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Visual Arts

Who are our formats directed to?

We promote the creation and dissemination of contemporary visual arts, photography, media art, performance and architecture.

We support professional artists, institutions, event organisers and publishers that present or contextualise artistic work.

What are our funding activities?

  • International Platforms and Swiss Focus Programmes
  • Events outside Switzerland, specifically exhibitions and festivals
  • Events in other language regions of Switzerland, namely exhibitions and festivals
  • Publications on contemporary visual arts in Switzerland
  • Curatorial and artistic research, as well as targeted, professional dialogue formats (“studio visits”)
  • New artistic productions with a half-yearly call for applications for production contributions
  • Photographic projects by supporting publications and through a yearly call for applications (“focus photo”)
  • Promotion of emerging artists through a half-yearly call for applications offering support for art spaces, residencies and grants for galleries wishing to display their work at art fairs

Frequently asked questions

I would like to submit a project for a production grant in the visual arts. The project is a short film. Can I request support from Pro Helvetia?

Pro Helvetia is not responsible for film funding and therefore does not fund film projects. However, support is available for art projects that use film/video as a medium.

I am an artist and have been invited to show my film at an international film festival not listed on the Swiss Films’ promotion list. Can I apply to Pro Helvetia?

The important thing is the presentation context, i.e. presence through exhibitions or festivals in settings relevant to the visual arts. If your previous work was primarily presented in the festival/film context, the respective municipal/cantonal or federal film funding agencies are the point of contact for your project.

I live in Switzerland but I’m not a Swiss citizen. Is my residency status in Switzerland of relevance when assessing my connection to Switzerland? Do I need to have a specific Swiss residency permit in order to be eligible for support?

No, your connection to Switzerland is not determined by your residency permit. However, your home (permanent place of residence) and artistic presence (i.e. you regularly exhibit at recognised artistic sites with national appeal) must be in Switzerland.

I heard of your “Cahiers d’Artistes” series that supported artists’ first monographs, but I can’t find any information about this on the website. How can I make a submission?

The publication of the “Cahiers d’Artistes” was discontinued with the 2023 edition. Pro Helvetia provides publication support for artists’ monographs, provided that these works document their artistic practice over a period of approximately 10 years.

You support publications in the field of artistic, documentary and/or applied photography. Does this include press photography?

No, press photography as a specific sector and practice is not covered by our funding measures.

In your information on publication funding, you only mention monographs and thematic publications. Does this exclude all other kinds of publications, for instance also exhibition catalogues and commemorative publications?

Yes. The following are excluded: exhibition catalogues, commemorative publications, reference works, bibliophilic editions, new editions and revised new editions of publications, as well as self-published or paid publications.

I’m an artist and I won a prize. The associated exhibition/publication/event series is not covered by the prize money. Can I apply for support?

No. Projects related to prizes/awards and the associated events are ineligible for funding.

I’m organising an exhibition/publication about a deceased artist. Can I apply for support?

No. Projects focusing on historic works or works by deceased artists (e.g. in the form of exhibitions or publications) are ineligible for funding.

Is the promotion of architecture (e.g. via exhibitions or publications) covered by the Design or the Visual Arts division of Pro Helvetia?  

Architecture is supported within the Visual Arts division.

Do you have a question and would like to speak with a team member?

The team at a glance