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Diversity and equality in the cultural sector

Diversity Tandem and Start 2021

Photography and montage: Nadia Lanfranchi & Nina Oppliger

Results of «Diversity Tandem» call for applications 2021 

In connection with its «Diversity and equality in the cultural sector» programme, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia launched a call for applications under the heading «Diversity Tandem» earlier this year with the aim of giving publicly supported cultural institutions and organisations the opportunity of examining their organisational structures and subsequently enhancing them in terms of diversity and equality. The cultural institutions and organisations will work in tandem with diversity experts of their choice. In doing so, they obtain resources, gain competencies and develop methods for enhancing diversity and equality within their organisational structures. They will also have the possibility of testing sustainable diversity measures. 

An external jury of experts assessed the 8 applications submitted. The jury was made up as follows:  

Miriam Camara, diversity consultant, founder and director of akoma coaching & consulting, Berlin 

Kijan Espahangizi, historian, co-founder and board member of INES (Institut Neue Schweiz) and member of the Rat für Migration (council for migration) in Germany 

Ivana Pilić, diversity consultant, cultural scientist and curator of D/Arts – Projektbüro für Diversität und urbanen Dialog, Vienna 

Lisa Pedicino, Innovation & Society specialist, Pro Helvetia, Chairperson (without voting rights)  

On the jury’s recommendation, Pro Helvetia has awarded 4 grants:  

  • CHF 50,000 to Bühnen Bern 
  • CHF 35,000 to Sogar Theater Zürich 
  • CHF 30,000 to Dampfzentrale Bern and Schlachthaus Theater Bern 
  • CHF 30,000 to NOF – Nouvel Opéra Fribourg 

Results of «Start Diversity» 2021 

The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia held a first starter workshop in 2021 on the subject of «Diversity processes within cultural organisations». Eligible for this workshop were publicly supported Swiss cultural institutions and organisations that showed interest in the topic and wanted to acquaint themselves with initial instruments for developing diversity strategies within their organisation. The two-day workshop was conducted in collaboration with the diversity experts Miriam Camara, Yvonne Meyer and Ivana Pilić. 

The institutions listed below were selected for the workshop, representing a wide range of organisations of different sizes, different structures, from different parts of Switzerland and different disciplines of the arts: 

  • Helmhaus Zürich 
  • KIFF Aarau 
  • Kleintheater Luzern 
  • ROXY Birsfelden 
  • Sinfonieorchester Basel 
  • Sogar Theater, Zürich 
  • Solothurner Literaturtage 
  • TLH-Sierre 
  • Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne 

In the wake of the «Start Diversity» workshop, participants had the opportunity to develop their project further and to apply for support for their diversity strategy. The following institutions have applied for this support and have been awarded a grant for pursuing the learnings from the workshop and developing initial approaches to enhancing diversity within their organisation:  

  • CHF 10,000 to Kleintheater Luzern 
  • CHF 9,300 to ROXY Birsfelden 
  • CHF 10,000 to Sinfonieorchester Basel