Guidelines for Applicants: Music
Important information for applicants
- Factsheet «Requirements for support recipients»
- Information sheet social security for cultural practitioners
- Legal regulations
- Logo Pro Helvetia
- 1. General requirements
- 2. Funding measures
- 2.1 Music professionals
- 2.1.1 New musical works
- 2.1.2 Production of recordings in connection with international release tour
- 2.1.3 International presence
- 2.1.4 Sound art and scenic productions
- 2.1.5 Multi-year funding programmes – High priority jazz promotion
- 2.1.6 Residencies and research trips
- i. Residencies (duration of up to three months)
- ii. Research trips (duration of up to four weeks)
- iii. Co-creation
- iv. Art, science and technology
- 2.1.7 Critical reflection
- 2.2 Event organising institutions
- 2.2.1 Events in Switzerland
- 2.2.2 Events outside Switzerland
- 2.2.3 Emerging artists projects
- 2.2.4 Publications and other contextualising formats
- 2.2.5 Events combining artistic disciplines
- 3. Restrictions
- 4. Composition of application dossier
- 5. Application deadlines and decision timelines
- 6. Application processing
- 6.1 Preliminary assessment
- 6.2 Assessment of content and quality
- 6.3 Decision-making bodies
- 6.4 Decision notification
- 6.5 Obligations of recipients
- 6.6 Disbursement
- 6.7 Appeals
- Having questions regarding the application process or our scope of promotion?
These guidelines set out the procedure for submitting a funding application in the field of music to the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. They also explain the assessment criteria, procedures, deadlines and appeals process. These guidelines supplement the Grant Ordinance of 27 November 2019 of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, as well as the Federal Act of 11 December 2009 on Culture Promotion and the Ordinance of 23 November 2011 on Culture Promotion.
Status: January 2023
1. General requirements
Pro Helvetia promotes present-day professional Swiss music with a view to ensuring its diversity as well as its national and international reach. It supports the creation of new musical works, as well as the dissemination of contemporary Swiss music outside Switzerland, international cultural exchange and exchange between Switzerland’s various linguistic regions. As a national foundation, Pro Helvetia only supports projects of cross-regional or international significance and supplements the promotional activities of Switzerland’s cantons and cities.
To be eligible for support, projects must
- have a clear connection to Switzerland
- be of nationwide importance
- be adequately co-funded by other public or private means
2. Funding measures
Applications may be submitted by music professionals or event organising institutions. The formats for which applications can be submitted are explained in the sections below (2.1. for music professionals, 2.2. for event organising institutions).
2.1 Music professionals
Pro Helvetia defines music professionals as both individuals (composers, musicians) and collectives (bands, ensembles, orchestras, etc.). For event organisers see 2.2.
2.1.1 New musical works
Pro Helvetia supports the composition and first public performance of new works by nationally recognized Swiss music professionals. To be eligible for funding, the new works must premiere at renowned festivals and/or concert series in Switzerland or abroad. Pro Helvetia can award funding for both composition fees and performance costs. The production of recordings and their live premiere are supported exclusively via 2.1.2 (production of recordings in connection with international release tour). New scenic productions as well as new sound installations are supported exclusively via 2.1.4 (sound art and scenic productions).
2.1.2 Production of recordings in connection with international release tour
Pro Helvetia supports Swiss bands and musicians in developing, recording and internationally premiering their own compositions (new repertoire). In the context of international release tours, contributions can be made towards travel and transport costs (excluding accommodation costs) as well as towards bookings and promotion. Contributions can also be made towards the production and recording of the new repertoire as well as international distribution (analogue and/or digital) and promotion. To be eligible for funding, the band or musician must be nationally established and be performing regularly at renowned venues abroad, and must present a convincing diffusion concept. Pro Helvetia gives priority to tour projects that maintain a sustainable use of resources, in particular when large distances are covered (coherent routing, selection of means of transport, connected series of performances, other activities in the fields of artistic exchange or networking, etc.). Pro Helvetia may assume additional costs incurred in this connection. Event organisers are expected to pay appropriate fees and to cover local production and accommodation costs.
2.1.3 International presence
Pro Helvetia supports nationally established Swiss ensembles, bands and musicians to tour internationally and to perform at major festivals and venues. Pro Helvetia also supports foreign ensembles and musicians to perform the works of contemporary Swiss composers. To be eligible for support, programmes must comprise an own repertoire (i.e. original compositions) or contain a substantial number of works by contemporary Swiss composers. In the context of international tours, contributions can be made towards travel and transport costs (excluding accommodation costs) as well as towards bookings and promotion. Pro Helvetia gives priority to tour projects that maintain a sustainable use of resources, in particular when large distances are covered (coherent routing, selection of means of transport, connected series of performances, other activities in the fields of artistic exchange or networking, etc.). Pro Helvetia may assume additional costs incurred in this connection. Event organisers are expected to pay appropriate fees and to cover local production and accommodation costs.
