Bundesverband Freie Darstellende Künste (BFDK, German Association of Independent Performing Arts)

The Bundesverband Freie Darstellende Künste (BFDK, German Association of Independent Performing Arts) is the federal umbrella organisation of all state associations for professional independent performing arts in Germany. Founded in 1990, it is today one of the largest theatre associations in the country.

On a federal level, the association represents the interests of around 1.500 members nationwide – individual artists, groups, dance and theatre venues, and production structures. Altogether, the association thus represents circa 20.000 dance and theatre makers across Germany.

The 16 state associations operate independently on state level. Representatives from each of these state associations elect the seven members of the federal association‘s board of directors. Their work is in turn supported by a full-time secretariat based in Berlin that is funded with project-based grants from the Federal German Government since 2011. MISSION

We initiate debates and exchange of professional knowledge on all issues concerning independent performing arts. Our aim is to continually raise and improve awareness and recognition of the independent dance and theatre scene among the general public, as well as in the political, administrative and economic sectors.

One of our most important goals is to sustainably improve the social and economic situation of independent dance and theatre makers e.g. in the event of illness or in old age.

We advocate good employment practices, adequate funding policies, as well as fair and transparent structures. For this purpose, we also serve as an advisor to various public and private funding bodies. And in some cases - as in the field of cultural education - also directly allocate funding to individual artists in connection with specific programmes.

On all issues, we cooperate closely with other national and international trade and umbrella associations.

And we promote the professional work of our members by organising networking opportunities, providing guidance and consultation and offering training courses and seminars.