touring artists, an information portal for internationally mobile artists, provides comprehensive information on visas/residencetransport/customstaxessocial securityother insurances, and copyright. Through a joint project of the German Center of the International Theatre Institute (ITI) and the Internationale Gesellschaft der Bildenden Künste (IGBK; English: International Association of Art (IAA) in Germany), these topics have been examined for both the performing arts and the visual arts. touring artists primarily maps the circumstances, legal regulations, and administrative procedures in Germany – for foreign artists who work here temporarily and for German artists or artists who live in Germany and who work abroad for a limited time. It also considers the perspective of Germany-based organizers. The website is available in English and German.


The idea for touring artists emerged in late 2010. Since then, the ITI and IGBK have been working on implementing the information portal in close cooperation with the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, who initiated the project and continues to support it. Years of experience and feedback from artists regarding which areas pose difficulties when engaging in cross-border activities, as well as various surveys and interviews, created the starting point for systematizing answers to all matters related to working abroad. Example cases from everyday situations have been included on the website and serve as a basis for further explanations. Similarly, considerations of the expert group on ‘Information Standards for the Mobility of Artists and Cultural Professionals,’ appointed by the European Commission, have also been taken into account. 


The portal offers a sound introduction to the topics mentioned above, provides easily accessible and comprehensible information concerning legal and administrative issues, and presents checklists, references to further reading, contacts, and relevant departments in their respective administrations. Experts in each area were involved in providing this information; the contents have been checked at the ministerial level.

A comprehensive glossary, a mobility library, as well as a database of mobility-supporting programs in Germany complement the portal. The information concerning the German cultural landscape offers insights and opportunities for further research for foreign artists interested in the local art scene. 


touring artists is not a platform that helps artists or organizers to get involved in co-productions, nor does it mediate projects or stays abroad. It also does not contain practical information about living in Germany or in other countries.  

Our focus is on the legal circumstances and conditions in Germany. It is not possible to account for all particularities and special cases in this context. touring artists is unable to provide legally binding information; the complexity of these issues makes it necessary to consult with information providing authorities and (legal) advisors in complicated individual cases.  

It is also not possible to present the framework conditions of artistic work in the various countries around the world. However, there are a number of cultural organizations and associations in the European Union that provide artists and cultural workers with information – whether online or in personal consultations. Therefore, under the Info Portals heading, we have included initial points of contact for a number of European (and non-European) countries that can provide further assistance.  


It is a central concern of the stakeholders in the European cultural sector to systematize, extend, and share the existing information. touring artists starts from this point and addresses the need for information in and regarding Germany. We need your support: With the feedback form, you can send us your own experiences and tips, which we will gladly incorporate into our website.

A dancer from Uruguay is engaged for a five-month production in Germany. In addition to his visa he also needs a work permit.

For artworks that are temporarily brought to Riga for an exhibition, a returned goods declaration is essential in order to avoid difficulties during the transport back to Germany.

An actress residing in Germany has to tax her income for a production in the UK in Germany; however, an installation artist from Germany in the same production in the UK.

When staying abroad within the EU up to 24 months, social insurance in the country of origin remains effective. This also holds true for German artists who are insured through the KSK.

An artist from Germany is working in France for three years. His German liability insurance affords him protection over this period of time.

The work of an Italian artist, produced in Germany and used there by a third party, is protected by the German copyright. The principl
e of territoriality applies here.