2.1.4 Sound art and scenic productions
With its production grants, Pro Helvetia supports the creation of scenic and performative musical productions as well as sound installations regardless of genre and format. Funding is available for projects in the field of music theatre, multimedia works, sound installations, as well as for musical productions linked to forms of artistic expression in other disciplines. Support is granted for conceptually and organisationally convincing projects realised by nationwide established music professionals. Co-productions with international partners are possible. To be eligible for support, productions must be publicly presented at renowned venues. Grants may be awarded for all steps in the production process, from project development to performance. The production of recordings can be supported only via 2.1.2.
Application deadlines: 1 March and 1 September; the first public event may take place no sooner than four months after the application deadline. These applications are evaluated by a jury.
Decision timeline: within four months of the application deadline.
2.1.5 Multi-year funding programmes – High priority jazz promotion
The 3-year funding programme «High Priority Jazz Promotion» is currently being evaluated and updated; it is at present not possible to apply. The updated funding programme and information on application possibilities will be published on our website prohelvetia.ch in the course of 2023.
2.1.6 Residencies and research trips
i. Residencies (duration of up to three months)
Pro Helvetia supports residencies by music professionals to and from the countries covered by its six liaison offices (Arab region, China, Russia, South America, South Asia, West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa). Eligible are music professionals from Switzerland and from the regions covered by the liaison offices.
More information: Residencies
ii. Research trips (duration of up to four weeks)
Swiss music professionals may apply for research trips worldwide . Music professionals from the regions covered by the liaison offices may apply for research trips to Switzerland.
More information: Research trips
With a pilot measure, Pro Helvetia supports co-creation projects between artists and cultural practitioners from Switzerland and from the regions covered by its liaison offices (Arab region, China, Russia, South America, South Asia, West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, and Southern Africa).
The co-creation grant is aimed at tandems who want to develop project ideas further, building on exchanges from previous residencies, research trips or other experience of collaboration. Applications for co-creation grants can be submitted on an ongoing basis via myprohelvtia.ch.
More information: Co-creation Support
iv. Art, science and technology
Pro Helvetia supports residencies at the interface of art, science and technology in collaboration with CERN in Geneva, South Africa, India and Chile. These residencies are aimed at practitioners from all arts disciplines that are promoted by Pro Helvetia.
More information: Guidelines for Applicants: Innovation & Society
2.1.7 Critical reflection
Each year up to 2024, Pro Helvetia is launching a theme-based call for projects that are intended to stimulate opinion forming and critical discussions on the role of art and culture in society. Eligible for support are exemplary, transdisciplinary projects that seek new forms of critical reflection on contemporary art production and art criticism, and that appeal to different types of audiences.
More information: Guidelines for Applicants: Innovation & Society
2.2 Event organising institutions
Pro Helvetia defines event organisers as institutions that programme and organise musical events and performances (e.g. festivals, concert series). For music professionals see 2.1.
2.2.1 Events in Switzerland
Pro Helvetia supports festivals and concert series with a national reach that place strong emphasis on exchange between the various language regions of Switzerland and/or that launch exchange projects between the country’s different linguistic regions, and/or that premiere compositions by Swiss music professionals. Event organisers are expected to aim for a balanced gender mix in their programme and to pay performing musicians commensurate fees (i.e. in accordance with the rates of the relevant professional associations). Co-funding by other public funders is required (subsidiarity). Pro Helvetia can award funding towards production and performance costs; in the case of world premieres, it also contributes to cover composition fees.
Pro Helvetia supports Swiss folk culture projects with a global grant administrated by the IG Volkskultur. Applications must be submitted to the IG Volkskultur.
Applications must be submitted according to the IG Volkskultur Fact Sheet (see volkskultur.ch)
2.2.2 Events outside Switzerland
Pro Helvetia supports internationally renowned event organising institutions for the programming of Swiss music professionals with their own repertoire, for the performance of works by contemporary Swiss composers, and for collaboration or exchange projects with Swiss or local music professionals. Pro Helvetia can make contributions towards travel and transport costs (excluding accommodation costs) and, in the case of performances of works by contemporary Swiss composers towards production and performance costs as well as composition fees. Event organisers are expected to pay appropriate fees and to cover local production and accommodation costs.
2.2.3 Emerging artists projects
Pro Helvetia promotes emerging artists in collaboration with established institutions (festivals, ensembles, associations, etc.). The projects supported must be aimed at music professionals who demonstrate great artistic potential with a view to a national or international career and help them establish themselves firmly in the national and international professional environment. Support can be granted to projects that enable artists in the first five years of their artistic career, either after completing their professional training or presenting their first work in public.
2.2.4 Publications and other contextualising formats
Pro Helvetia supports projects that critically examine current Swiss music or individual aspects of it from an overarching, contemporary perspective. Projects include analogue and digital publications (regardless of publication format) as well as other forms of presentation. To be eligible for funding, projects must be of national importance and not only address a specialist audience. No funding is available for commemorative publications, monographs or purely scientific projects.
