Independent Performing Arts

The self-perception and collaboration within Berlin’s independent performing arts community is not solely a function of similar aesthetic or content-based perspectives; it is primarily a result of the shared experience of independent, self-driven work.

LAFT Berlin

LAFT Berlin – State Association for the Independent Performing Arts is a self organized association of over 350 professional artists and culture makers working in all fields of the performing arts. It also represents the industry specific interests of the community publicly and politically. LAFT Berlin also works within the community. The work of the association creates foundations for supportive forms of networking, passes on valuable knowledge and offers services for the community. These include the Performing Arts Program, the Performing Arts Festival, voluntary work groups and a wide variety of additional events and initiatives.

Berlin Performing Arts Program

The Performing Arts Program works in four areas of focus to structurally strengthen, professionalize and network the independent performing arts in Berlin. Here is a brief description touching on only a few of the diverse range of offerings and programming. The area of Consultation & Qualification offers all members of the community an open Information Center as well as a Mentoring Program. The area of Distribution & Marketing serves as a central point of contact in order to increase the (inter)national visibility of the community. The area of Network, Knowledge Transfer & Cooperations includes the arrangement of various symposia and the Industry Get-Together of the Independent Performing Arts Community alongside the Rehearsal Space Platform and additional offers. In order to bring new audiences to the independent performing arts in Berlin, the area of Audience Development & Communication regularly offers the Theater Scoutings schedule of programming and additional communication offers.


There are additional structures dedicated to the useful and empowering combination of genre-specific similarities. These exist beyond the independent performing arts community and are intended for all members of the relevant genre’s community.

IG Puppen Berlin

IG Puppen Berlin promotes the networking of professional puppet and object theater practitioners in  Berlin – theaters, performers, puppet makers, performance venues, museums as well as courses of study. It represents the interests of Berlin’s professional independent puppet theater makers in dealing with politicians and the public and holds regular meetings to encourage solidary and constructive exchange.

Initiative Neuer Zirkus

INZ – Initiative Neuer Zirkus has set itself the goal of actively driving forward the recognition of new circus as an independent art form and part of the performing arts. The association works on a voluntary basis to network professional circus makers and to make the work of circus artists more visible. In the form of regular meetings, the INZ works as a contact point, meeting place and location for discussion and exchange for everyone interested in circus as well as newcomers. The shared website for the cities of Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg and Munich provides a pool of information and knowledge with an event calendar, community directory, list of links, minutes of meetings and publications.

Tanzbüro Berlin

With the help of initiatives and workgroups, Tanzbüro Berlin works in various areas of the dance sector in Berlin in order to remedy deficits and break newground. In addition, it provides useful information about funding opportunities, cultural policy events, production and rehearsal spaces, workshops and dance events in Berlin on the website Alongside numerous additional offers, Tanzbüro Berlin continuously develops city-wide campaigns for the field of dance and publishes the magazine tanzraumberlin.

TanzRaumBerlin Network

The TanzRaumBerlin Network brings together Berlin venues, presenters, institutions and artists whose goal is to strengthen the field of dance. As a one of-a-kind dance initiative, the network meets regularly and is an important forum for exchange, discussion and cooperation.

Zeitgenössischer Tanz Berlin

The association Zeitgenössischer Tanz Berlin e. V. (ZTB, or, Contemporary Dance Berlin) represents the interests of choreographers, dancers, companies and dance institutions in Berlin. It informs, advises and provides its members with a public voice. As a partner for those seeking guidance and as a forum for mutual and continuous cultural policy work, the association creates initiatives to bring about urgently necessary improvements in the production and performance options and hosts various exchange forums for artists. In addition, with the support of Tanzbüro Berlin, ZTB ensures improvements in the financial and infrastructural situation of contemporary dance in Berlin.

Contemporary Music Theater Berlin

The association ZMB – Contemporary Music Theater Berlin brings together the key players in the field of innovative music theater forms in Berlin. It represents the cultural policy interests of Berlin’s independent music theater community, provides a platform for the bundling and networking of their energies and pursues the goal of creating greater public and cultural policy attention for contemporary music theater in Berlin. Within its own events and initiatives, ZMB supports public, specialist and theatrical discourse regarding aesthetic and cultural policy aspects of contemporary music theater and the exchange with other national and international music theater communities. It maintains a calendar on its website with current contemporary music theater events in Berlin and presents the ensembles, groups and individual members of the community.


In order to network all artists and culture makers, organizations have formed in Berlin that work across all genres to promote shared interests.

The Coalition of the Independent Arts Community

The Coalition bundles the interests of all independent Berlin-based artists, ensembles, institutions and structures specifically for Berlin’s independent arts community. It is an open platform that discusses and formulates cultural policy demands over the course of regular meetings and organizes campaigns. It actively negotiates the jointly-achieved results with administrators and politicians.

Rat für die Künste

Rat für die Künste represents Berlin’s cultural sector as an elected independent body. This body has 24 members, which includes culture makers from well-known cultural institutions in Berlin as well as independent artists. Rat für die Künste discusses all pending cultural questions, sees itself as a mediator between politics and cultural practice and provides suggestions for future developments in the interest of the cultural life of the city and the people living in it.