Illness as Practice

Illness as Practice


about the piece

Project aim:
In cooperation with those affected and the funding institutions, the project tries to compile some information for artists that could be helpful in the case of an unexpected, serious illness. This mainly concerns questions of funding law, but also questions of the organisation of artistic work during a protracted illness.
We would like to prepare this information and make it available to other artists as a handout. We are aware that this information is not legally binding and that each case must be considered individually. We will design the handout accordingly.  We are starting from Berlin but would like to include other federal states in the future.
We see this project as part of the process of increasing differentiation of the age pyramid in the independent scene. The number of artists in the upper part of the pyramid (over 50) has risen sharply and will continue to do so. Statistically, this also increases the possibility of serious illnesses. In our opinion, it is therefore important to proactively accompany this process.

“Just as every illness, occupational and life situation is individual, preventing or enabling very different things in each case, the possibilities of being able to react to the corresponding circumstances in the best possible way for the benefit of those affected also depend on the individual case – as well as on the respective funding programme, its background, purpose, goal and commitment of funds”.

“Communication is crucial, transparency as well.”

“In the past, the joint search for an individual solution was ideally based on a previously (if possible) established relationship of trust and (if possible) continuous communication and understanding characterised by mutual respect, which simplifies an assessment within a given context and can thus speed up many things…”

Fonds Darstellende Künste

Questions to be asked in the event of serious illness in the funding system of the independent scene:

– Should the grant recipient be ill, may funds for infrastructure (e.g. rehearsal room rent) continue to be spent? if so, for how long?
– If the grant recipient is ill for a longer period of time (6 months or more), can “permanent” employees continue to be paid if they are self-employed? If so, for how long?
– Should the grantee not be able to make decisions, who can make the decisions? In which areas? for how long?
– Can the spouse or other trustees be authorised to make decisions?
– Can default fees be paid to artists in such a case?
– If the grantee is seriously ill, can someone temporarily replace him/her without having to reallocate the grant? If so, who can appoint that person?  For example, could a colleague finish the work or other forms of creative collaboration be chosen?
– Can reserves be built up over the funding period?
– Can the funding period be extended (conceptual funding, etc.)?
– Can the project be postponed (single project), if so for how long?
– Can the format of a production be changed, for example to reduce the workload during recovery phases? During immunosuppressive therapies, can the format be changed to minimise or eliminate contact with performers?
– Does your organisation already have experience with such cases? Is there a guideline or something similar?
– What would you as a funding body expect from the artists in such a case? More precisely, what information would you like to receive? Also against the background that artists may be afraid of losing funding.



"Funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media within the framework of the initiative NEUSTART KULTUR, aid programm DIS-TANZEN/ tanz:digital/ DIS-TANZEN by the Dachverband Tanz Deutschland"