2.2.5 Events combining artistic disciplines
This category refers to events or festivals that present productions from various artistic disciplines. As a rule, productions from at least three disciplines must be envisaged. Otherwise, applications must be submitted to the division primarily responsible for the event. Events combining different artistic disciplines are assessed according to the same criteria regarding form and content that apply to discipline-specific events. Particular importance is given to the criteria of the disciplines of which the productions are part of. Events combining artistic disciplines are supported in and outside Switzerland. In Switzerland, they are supported provided they present productions from Switzerland’s other language regions. Outside Switzerland, support is given to these events that present Swiss productions.
More information: Events combining artistic disciplines
Pro Helvetia is unable to consider funding requests if
- the same part of the submitted project is already receiving funding from other federal bodies (e.g. Federal Office of Culture, Presence Switzerland, Swiss National Science Foundation, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation);
- the project is part of a school or university curriculum/basic training or continuing education programme (including dissertations, diploma projects, university scholarships, etc.);
- funding is intended to cover infrastructure and equipment costs, as well as the costs of operating cultural facilities, archives and collections;
- the project does not depend on funding from Pro Helvetia.
4. Composition of application dossier
Funding applications submitted to Pro Helvetia must contain:
- Details on the key persons involved in the project
- Project description in conceptual and organisational terms
- Place and date of the public performance, publication or presentation
- Detailed cost and financing plan including information on all financial assistance requested from third parties
- Details on the amount requested from Pro Helvetia and cost justification
- In the case of exclusively virtual projects, evidence of a convincing national or international online dissemination strategy must be provided
Applications must be submitted via www.myprohelvetia.ch
5. Application deadlines and decision timelines
Unless otherwise stated (see Section 2), the following application deadlines apply:
|Application type||Application deadline||Decision timeline|
|Funding requests up to CHF 25,000||ongoing, up to eight weeks prior to the event/publication||within eight weeks|
|Funding requests between CHF 25,001 and 50,000||ongoing, at the latest four months prior to the event/publication||within four months|
|Funding requests over CHF 50'000||1 September, at the latest four months prior to the event/publication||within four months|
|1 December, at the latest four months prior to the event/publication||within four months|
|1 March, at the latest four months prior to the event/publication||within four months|
|1 June, at the latest four months prior to the event/publication||within four months|
6. Application processing
6.1 Preliminary assessment
Pro Helvetia will only consider funding applications if
- the submitted project meets the general funding requirements (see Section 1);
- there is no valid reason for exclusion (see Section 3);
- the application dossier is complete and has been submitted on time (see Sections 4 and 5).
6.2 Assessment of content and quality
Within the scope of its available funds, Pro Helvetia prioritises projects that most comprehensively meet the criteria for support.
Pro Helvetia assesses whether
- the project corresponds to the funding activities described in Section 2
- the project demonstrates high artistic and professional quality
- the project is implemented according to professional standards
- the costs are commensurate with the expected impact
- a lasting impact can be expected
Pro Helvetia prioritises support for projects in the field of contemporary art and culture according to their degree of originality and professional competence, as well as their social and thematic relevance.
Pro Helvetia expects the remuneration of the participating artists to be in line with the recommendations of their professional associations.
In assessing applications, Pro Helvetia attaches great importance to applicants using resources in an ecologically responsible manner. Pro Helvetia may assume related additional costs (e.g. journeys by train, CO2 compensation for flights). Such costs must be contained in the budget.
Pro Helvetia also expects event organisers to be committed to gender equality, diversity and equal opportunities.
6.3 Decision-making bodies
Applications which are reviewed by a jury: The decision on applications is taken by the director of Pro Helvetia on recommendation of the jury.
The following regulations apply to all other applications:
- Applications up to CHF 25,000: Decisions are taken by the responsible division at Pro Helvetia
- Applications between CHF 25,001 and 50,000: Decisions are taken by the responsible sector head at Pro Helvetia
- Applications over CHF 50,000: Decisions are taken by the director of Pro Helvetia at the request of the committee of experts
In the case of multi-annual performance agreements, the amount of funding requested per year is decisive.
6.4 Decision notification
Funding decisions are communicated without a statement of reasons. On receipt of the decision, applicants can demand an official decision statement from Pro Helvetia against which an appeal can be lodged.
6.5 Obligations of recipients
The awarding of funding entails obligations for recipients. Pro Helvetia reserves the right to reduce the amount of funding or to demand that disbursed grants be restituted if recipients fail to meet their obligations. See Factsheet «Requirements for support recipients» (blue box above).
Pro Helvetia disburses funding only after examining the final report, which must include a statement of account. Advance payments are possible on request. Unless applicants notify Pro Helvetia of any delays, funding shall expire at the latest six (6) months after the project’s closing date as per the application dossier.
Funding decisions taken by Pro Helvetia may be appealed within 30 days of receipt. Appeals must be filed with the Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht). Appeals must include the original application, as well as the grounds of the appeal and appropriate evidence, and must be signed by the appellant. The decision statement being appealed against needs to be enclosed as evidence. Appellants bear the costs of this procedure.
Appeals must be submitted to: Bundesverwaltungsgericht, Postfach, CH-9023 St. Gallen