Changes ahead in Swiss cultural policy

A new report released Monday called on public authorities and private institutions in Switzerland to better coordinate the promotion of the arts.

This content was published on June 28, 1999 - 17:05

A new report released Monday called on public authorities and private institutions in Switzerland to better coordinate the promotion of the arts.

The demand was part of a 400-page report which largely reflects the views of Swiss artists and which contains wide-ranging proposals to streamline the promotion of the arts in Switzerland.

Commissioned by the Federal Office for Culture, with support from the Arts Council of Switzerland, the report was written by 14 journalists specialising in cultural affairs.

The proposals also included the creation of social security for needy artists or more favourable taxation.

Initial media attention to the report focused on the idea of creating more national arts institutions, such as a national theatre or ballet. Switzerland has traditionally given responsibility for arts promotion to the cantons.

"We are a Confederation and local aspects will always remain strong," said culture office director David Streiff, shown above with Marc Wehrlin, who is in charge of the office’s film department.

Streiff added that cantons now accepted that more arts organisations at the federal level would improve coordination and provide financial support for projects too costly for cantonal purse-strings.

The report's proposals will serve as a blueprint for wide-ranging discussions in August involving arts organisations, major sponsors of cultural events, and the cantons.

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