Guides to the Independent Arts Communities

Guides to the Independent Arts Communities

Within the independent arts community as well, opportunities to participate for everyone are still a long way off. For many transnational and intercultural artists, even the access to relevant knowledge presents a large obstacle along their path to the independent networks and structures. Official advisement opportunities are often only available in German, or, at the very most, in English. Access to the advisement structures is complicated by formalities and the advisers are often not sufficiently sensitized to this matter within their practice. Access has been made even more difficult due to the restrictions over the course of measures taken to combat the pandemic and the dramatic changes to basic regulations that have taken place at very short notice.

In Berlin in 2019, an interdisciplinary pilot project funded by Berlin’s Senate Department for Culture and Europe led to an increased awareness of the needs of transnational and intercultural artists within the support structures of the city. Following the conclusion of the pilot project, many of the measures were continued, for example, by the hiring of new advisers or by expanding the advisement programs. In 2021, the project Guides to the Independent Arts Communities – Multilingual Symposia and Gallery Walk 2021 has continued that work nationwide.

The following points were supposed to be realized over the course of the project:

  • 6 to 12 transnational and intercultural artists and cultural makers with specific language competencies will be hired as guides to the independent arts communities and, if they are interested, integrated as mediators and advisers in the existing support structures;
  • 5 to 8 multilingual digital or analog symposia or work meetings will be conceived and supported by the guides and directly addressed to transnational and intercultural artists in collaboration with regional advisement structures and communities;
  • A multilingual collection of information about existing structures within the independent arts communities will be created that provides the most important addresses, websites and brief information about advisement structures and points of contact;
  • An online gallery walk will be conceived and coordinated as an exchange and networking format;
  • A permanent work group for employees of advisement structures, points of contact and members of initiatives and community organizations will be initiated.


The project “Guides to the Independent Arts Communities – Multilingual Symposia and Gallery Walk 2021” is a cooperation between the Performing Arts Program of LAFT Berlin with the advisement structures schreiben & leben of Lettrétage, Music Pool Berlin and the initiative neue musik berlin. Funded by Fonds Darstellende Künste as part of Neustart Kultur using funds from the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

Results of the Pilot Project in 2019

The guides are multilingual artists who are experienced within Berlin’s independent performing arts community and who have excellent networks. They are very happy to answer questions dealing with working as a freelancer in Germany, relevant networks and topics such as the Künstlersozialkasse (KSK, the German public social security fund for artists) in their native languages.
To the advisement opportunities:

The research results of the project were published in 2019 in a publication that contains multilingual information about advisement structures, networks, points of contact and tips for artists and culture makers from the Arab, Asian, Francophone, Polish, Turkish and Russian language areas. The contents were researched and compiled individually by the guides and are intended to help everyone who is new to Berlin’s independent arts community and is looking for support.
To the publication:


The pilot project „Guides to Berlin's Independent Arts Community“ was the first cooperation between the Performing Arts Program of LAFT Berlin and the advisement structures Music Pool, Lettrétage (Schreiben & leben) and the artist advisement program in Kulturwerk of bbk berlin and was funded by the program „Cosmopolitan Berlin 2019 – Advisement, Support and Networking for International Artists, Media Professionals and Culture Makers“ of Berlin’s Senate Department for Culture and Europe.

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