Mission Statement

USArtBerlin is an independent artist-run initiative affiliated with the Public Affairs Section of the U.S . Embassy. Our goals: to foster, maintain, and sustain a network of creative communities among U.S. artists and cultural workers (those involved in.....Read More >

Representation in the Arts: The Role of the Agent in Literature, Music, Acting, and Visual Art

A USArtBerlin Panel Discussion (in English)


The Humboldt University American Studies Department hosts this USArtBerlin special event, as part of the W.E.B. DuBois Lecture Series. This program is open to USArtBerlin members, their guests, and the public. Please RSVP to [email protected] to notify us of your attendance (this helps our planning tremendously).

In the field of arts management/ arts representation, parallels, contrasts, misconceptions, and divisions exists between the disciplines of literature, music, acting, and visual arts and their respective economies. How might these differences and similarities ultimately affect the content, scope, and form of the art that artists produce and audiences experience?

This panel discussion will bring together one manager/agent from each of the above mentioned fields to explore these issues as well as examine the following questions: What are the differences in how contemporary writers, musicians and composers, actors, and visual artists are represented and presented? What are some of the current practices of commercial representation of the arts, that is, what is the effect of The Agent on the artistic process, the expressive voice, and the creative life the of the artist? Does The Agent serve as the foundational support for the artist, or does the practice of arts management hinder, limit, and/or otherwise restrict artistic practice?

The topic of management in the arts is critically relevant for all engaged in the arts environment: artists, audiences, arts administrators/ facilitators, institutions, collectors, and philanthropic supporters. Consequently, critical discussions concerning arts management and how it operates are of potential interest across genres and to a broad spectrum of the art public. With this event we seek to inaugurate a conversation, and learning opportunity, between the diverse artistic fields of literature, music, acting, and visual arts – for creators, facilitators, and multiple audiences supporting today’s vibrant cultural environment.


Volker Diehl, Gallerist

Volker Diehl is the founder of DIEHL, a gallery that concentrates on contemporary art with international significance, located in Berlin – Charlottenburg. DIEHL’s roster includes the emerging Indian stars Shilpa Gupta (Mumbai/India) and Rina Banerjee (New York), the internationally acclaimed, Chinese-born artist Zhang Huan (New York), the renowned Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa (Barcelona), and the Russian groups Blue Noses and AES+F (Moscow). In addition to these artists, DIEHL also represents such German artists as Herbert Volkmann, Martin Assig and Martin Borowski, Thomas Florschuetz, and Frauke Eigen. Over the last 20 years DIEHL has participated in many leading international art fairs including Basel, New York, Miami, and Paris. In 2008, Volker Diehl became the first Western gallery owner to open a gallery space in Moscow: Diehl + Gallery One. Mr. Diehl also founded Art Forum Berlin, one of Berlin’s leading contemporary art fairs, in 1996, where he held the position of CEO until 2002. http://galerievolkerdiehl.com/

Isabelle Münch, Acting Agent

In 2003, Isabelle Münch became the owner and operator of the acting agency FRIENDS CONNECTION, founded in Berlin in 1996. The agency mainly represents English-speaking actors from the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand who generally live and work in Germany. Münch primarily books work for her clients in the fields of cinema, television, advertising, art projects, theater and voice work. A number of actors have been featured in internationally co-produced feature films such as The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski), Beyond the Sea (Kevin Spacey), and Nymphomaniac (Lars von Trier). With its concentration on English-speaking actors, the agency is the only one of its kind in Germany. http://www.friendsconnectionberlin.de/

Alexander Simon, Literary Agent

Alexander Simon founded the Simon Literary Agency in Berlin in 1999. The agency primarily represents German language writers and selected international writers in the fields of fiction and nonfiction. Its core competence is facilitating the German rights for publications that range from literary to commercial fiction. In the field of nonfiction, the agency has a particular interest in contemporary history, the memoir, current affairs at home and abroad, and popular culture. Musical theorist and cultural manager Sonia Simmenauer is among the nonfiction writers represented by the Simon Literary Agency. http://www.agentursimon.com/

Sonia Simmenauer, Music Agent

Sonia Simmenauer is the director of Impresariat Simmenauer, founded in Hamburg in 1989 with the goal of creating an agency exclusively for classical music string quartets. The Cleveland Quartett and the Guarneri Quartett are among the artists Impresariat Simmenauer accompanied through their final days on stage. In 2009, Impresariat Simmenauer moved its headquarters to Berlin, and continues to represent internationally respected quartets and soloists, in Europe as well as worldwide. Simmenauer is also a writer and professor of cultural management, and currently holds an Honorary Professorship at the Musik Hochschule of Hamburg. http://www.impresariat-simmenauer.de/Home/home-en.html

Moderated by: Rose-Anne Clermont

Rose-Anne Clermont is an editor, journalist and author of a memoir entitled, “Buschgirl: Wie ich unter die Deutschen geriet” or “Bushgirl: How I Got Stuck with the Germans,” published in German in 2010 by C. Bertelsmann/Random House. In conjunction with the book’s release, The United States Embassies in Berlin and Vienna sponsored a multi-city book tour from 2010 to 2011, to promote discourse about multiculturalism and integration. Clermont first came to Germany in 1998 as a Fulbright Scholar in journalism and permanently moved here in 2001. Her articles and essays can be found in many publications, including Der Tagesspiegel, Spiegel Online, Die Zeit, International Herald Tribune, NPR Berlin’s Berlin Stories and on her blog, Currents between Shores. http://www.buschgirl.de/roseanneclermont.html



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