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About LADA

We support contemporary culture’s most radical and inventive artists, practices and ideas.

We champion new ways of working, legitimise unclassifiable artforms, record untold histories, and support the agency of underrepresented artists.

We believe in Live Art as a means to challenge the status quo and initiate meaningful social change.


What LADA can do for you?

Whether you are an artist, curator, writer, producer, student, educator, researcher or activist, we are here to help you understand, appreciate, dig into, and take inspiration from a huge breadth of Live Art and performance practices – contemporary and historic.

How we work

LADA is a Centre for Live Art

All our specialised resources, opportunities, projects and events are driven by our unwavering commitment to experimentation and risk, to the sustainability of our planet, and to difference and diversity in all its forms.

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LADA is a vibrant nexus for the most extraordinary imaginations, bodies and voices – making art possible in the intimate, unexpected and dangerous spaces of life. Its impact is profound, its heart enormous, its courage legendary.
John McGrath, Artistic Director, Manchester International Festival

Our values

At LADA, we are committed to:

  • working collaboratively based on shared values
  • showing respect to artists and arts workers, their labour and ideas
  • responding to the needs of a diverse society
  • ensuring equality of access and opportunity
  • maintaining financial transparency and ethics
  • reducing our impact on the planet and its climate
  • creating the conditions in which innovation, experimentation and risk can thrive
Long Table on Live Art and Feminism 2013 with Lois Weaver. Photo: Alex Eisenberg
LADA's home is the Garrett Centre in Bethnal Green, East London |
In its commitment to amplifying marginalised voices and practices, LADA takes its responsibility as a sector leader seriously, actively rejecting institutional 'happy talk' in favour of meaningful self-reflection and proactive change to address historical imbalances in representation.
Season Butler, artist and writer


Everything we do at LADA is driven by our commitment to Live Art in the UK and internationally.

Our curatorial projects and programmes are all designed strategically, responding to the challenges of contemporary society by promoting ground-breaking artists and works, and developing new contexts, dialogues, and audiences.

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Kaputt, Tate Modern, 2017. Image © Tate Photography
It’s not the checkbox of diversity that feels good about this event; it is how diversity is facilitating me to understand and think about things in a way that I hadn’t before. Isn’t that what art is supposed to be about, after all?
Poppy Noor, artist and contributor to Awkward Bastards 2


We recognise that the interdisciplinary and itinerant practices of Live Art ask for new approaches to artistic and professional development.

Through our flagship DIY programme, project-based commissions, and wide range of research residencies, mentoring and educational opportunities, LADA responds to the evolving needs and expectations of artists, arts workers, and academics at all stages of their careers.

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Group of people dressed in drag sitting, standing and lying on the floor From DIY11: 2014 - Dickie Beau's House of Strange Loops (image courtesy of the artist)
Nothing I’ve ever done or will ever do again will compare to these two days. It’s over for me now. This opened me up to what a workshop could be.
Participant in How the fuck…?, Katherine Araniello and Teresa Albor’s DIY for DIY 15 (2018)

Publishing and Resources

We provide free-to-access resources for artists, students and professionals, curate the Live Online video channel, and work with the British Library to maintain the Live Art Web Collection.

The books, films and artists’ editions published and co-published by LADA feature some of the most provocative ideas and practitioners working in Live Art, and pioneering research by thinkers in the field.

As well as partnering with major publishers on key titles, we publish our own books and editioned artworks and collaborate with artists working on independent publications.

More on Publishing More on Resources
Out of Now: The Lifeworks of Tehching Hsieh.
A handsome and imposing volume, demanding proper room on one’s bookshelf just as much as the artworks it concerns demand their place in histories of performance and art.
Contemporary Theatre Review on Out of Now: The Lifeworks of Tehching Hsieh
LADA at 20, Postcard Box Set |

Our Study Room

Containing over 8,000 items, including out-of-print books and rare performance documentation, our Bethnal Green Study Room is the world’s largest collection of research materials on Live Art – a unique resource for artists, curators and those studying at BA, MA and postgraduate levels.

We welcome student groups to the Study Room, offering introductory sessions to LADA and to Live Art.

You can book your visit today, and search our full Study Room catalogue online.

Visit the Study Room
person sitting at a table in front of full bookshelves in the study room The LADA Study Room. Image: Alex Eisenberg
LADA’s Study Room is a kind of artform in itself.
Mary Ann Hushlak, writer and curator

Unbound - our shop

Unbound, is the world’s only online shop dedicated to Live Art related materials, and features the unusual and independent alongside major critical works. Our carefully-curated selection includes books from major publishers, hard-to-find artists’ editions, and a full range of LADA publications.

We invite key artists and thinkers to guest-edit Unbound’s newsletters, or curate special ‘shelves’ on the site – highlighting the books and editions that have made a significant contribution to their own work.

As a not-for-profit initiative, buying from Unbound directly benefits the UK’s Live Art infrastructure, with many of our supported artists counting it as a direct funding stream.

Visit Unbound

Unbound can be visited in person at the Live Art Development Agency office (Bethnal Green, London) between Monday to Friday, 10.30am to 6.00pm. Visit Unbound.


Visit Unbound
A group of Study Room users look at a table full of books in LADA's Study Room.
Karen Finley: Grabbing Pussy
Access to the most exciting and provocative ideas and images in contemporary culture. A site that offers beautiful objects filled with inspirational items. I wish I owned them all!
Unbound customer

Events at The Garrett Centre

LADA has been based in the East End of London since we were founded in 1999. Since 2017, our home has been The Garrett Centre in Bethnal Green. This decommissioned Unitarian church is run by The Chalice Foundation, an organisation which shares many of our values and concerns around issues of equality, feminism, displacement, study and research.

We present regular public talks, screenings, and events at our Garrett Centre home, all of which are free to attend. We also host research gatherings, residencies, workshops and MA classes. The building is wheelchair accessible and has gender inclusive bathrooms.

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Opening Event at The Garrett Centre, 2017, image George Hunt
A brilliant gathering of curious and exceptional people!
Michael Smythe, curator, on the 2018 Festive Fair

Working in partnership

At LADA, we work in dialogue with artists, in partnership with cultural organisations, and in consultation with funders and policymakers.

Through our coordination of the Live Art UK network, we work collectively with our colleagues in the sector to promote greater awareness and understanding of Live Art, provide resources and opportunities that support its development, and inform policy and provision on a regional, national, and international level.

We regularly collaborate with Higher Education partners to support their work and ours. Our partnership with Queen Mary, University of London has seeded public programmes, resourced student learning, and facilitated world-class research. Together, we deliver the postgraduate MA Live Art, the first course of its kind anywhere in the world.

How we work
A model of how practice-based research and an arts organisation can have a real impact on the larger culture.
Professor Irit Rogoff, Goldsmiths, University of London on Performance Matters
Artists Nando Messias and Franko B in conversation
Artists Nando Messias and Franko B in conversation |

Charity Information

The Live Art Development Agency is funded as a National Portfolio Organisation by Arts Council England, but this only covers a very small percentage of the work we do. You can find out more about how to support us here.

The Live Art Development Agency is a Company Limited by Guarantee, Registered in England and Wales, No. 3651554.

The Live Art Development Agency is a Registered Charity, No. 1079943.