Sabine Kock has been working as a cultural manager and researcher in Vienna since 2000. She was the managing director of the IG Freie Theaterarbeit (Association for independent theater work) until 2015 and co-founder of the international network European Off Network. From 2005 to 2012 she was head of the board of the Cultural Council of Austria, participated in the EU Commission Working group Cultural Industries and is a member of ARGE UNESCO Austria. She initiated the development of Smart in Austria and is together with Andrea Wälzl co-managing director of Smart Austria
Andrea Wälzl has professional training in commercial and tax law, has worked for various publishers and event organisations as well as filling the position of office manager at the IG Freie Theaterarbeit (Association for independent theatre work). Due to her years of consulting experience in the IGFT, she is very familiar with the problems that freelance artists often face – for example, labor and tax issues, social security, accounting, association law, promotion and project organization.
Lisa Pointner studied law at the University of Vienna and specialized in copyright and artist contracts. During the time of her studies she founded InTension Music in 2009, a music publishing and artist management agency. Since 2014, she has been working for Smart where she is primarily responsible for the field of music.
Robert Eichhorn first completed his studies in business before he was free to change his focus to theater. After working as assistant director, scenic and costume designer in Germany and Austria, he found his calling as head of production for many years. After a long stint as advisor at Team 4, he brought his know-how to SMartProduction in 2018. “I would certainly have been a Smart user if Smart had been around while I was active in the theater myself. I like the ‘smart’ idea that everyone can participate in a cooperative effort to build their own protective roof.”
Deborah Gzesh, actress, singer, dancer wanted to learn the other side of cultural production and studied cultural management at ICCM Salzburg. She created the contemporary Jewish performing arts festival Tschik Tschak Festival, was responsible for production at Hamakom and worked as head of production, performer, organizer and co-director for various independent theater companies. She is the lead singer for Scheiny’s All Star Yiddish Revue and has her own theater and music association. She finds Smart appealing in that it eases the artist’s life and shows them the way through the administrative jungle.
Angela Vadori has been strengthening the ranks of the Smart-Admin team since January 2018. She takes care of financial matters including subsidies and accounting for artists and associations. A trained dancer and philosophy student, she has been active as a producer and head of production in the independent dance and theater scene for quite a few years. Angela is a staunch supporter of the socio-political ideals behind the Smart cooperative and, in light of her own experiences, is very familiar with the hardships and issues faced by independent artists and cultural workers.
Xenia Kopf is a researcher in urban studies, cultural policies and theatre studies, as well as a graphics and communications designer. She joined the Smart Austria team in June 2019 to take care of public relations. She’s also currently working on her dissertation on autonomous cultural centers in European cities.
Lara Rainer studied European Economy and Business Management at the FH of BFI Vienna and ran her own advertising agency for many years. Besides supporting administration and advisory services at Smart, she enjoys enaging her artistic side with her label “LaRa Statement”, where she creates customised fabric designs.