“PLAY – games with culture” is Frankfurt-region-based organization that develops cultural life in playful manner. PLAY is found on humanistic values and open to all disciplines, aesthetics and styles. PLAY aims to bring culture to everybody and to connect people through culture beyond their social, political or religious background and beyond their aesthetic or style preferences. PLAY is found on personal, long-term relations with collaborators and audience. PLAY was conceived by artist and composer Jagoda Szmytka, funded together with other creatives from Frankfurt in 2015. Since then cultural PLAY events are held bimonthly at various venues in Frankfurt region.


The idea of creating PLAY was born as a strong desire of establishing a cultural playground with a home-base - a locally based organization that may serve as a stable and strong basis for cultural games.

Living without a permanent address, but traveling as an international artist around Europe, Jagoda Szmytka for many years has been longing for “real human relations” in her private life and “long-lasting cultural projects” in her professional one. Always on the road, realizing interesting projects and meeting inspiring persons, but limited to ephemeral situations and relationships, she has been dreaming of realizing something that would be long-lasting and personal yet meaningful to the creative-team and to the society. To get closer to her dreams, Jagoda decided to stop moving around and set her home-base in Frankfurt - the city of friendships since her studies-time.

And so at the end of 2014 she moved back to Frankfurt, contacted and connected her old friends - artists, architects, actors, designers, musicians, photographers, sportsman, researcher, in general, creatives of all disciplines and proposed the idea of PLAY at the meeting in Terminus-Klause (funding fellows a.o: Steffen Ahrens, Paul Hübner, Anirudh Rajdev Krishnadas, Damjan Jovanovic, Laura Linnenbaum, Gerhild Steinbuch, David Gonter; full fellow list HERE). The group started to meet regularly since January 2015 to exchange ideas and experiences. First private event “Chess and wine” took place in March 2015 and first public event “Superspace for superheroes” followed in May.


What are the impulses to name a platform “PLAY”? Despite omnipresence of play-element in culture and society over all the ages there are two particular references. One of them is the book “Homo Ludens” (“Man the Player”) by historian and cultural theorist Johan Huizinga where he discusses importance of play element and suggests it is a primary and necessary condition for flourishing societies. The title of the book, like the name of the second reference - game “ludo” - comes after Latin word verb “ludere” that points to sport, play, school and practice. “Ludo”, a game of Indian origin mentioned above as second reference, literally means “I play” and is one of the oldest and most popular games played throughout the world. In “ludo” players race from starting point to “home-base” correspondingly PLAY platform put emphasis on the importance of a locally founded, solid playground with a home-base.


PLAY is based on experience and competency in connecting diverse disciplines, styles and aesthetics therefore is able to communicate with various people and meet the needs of various audiences.

PLAY promotes values of respect for the rules of game and equal treatment of all concerned - collaborators and audience.

PLAY aims to present culture in playful manner - always staying open to interact with audience and with collaborators.

PLAY involves the players - each cultural event is organized with care to remain in a personal contact.

PLAY is the highest form of learning - in a game the logical concept grows with the emotional engagement what is essential for the productive and creative thought therefore PLAY is precious as the motor for local, artistic production, cultural grow and education.

PLAY is a cultural service made with care on high quality and in interaction with society.

PLAYing games with culture is not a luxury, but a necessity.


PLAY strives for bringing culture closer to people’s daily life by breaking traditional stage concept and often organizing events in unusual locations like private appartments, shops, bars, clubs, casinos, offices or in the open public spaces like river shore, city park. PLAY brings culture where people simply are, but do not expect it: where they live, eat, work or spend free time.

PLAY aims to grow a local community through establishing personal contact between artists and audience, offering exchange-friendly atmosphere during events and extending cultural program into after-parties.

PLAY intends to network all creatives living in Frankfurt region – platform formula, in spite of fixed group of funding members, is open for collaboration with artists, architects, actors, stage directors, musicians, dancers, fashion designers, hair stylists etc based in Frankfurt region, and occasionally guest performers from other cities.

PLAY is diverse - it does not exclude neither any disciplines nor styles. Cultural PLAY events are interdisciplinary – their range is spread across art, music, architecture, dance, design, cuisine, fashion, sport and other disciplines. Each time to the audience is presented different format. PLAY event might be - to name few examples - a combination of concert with lecture, exhibition with creative cooking, fashion show with dance performance.

The diversity of cultural program and wide aesthetic range should reflect the diversity of human nature and diversity of modern society.

PLAY involve players presenting high and pop culture in playful manner. PLAY improves communication and connection between cultural disciplines and social groups and its games are happening on a playground positioned beyond cultural, political or religious divisions. Playful manner helps to present serious topics in a light way. What matters at the end is to build a team and play together.


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Text by Eva Maria Magel


Schirn Magazin

Text by Sylvia Meilin Weber


Journal Frankfurt

Text by Christina Weber


photo © ARKANDOZ | website © PLAY Plattform + + + +