself.

Detailed Schedule of Events

Symposium 2019: Berlin's Performance Venues and Production Locations – Institutions Undergoing Dramatic Change

February 11, 2019, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Acker Stadt Palast, Ackerstraße 169/170, 10115 Berlin

The performance venues and production locations are changing: the interweaving of groups, solo artists, freelance and formally employed staff of production locations and performance venues must and will continue to further develop and will, in part, continue to be reinvented.
The publication of the Evaluation of the New Issuing of Konzeptförderung for the Years 2020 to 2023 has created a number of changes that will make the landscape of the performing arts in Berlin and beyond. In the first half of 2019, decisions will also be made regarding for the new two-year funding for production locations. We would like to come together and reflect upon the current situation as well as invite experts with an outsider's perspective to reflect upon previous developments and their backgrounds.

Detailed Schedule of Events

2019: TRANSLATE! – A Symposium on Language and Language Transfer in International Productions

Using examples from artistic productions as well as touring perspectives, the symposium TRANSLATE! examines some of the questions resulting from international productions and teams: which language(s) are spoken and understood by whom? How can subtitling and other forms of language transfer ensure as differentiated an experience as possible? What translation options are actually available and what kind of technologic innovations exist? In what manner can translation become an artistic component of the production?

Detailed Schedule of Events

Symposium 2018: Between Audience and Stage: (New) Communication Formats for the Independent Performing Arts Community

October 12, 2018, beginning at 10:00 am
STATE Studio – Hauptstraße 3, 10827 Berlin

The focus of this year's seminar will be the handbook that will be availabe at the end of 2018, "Neue Vermittlungsformate für die Darstellende Künste" or "New Communication Formats for the Independent Performing Arts Community".

Together with scholars, artists, art communicators and the staff of performance venues, we will discuss the experimental formats introduced in the handbook as well as the concepts of art communication. Over the course of practical workshops, members of the independent performing arts community will provide insight into their work and invite the participants to jointly reflect upon viewing habits in the theater, challenges encountered in addressing audiences as well as the alliances and structures for art communicators.

Detailed Schedule of Events

Symposium 2018: International Meeting of Independent Performing Arts Producers

September 27 and September 28, 2018
Barcelona and Terrassa

Together with Dachverband Tanz Deutschland and our third partner Catalan Institute for Cultural Companies (ICEC) we warmly invite you to the two-day expert event International Meeting of Independent Performing Arts Producers that we are putting together in September 2018 in Barcelona and Terrassa!

We invite you to exchange with experts on the topics of production, distribution and touring, discuss various working models and the profession of “producer”, as well as to become acquainted with the local performing arts community, attend the TNT Festival in exclusive company and get to know international colleagues!

Detailed Schedule of Events

2018: 5-Year Anniversary

July 5, 2018
ZK/U Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik

On July 5, 2018, the Performing Arts Program celebrated five years of PAP at ZK/U. Following speeches by supporters and observers of the program, all supporters, friends and visitors were able to speak with the PAP team before the evening ended with the LAFT Berlin summer party.

Symposium 2018: Working Independently – Models, Structure and Future

May 25, 2018, 10:00 am – 18:00 pm
Lettrétage Berlin, Mehringdamm 61, 10961 Berlin

Successful working methods and models have been formed in independent work that vary strongly from the structures found in institutions. Working independently means working differently and autonomously.

Over the course of an initial survey, we will examine the various models both in terms of communication structures, decision-making processes and artist feedback as well as in terms of the legal foundations of these models.

Detailed Schedule of Events

Symposium 2018: City Stages Spoils – Performing Arts in Public Spaces

March 2, 2018, 11:00 am
Acud Macht Neu – Studio, Veteranenstraße 21, 10119 Berlin Mitte (U8 Rosenthaler Platz)

In cooperation with Bundesverband Theater im Öffentlichen Raum e.V. (the German Federal Association for Theater in Public Space), the Performing Arts Program of LAFT Berlin is hosting a symposium in which the current developments in the performing arts that work in public spaces will be intensively examined and placed in context with the urban planning and urban architectural developments in Berlin.

Detailed Schedule of Events

Symposium 2017: The Contradictions of Art Communication: Between Marketing and Audience Dramaturgy

November 24, 2017, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
Ballhaus Ost, Pappelallee 15, 10437 Berlin

Art communication creates space for encounters between artists and audiences and inspires thinking. It shapes, provokes, questions. Despite of or perhaps precisely due to the diverse options of communication practice, art communicators and their employers are torn between varying expectations, definitions and goals:  responsibility for increasing the audience numbers? A school of seeing? Culture for all? An independent artistic practice?

Detailed Schedule of Events

2017: 4-Year Anniversary

July 6, 2017
ZK/U – Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik

An informational event for the Berlin Performing Arts Program and the additional projects of LAFT Berlin were held at ZK/U Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik for the first time on July 6, 2017. The staff provided information to interested parties from the independent performing arts community over the course of table conversations and guided tours through the program, also focusing on current calls for applications and activities. The event was followed by the annual LAFT Berlin summer party.

