LAFT Berlin - an Overview in English

LAFT Berlin – Berlin State Association for the Independent Performing Arts e.V. represents the interests of its approximately 350 members, including the essential performance venues, groups and independent artists of Berlin, in dealing with politicians and the public. It supports its members through networking activities, consultation, coordination and services.

LAFT Berlin was founded in April 2007 as a registered non-profit association. The association is supported by the voluntary work of the Board of Directors and the dedicated members and is financed by the membership fees. The General Assembly elects the Board of Directors each year. The Board represents the association internally and externally. 

Its goals are:

  • The creation of a foundation for the solidary forms of networking within the independent performing arts community
  • The networking of the different artistic genres and their respective socio-political advocacy groups 
  • Lobbying work for a wider public and political perceptions and regular exchange with key cultural policy makers
  • Budget increases in the field of the independent performing arts
  • Committed to Achieving Structural Changes in the Cultural Landscape
  • Brining about innovative changes in the economic and socio-political framework conditions for independent creative and knowledge workers

Membership Benefits

  • All members are entitled to the services supplied by the association, its publications and cultural policy representation.
  • All members are invited to attend a General Assembly twice a year, where all important decisions concerning the association are discussed and decided up
  • The newsletter informs members about current cultural policy developments as well as about upcoming events, dates, deadlines and funding possibilities.
  • All members also have the chance to present themselves with a short text and a picture in German and English in the catalog of members as well as the online presentation.
  • The personal membership cards allow members (up to 2 authorized representatives for groups) to identify themselves as independent performing artists, thus allowing them access to various benefits.
  • Thanks to a framework treaty negotiated between the National Independent Theater Association and GEMA, all members are eligible for reduced GEMA fees.
  • All members are encouraged to contribute to existing LAFT Berlin workgroups and initiatives or start new ones.

Work Groups

Topics important to the members as well as cultural policy content and structures are discussed and dealt with in the LAFT Berlin work groups. All members are invited to participate in the existing work groups (such as the funding structures work group, the round table of independent children's and youth theaters work group, puppet theater interest group and many more) or to initiate new work groups focused on additional important topics.Topics important to the members as well as cultural policy content and structures are discussed and dealt with in the LAFT Berlin work groups. All members are invited to participate in the existing work groups (such as the funding structures work group, the round table of independent children's and youth theaters work group, puppet theater interest group and many more) or to initiate new work groups focused on additional important topics.

Cultural Policy and Work on Committees

LAFT Berlin is constantly engaged in the field of cultural policy. Alongside the direct cultural policy work through meetings, consultation and concepts, the association is represented in numerous committees and networks.

MINIMUM FEE LIMITS
LAFT Berlin has calculated a minimum fee limit together with Tanzbüro Berlin, Zeitgenössischer Tanz Berlin e.V. and Tanzraum Netzwerk Berlin. LAFT Berlin recommends that fees be calculated on this basis when writing funding applications for public as well as private funders on the state and federal level.

BERLIN ARTS COUNCIL
The Berlin Arts Council represents the Berlin cultural landscape as a whole as an elected, autonomous representative body. Its members include culture makers, Berlin cultural institutions as well as independent artists. LAFT Berlin has represented the independent performing arts on the Council since 2010.
www.rat-fuer-die-kuenste.de

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT PERFORMING ARTS
The National Association for the Independent Performing Arts (BFDK) is the umbrella association for all regional independent performing arts associations in the individual German states. It includes 16 state associations and 2 associated partner associations in which over 1,200 individual artists and groups are organized. LAFT Berlin has been a member of the National Association for the Independent Performing Arts since 2008.
www.darstellende-kuenste.de

COALITION OF THE INDEPENDENT ARTS COMMUNITY
In 2012, an interdisciplinary Coalition of the Independent Arts Community was formed for the first time in order to secure the foundations of Berlin’s diverse, internationally renowned independent arts community for the future. LAFT Berlin has been an active member of the coalition since its founding in 2012.
www.koalition-der-freien-szene-berlin.de

Projects of LAFT Berlin

The PERFORMING ARTS PROGRAM is intended for all independent theater and dance makers in Berlin. It works in four areas:

  • Consultation and Qualification
  • Distribution and Marketing
  • Network, Knowledge Transfer and Cooperations
  • Audience Development and Communication

to professionalize the independent performing arts, strengthen their infrastructural support and increase their visibility. All offers of the program are free of charge and are specifically oriented to the circumstances and needs of the members of the community.
www.pap-berlin.de
www.proberaumplattform-berlin.de
www.theaterscoutings-berlin.de

The BERLIN PERFORMING ARTS FESTIVAL celebrates the diversity of Berlin’s independent performing arts community at numerous theaters and performance venues throughout the entire city. Since 2016, this annual week-long festival has presented the work and artistic positions of Berlin’s performing artists and groups working in all genres. The festival is presented by LAFT Berlin in cooperation with the performance venues Ballhaus Ost, HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Sophiensæle and Theaterdiscounter.
www.performingarts-festival.de

In conjunction with the major performing arts festivals in Berlin, BERLIN DIAGONALE has developed open table formats and guided tours for visiting industry professionals (artistic directors, curators, et cetera) to provide insight into selected productions, performance venues and working methods of Berlin's independent performing arts community. The goal is to make work produced in Berlin (inter)nationally known, create opportunities for touring guest performances and support the networking of the artists within the (inter)national context.
www.berlin-diagonale.de

The SPACE COORDINATION OFFICE for the independent performing arts community fights against the scarcity of working space in Berlin. It works together with the interdisciplinary Spaces task force of the Coalition of the Independent Arts Community, the Gesellschaft für Stadtentwicklung GSE (Society for Urban Development) and the Berlin Department for Culture to acquire new rehearsal spaces, storage spaces and production offices.
www.laft-berlin.de/raum-koordinationsstelle-des-laft-berlin

Become a Member

Every member, whether individual, group or venue, contributes to making his or her voice and that of others heard and in doing so, strengthens and shapes the work of LAFT Berlin.
Full members can either be individuals or groups/institutions that work full-time in the performing arts and have their primary residence in Berlin.
Associated members can be individual or legal entities, which agree with the purpose of the association and wish to support the association with regular contributions.
New members must apply for membership, membership applications are decided upon by the steering committee and the General Assembly.

Annual Membership Fees

  • Individuals: 70 € / year (reduced price: 50 € / year)
  • Groups/performance venues/offices/institutions: 140 € / year
  • Associated members: 180 € / year

Group members (groups, performance venues, offices, institutions) can name two authorized representatives and will receive membership cards for these individuals. Like individual members, however, they will only have one vote during the General Assembly.
The reduced fee is for those members who are still students, receiving social security or unemployment (ALG II) benefits or who are retired and whose pension does not exceed the legally specified minimum level of income.