About US

Independent Performing Artists (US) is a cultural policy interest organization that seeks to make visible and improve the conditions for the independent, professional, creative and self-producing performing arts in Denmark.

“Uafhængige Scenekunstnere” (US) is paraphrased from the English term “Independent Performing Artists”. 

The association represents performing and stage-artists who create and produce scenic events and work under the ever changing forms of production in the independent or freelance performing arts field.

The members of the association have a common artistic policy vision, but no common artistic program. 

The overall goal is to improve conditions for the free performing arts in Denmark, with special focus on the importance of diversity in artistic expression and a restructuring of the performing arts landscape in order to meet the production needs of the self-producing stage artists.

We are working to abolish the notion of independent theatre being low down on the artistic food chain and instead draw attention to the fact that being an independent stage artist is a self-chosen position in the performing arts landscape. 

The US is a mouthpiece for the independent sector of performing arts and strives to be a visible and progressive partner in cultural policy. We work towards an expansive and sustained study of the concept of performing arts and wish in the broadest sense to support the development of new artistic potentials. 

We are a forum for dialogue regarding new formats, directions and initiatives which can ensure the development of the free performing arts field.   In that capacity, the US is a consultation partner for the Ministry of Culture and has the right to appoint the various professional committees in the Statens

Kunstfond. US is a member of Kultursamvirket i Århus and the Danish Artists’ Council and also collaborates with other professional organisations and institutions in connection with specific issues and challenges related to the independent sector.


The US has existed since May 2005 and in 2020 draws approx. 70 members residing in both Denmark and abroad. The association’s cultural policy work is developed through the generous labour of volunteers.

Since 2005, we have arranged a number of events and member meetings, including 

2005 “Culture Battle” which put Culture on the ballot during the election campaign

2007 “Creating Conditions” a conference on production houses and Open Stages in Europe 

2009 “Denmark of the Future “

2010 “Performing Arts – Yes Thank You! ” an action for a contemporary theatre law 

As a follow-up to the conference “Creating Conditions”, we published “Raw White Paper” in 2009, a collection of articles regarding the independent artists’ production conditions. This report has helped to form the basis for work on a new Open Stage in Copenhagen.

In 2011, we published a report called “Considerations” about the performing arts educations in Denmark as an input to the research and report announced by the Ministry of Culture.

Sille Dons Heltoft represented the US and acted as a spokesperson for the Independent Artists in the committee appointed by the Ministry of Culture,  in connection with the conversion of the performing arts schools to the Bologna model.


See Kontakt