Funding the Arts vs. Funding the Creative Economy – A (Late) Attempt at Mediation

Friday, June 16, 2017, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Alte Münze, Molkenmarkt 2, Mitte, 10179 Berlin (PAF-Festival Center)

We do not want to use any arts funding to fund projects in the creative economy, but are we betraying art if we apply for trade fair funding in order to attend a festival? Which funding instruments for business exist that could be of interest to the members and artists of the independent performing arts community and what needs exist? The symposium “Funding the Arts vs. Funding for the Creative Economy – A (Late) Mediation Attempt” attempts to foster an open conversation about unclarified terminology.

Detailed program

Loving the Countryside – Theater in Regional Contexts

Saturday, June 17, 2017, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Alte Münze, Molkenmarkt 2, Mitte, 10179 Berlin (PAF-Festival Center)

In the symposium “Loving the Countryside – Theater in Regional Contexts”, projects, strategies and visions of theater makers and artists that work in regional contexts will be presented. An urban picnic with short presentations in which these special artistic processes will be analyzed and brought into relation with each other.

Detailed program

Symposium 2017: Well Advised?! Encouraging Self-Empowered Action!

Beginning in 2017, the Symposium brings together and networks Berliners working in the fields of consultation and further education and advanced training within the independent performing arts community. It provides a platform for experts to exchange experiences, inform themselves of current developments as well as to explore potentials and challenges regarding the advising and further educating. With the use of various formats, both classic and innovative methods and approaches are discussed, tested and further developed.

Detailed Schedule of Events

Symposium 2016: What Does Cultural Communication Need? Production Conditions for Communication Activities in the Independent Performing Arts Community

November 25, 2016, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Venue: Ballhaus Ost, Pappelallee 15, 10437 Berlin 

Cultural communication is currently proving itself to be a working environment that is in a constant state of change. Cultural communication is also opening up space to the artists and culture makers working within the independent performing arts community in which they can devote themselves to the search for new practices and formats. Everyone wants to communicate: But who is meant to initiate, conduct and pay for communication activities within the independent performing arts community? Which personnel, organizational, logistical and financial framework conditions do we need in order to ensure high-quality communication offers within the independent performing arts community? Is there a job market for cultural communicators within the independent performing arts community?  If so, what is it like? How would it be in an ideal world?

Detailed Schedule of Events

2016: 3-Year Anniversary

June, 24, 2016
Willner Brauerei Berlin

On June 24, 2016, the four areas of the new Berlin Performing Arts Program were presented during the party for the three-year anniversary of the program at Willner Brauerei Berlin. Following a round of cultural policy discussion of LAFT Berlin with the cultural policy spokesperson of the political parties represented in Berlin‘s House of Representatives, the attendees were able to inform themselves of the work of the individual areas of the program.



Symposium 2016: Collaborations und Coproductions

This event is held mostly in German.

May 27, 2016

Venue: Agora Collective (4th floor), Mittelweg 50, 12053 Berlin (U8 Boddinstraße)

Within the framework of the first Performing Arts Festival, the LAFT Berlin Performing Arts Program will host a symposium for the industry professionals attending the festival and all other interested parties dealing with the topic of collaborations and co-productions.

An increasing number of artists find themselves working in collaborative structures which often grow successfully for decades. Co-productions between artists working in the performing arts and other industries and institutions are also increasingly present in the world of dance, theater and performance.

The goal of this symposium is to observe these developments, come to terms with them, develop joint strategies as well as to discuss them.

Detailed Schedule of Events

Symposium 2015: Cultural Communication Formats for the Independent Performing Arts Community

A Symposium of Theater Scoutings Berlin

November 27, 2015

Venue: Ballhaus Ost, Pappelallee 15, 10437 Berlin

Why do independent dance and theater productions offer communication formats? Why do artists and performance venues participate? What artistic interest do they have in this? What do audiences expect and what do they get out of these formats? Together with our partners, all interested participants and guests, we will thoroughly immerse ourselves in the topic of “communication in independent dance and theater”. Various communication formats within dance and theater productions in Berlin will be presented discussed in work groups and enriched with examples from practical experiences.

Detailed Schedule of Events

2015: 2-Year Anniversary

May 28, 2015
Kunstquartier Bethanien


The Performing Arts Program celebrated it second birthday on May 28, 2015. Some 180 guests from the independent performing arts community and the fields of politics and culture accepted the invitation to the twoyear anniversary celebration and subsequent reception in Kunstquartier Bethanien. Over the course of an open house before the event, interested parties and members of Berlin‘s independent performing arts community were able to gain insight into the activities of the program and provide impulses for their continuation: new formats for the Industry Get-Together and Theater Scoutings were elaborated and discussed. The Rehearsal Space Platform and its entire scope of functionality were presented to the community. Following the project presentation, the successful 2nd year was celebrated during the summer party.



[EN] 2014: 1-Year Anniversary

May 27, 2014

The party to celebrate the first year of the program’s existence was held on May 27, 2014: the team of the program provided an overview of the results of the past year, provided information about the current state of work and looked forward with the participants to future work stages, offers and events. within the program. An event with a thematic focus on space was held before the official celebrations. Specific topics were discussed in work groups and results were formulated.



2013: Opening Celebration of the Performing Arts Program

May 23, 2013
Kunstquartier Bethanien

The opening celebration for the Performing Arts Program took place at Kunstquartier Bethanien on May 23, 2013. This was a combination event used to introduce the program, provide information to the press and to celebrate the launch of the program. All participants were warmly invited to inform themselves about the program, its initiators and staff and its content and goals. The opening event and summer party provided more than 150 guests with an opportunity to exchange.