Our Offices Abroad

Mandate and Legal Regulations

Pro Helvetia promotes Swiss arts and culture with a focus on diversity and high quality. As the Swiss Confederation’s cultural promotion institution, we support projects that are of national interest.

Our autonomously conducted promotion activities comprise:

Artistic creation

We foster new artistic creation in Switzerland by means of work grants. Support is provided for compositions, literary publications, visual artwork, productions by theatre, music and dance ensembles, as well as projects with an artistic take on new media and digital technologies.

Cultural exchange in Switzerland

Projects and events that enable exchange between different linguistic and cultural communities in Switzerland help to strengthen social cohesion. In this context, we grant financial contributions to guest performances, readings, concert series, exhibitions, festivals, translations and folk culture events.

International cultural exchange

One of the Confederation’s core tasks is the dissemination of Swiss culture abroad. We support exhibitions abroad and international tours by artists from various disciplines, foster literary translation, back promotional measures abroad and contribute to the funding of Switzerland’s presence at major international cultural events. Our offices abroad and residency programmes play an important role in maintaining international cultural relations and promoting dialogue with other cultures.

Cultural stimulus

We support innovative projects that are particularly well suited to providing fresh cultural stimulus. We also launch initiatives of our own, choose special focus topics and develop programmes dealing with topical issues in the world of culture. These include the impact of digital culture and our multicultural society.

Emerging artists

We facilitate the launch of a professional career in the arts at national or international level for young and talented cultural practitioners who have completed their training and shown the appropriate potential. In collaboration with selected partner institutions, we offer residency and coaching programmes, enable opportunities for performances or exhibitions, and grant financial support for networking.

Cultural outreach

Cultural outreach aims to engage audiences in personal encounters with artistic creation. To foster the development of this comparatively recent line of culture-related activity in Switzerland, we grant contributions to outreach projects that are exemplary in their innovative approach or that involve more than one linguistic region in Switzerland.

Detailed information on our tasks is contained in the Culture Promotion Act. It can be accessed in German, French and Italian.

Legal regulations

Pro Helvetia is a public-law foundation. Out tasks, which we perform autonomously, are specified in the Culture Promotion Act (Kulturförderungsgesetz) of 11 December 2009. The law also defines the cooperation between Pro Helvetia and the Federal Office of Culture (BAK) in cultural promotion work on behalf of the Confederation. Government funding for Pro Helvetia is determined by Parliament on the basis of the statement on the financing of cultural promotion by the Confederation (Federal cultural policy statement / Kulturbotschaft). The Kulturbotschaft 2016-2020 also outlines what we are set to implement in the coming five years.

The key legal and regulatory documents on which our work is based are the following (available in German, French and Italian):
Culture Promotion Act (Kulturförderungsgesetz)
Culture Promotion Ordinance (Kulturförderungsverordnung)
Strategic objectives of the Federal Council 2016-20 (Strategische Ziele des Bundesrates)
Federal cultural policy statement (Kulturbotschaft des Bundes)
Grant Ordinance (Beitragsverordnung) Pro Helvetia
Internal Rules of Procedure (Geschäftsordnung) Pro Helvetia


Further important links in connection with public cultural promotion in Switzerland (content available in German, French and Italian only):
Federal Office of Culture (Bundesamt für Kultur, BAK)www.bak.admin.ch
Swiss conference of cantonal ministers of culture (Konferenz der kantonalen Kulturbeauftragten, KBK)www.edk.ch
Municipalities’ culture conference (Städtekonferenz Kultur, SKK)www.skk-cvc.ch
Culturalpromotion.ch (Kulturförderung Schweiz)www.kulturfoerderung.ch