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Am I a "Berlin" Artist?

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Once upon a time there were [ artists ] coming all the way to berlin to make their career as  [ artists ], but they soon found the situation very complicated, as health insurance was too expensive and their parents said that they “should get a proper job, cause you might never get a pension…” And guess what? 

they didn’t realise that as an artist he/she can get into KSK (Künstlersozialkasse)! we’ll tell you more about what is the ksk below, but first:

who is an artist and what exactly does it mean to get into KSK?

if you work professionally as a self-employed/freelance artists with the main purpose of earning a living. The definition as to what constitutes an 'artist' can be explained as followed:

Example: a graphic designer is defined as an artist for this purpose, whereas a cabinet maker is considered to be a craftsperson rather than an artist. 

Simply, if you are actively working in fields such: VISUAL ART/DESIGN or WRITING or MUSIC or PERFORMING you should probably check if your profession is on list below (click to expand). Maybe you are a drama teacher and you had no idea that you are also a “legit artist?“

+ Visual arts/design

  • Painter, illustrator
  • Sculptor
  • Concept artist, experimental artist
  • Performance/action artist
  • New media artist
  • Graphic, UX and photo designer
  • Web, media, interface designer (no or very low amount of coding, technical work)
  • Game designer
  • Industrial, fashion, textile designer
  • Instructor in the field of design

+ Writing

  • Novel writer
  • Script writer (movie, theater, radio, TV)
  • Author scientific literature
  • Journalist, editor
  • Translator
  • Lector
  • Professional public relations/ advertising (writing)
  • Instructor in the field of journalism

+ Music

  • Composer
  • Song writer
  • Conductor
  • Musician (pop/rock etc. band, orchestra etc.)
  • Singer (pop, rock, opera etc.)

+ Performing

  • Actor (theater, movie, advertisement – no extra)
  • Singing performer
  • Dancer
  • Narrator (audio books, movie, advertisement)
  • Host
  • Comedian, entertainment artist
  • Puppeteer
  • Choreograph
  • Stage, costume, mask, scene designer/builder
  • Filmmaker, camera operator, cutter, editor (film)
  • Instructor in field performing
  • Drama teacher
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You are an artist and you can get more benefits than you’d think.

Let us tell you about the KSK, it’s a governmental organization (not only for Germans, but you need to live in Germany and of course be registered at the German tax office as freelancer), which allows artists to be a part of the social security system with the same right as an “employee” while working as freelancer, means self-employed (mom and dad can sleep easy). 

That means, artists pay approximately half of the insurance fees they would normally pay as regular freelancer. the KSK even contributes to the pension fee, so artists can secure their future.

The fee of the KSK membership is based on your annual income. Here are two examples:

  1. if your income is around 7,000 eur per year you will be paying about 115 eur per month.

  2. if your income is around 15,000 per year the fee will be around 205 eur per month.

This includes your health, pension and disability insurance. The KSK normally withdraws your share in monthly payments from your German bank account, add’s there contribution on top and transfers the total fee to your public health insurance.

Sound great, but what about the application and how to prove that I have an artistic soul & wallet?

All the forms, portfolio preparation, paper work and process can be overwhelming. we offer support in this difficult but important moment of your life to make it smooth and easy. expert application preparations and consultations on all things Künstlersozialkasse (KSK) you will find on the link below, find the package, find your artist support and the kulturspace team will be in touch shortly. Don’t you worry we got your back.

Justin Merino