Annual report 2020
CH Abend im neuen Schauspiel Leipzig Quai du polar Game Developers Conference 2020
- Nature of Robotics: An Expanded Field
- LitteraturA Nairs
- Swiss participation at Kochi Biennale
«Between resistance and resilience, cultural actors are adapting and innovating to cope with the pandemic.»Charles Beer, Chairman of the Board of Trustees
«It is a matter of preparing the future, for which we all bear responsibility, creatively and lastingly.»Philippe Bischof, Director
In 2020, Pro Helvetia supported over 1600 art and cultural projects across Switzerland. Supporting Swiss artistic creation in all its diversity and ensuring its dissemination across Switzerland’s different language regions, both on the basis of applications, are Pro Helvetia’s core activities. The Arts Council is also committed to giving new impetus to cultural life and to supporting projects of national significance.
The 2020 corona crisis significantly impacted cultural life. Pandemic-related constraints and the cancellation of most events and activities led artists and institutions to develop new strategies and formats. Pro Helvetia adapted its funding measures in response to the constantly changing circumstances.
In 2020, Pro Helvetia supported over 2400 arts and cultural projects in 105 countries. Pro Helvetia provides support on the basis of applications for the presentation of Swiss artistic projects abroad. It also promotes Swiss art and culture in an international context, including various platforms such as trade fairs and biennials. Its global network and country programmes foster cultural exchange with other cultural regions.
Restrictions on freedom of movement — in particular the impossibility of physically crossing borders — also brought forth new formats, among those affected and at Pro Helvetia.
Pro Helvetia’s global network includes five liaison offices, the Centre culturel suisse in Paris and several partner institutions. During the reporting year, Pro Helvetia’s liaison offices established new partnerships in various countries, to help access new regions and markets for cultural exchange and the dissemination of Swiss culture. A new liaison office in the South American region was opened at the beginning of 2021 thanks to the successful development work carried out as part of the «Coincidencia– Swiss & South American Cultural Exchanges» programme (2017–2020).
In response to the global health crisis, and to maintain international collaborations while testing new formats, most of our liaison offices developed calls for projects adapted to the circumstances prevailing in 2020. In addition to «Breathing Space» and «now on» (see below), «FastForwART» was initiated by Pro Helvetia Moscow, «Folding the Axis» by Pro Helvetia Shanghai and «Parallel Sphere» by Pro Helvetia Cairo.
Of the CHF 43.4 million available to Pro Helvetia in 2020, 86.6 per cent were invested directly in arts and cultural activities. At 13.4 per cent, the share of adminis- trative costs was, as in previous years, well below the federal government’s strategic target of 15 per cent. In 2020, Pro Helvetia received 450 more applications than in 2019, an increase due, among other factors, to the additional calls issued in connection with Covid-19. At the same time, the share of approved applications dropped by around 10 per cent to 38.9 per cent.
Of the CHF 43.4 million spent by Pro Helvetia in 2020, 86.6 per cent went directly to cultural activities. Administrative costs (13.4%), calculated based on Zewo standards, remained clearly below the strategic threshold of 15 per cent prescribed by the Swiss Confederation.
|Applicants projects||28.9 m|
|Projects of offices abroad||6.6 m|
|Stimulus and exchange programmes||1.3 m|
|Cultural information||0.8 m|
|Amounts spent in CHF|
In 2020, Pro Helvetia received 5798 applications. Support was granted to projects in the fields of interactive Media & Design, Innovation & Society, Dance, Literature and Society, Music, Dance & Theatre, Visual Arts and — subsumed under the umbrella term «interdisciplinarity» — to projects involving multiple disciplines.No Pro Helvetia funding decision was appealed in 2020.
In 2020, the share of approved applications fell by around 10 per cent to 38.9 per cent compared to the previous year. At the same time, the number of applications received increased compared to previous years. Due to the «extraordinary circumstances» impacting the cultural sector during Covid-19, additional cross-sectoral and sector-specific calls for applications were launched. The decreased number of approved applications is primarily due to the large number of additional calls for applications, whose approval rates were lower than those of the regular calls.
Support granted by Pro Helvetia takes into account Switzerland’s linguistic and cultural diversity.
During Covid-19, Pro Helvetia adapted its funding practice as far as possible to the prevailing circumstances. The pandemic prevented various cultural projects from going ahead as planned. Funded projects therefore also include ones having to be postponed or for which another format (e.g. online) had to be found at short notice. In the case of projects cancelled due to Covid-19, Pro Helvetia covered the costs incurred up to maximally the amount of prospective funding.
Besides its domestic activities, in 2020, Pro Helvetia supported over 2400 Swiss art and cultural projects in 105 countries.
Pro Helvetia regularly evaluates its most important programmes and promotional measures. In 2020, the Arts Council commissioned a review of its performance agreements with «Reso – Tanznetzwerk Schweiz» and with Pro Helvetia’s Kleinkunstfonds. Evaluations provide important information on the quality of the various funding measures and on any need for adjustment.
«Reso – Tanznetzwerk Schweiz» was founded in 2006 to promote dance in Switzerland through specific projects and to better anchor the field in society. Pro Helvetia has supported «Reso» on a project basis ever since its launch and through a four-year performance agreement since 2012.
The 2020 evaluation examined the development of «Reso» and its impact on its environment. Both the conducted projects and exchange within the network were rated positively.
Based on these results, Pro Helvetia has decided to support «Reso» for another four years via an adjusted performance agreement. In future, Pro Helvetia’s support will focus more on launching projects providing new impetus.
From 2021, Pro Helvetia will merge the various subsectors of the performing arts (dance, theatre, contemporary circus, music theatre or street art) into a single division. This raised the question of how Kleinkunst should be supported in future. Pro Helvetia has so far backed this field through its Kleinkunstfond, delegated to «t. Theaterschaffende», the association of theatre professionals.
The 2020 evaluation revealed obvious contradictions between funding practices: While the Kleinkunstfonds focuses on supporting institutions, Pro Helvetia focuses on funding artists. These different approaches no longer seem effective, not least due to the increasing overlap between the various subsectors of the performing arts.
Pro Helvetia has therefore decided to discontinue the Kleinkunstfonds from 2021 and to provide regular funding for the sector through its Performing Arts Division (the former Dance & Theatre Division).