Symposium "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.
A number of the fundamental challenges for performance venues and production institutions are already known: over the course of parallel rounds of discussion with experts on a variety of topics, we intend to make exchanges possible and collect questions that can serve as the foundation for future workshops and additional offerings of the Berlin Performing Arts Program.
To bring the symposium to a close, we want to discuss how the collaboration of performance venues and production institutions with artists and collectives can work in the future.
In order to facilitate our own planning and allow the experts to adequately prepare for the event, we ask you to please informally register your attendance by February 8 and tell us which discussions you plan to attend and any questions that you may already have by sending an email to: fachtag2019(at)

Schedule of Events:

10:00 am: Breakfast and Get-Together
10:30 am: Greeting by Dagmar Domrös (Board Member of LAFT Berlin)
Presentation by Barbara Esser (Berlin's Senate Department for Culture and Europe): "The Situation and Genesis of Independent Performance Venues Within Berlin's Theatrical Landscape"
Lecture by Matthias Pees (Künstlerhaus Mousonturm): "The Evolution of Production Institutions in the German Theater Landscape"
11:00 am: Panel Discussion: "The Future of Performance Venues and Production Institution as a Second Pillar of the Theater Landscape"
The structure of the independent performance venues and production institutions is developing. While the empty post-industrial building under temporary usage may still be a regular occurrence, but performance venues are increasingly able to work with an internal production budget. What opportunities are offered by this development and what challenges are there to navigate?
Barbara Esser (Berlin’s Senate Department for Culture and Europe), Matthias Pees (Künstlerhaus Mousonturm) and Daniel Schrader (Ballhaus Ost) will discuss this topic.
12:30 pm: Parallel Discussions:
"Strategy Planning for Small- and Medium-Sized Organizations Working in the Cultural Sector"

Expert: Matthias Schulze-Kraft (Lichthof Theater)
What knowledge could help small- and medium-sized organizations working in the cultural sector to position themselves well for the future? What tools can those working at these organizations uses to help with planning for the medium- and long-term? Alongside his work as artistic director of the Lichthof Theater in Hamburg, Matthias Schulze-Kraft also consults organizations on a variety of questions regarding managerial issues.
"Internal Communcation Challenges"
Expert: Eva Hartmann (Gob Squad)
What strategies can help with providing instructions without restricting the artists in their work while simultaneously creating a clear production standpoint, that is, communicating more “power with” instead of “power over”? How can one deal with challenging communication situations, be they in the form of incidents of discrimination, the presence of extreme differences of opinion or the communication of unpleasant news - and all of this "internally" and no longer only as an advisor for the artists?
"Tax Law"
Expert: Jana Vierheilig (assistant tax consultant)
An organization with formally employed employees working in the cultural sector is always forced to deal with special areas of tax law. What pitfalls can be detected bevor they are allowed to have critical consequences? We would be especially grateful if specific questions for this topic could be sent to us in advance.
"Occupational Safety in Everyday Production Work"
Expert: Claudia Schroedter (VBG – Ihre gesetzliche Unfallversicherung)
An institution that produces theatrical work for itself and has multiple responsible parties working backstage must transpose the implementation of the regulations and laws regarding occupational safety and safety at work in a continuous process. We would be especially grateful if specific questions for this topic could be sent to us in advance.
"Removing Barriers"
In collaboration with Berlin’s Senate Department for Culture and Europe
The removal of barriers that prevent people from attending theater is one of the central challenges for a theater’s management. In this round of discussions, the primary focus is medium- and long-term measures to remove barriers and the corresponding financing and funding option.
12:45 pm: Lunch Break with a Small Snack
1:30 pm: Continuation of the discussions with experts
3:00 pm: Closing Discussion: "What Institutions Do We Want to Create Theater, Dance and Performance In?"
To close out the symposium, we would like to use the current changes to mutually deliberate the kinds of institutions that the independent performing arts community needs, desires, has earned or would like to develop of the course of transparent processes. What distinguishes independent (larger) performance venues and production institutions with a production budget from repertory and ensemble theaters? And how do these independent performance venues and production institutions work with independent artists and groups?
Ute Büsing (Konzeptförderung expert and jury member), Anna Fries (Henrike Iglesias, machina eX) and Zoë Svendsen (University of Cambridge, independent director).