Demand for Pro Helvetia funds still growing

Dancer Yan Duyvendak performs in Biel. Pro Helvetia supported around 2,000 cultural projects last year Keystone Archive

Requests for funds from Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council, continue to rise. Demands for subsidies last year increased by 10 per cent, exceeding the 4,000 mark.

This content was published on June 28, 2001 minutes

Pro Helvetia chose to fund 2,000 cultural projects, the same number as in 1999, with one third of them in Switzerland. The budget was SFr 32.2 million ($18 million) in 2000.

The organisation is continuing to reorganise itself after being criticised for spending up to one third of its budget on its running costs. Last year, however, only a quarter of the money was spent on administration.

The foundation is to undergo some fundamental changes to answer the criticism. Its board is to be cut from 30 members to 25 in 2002.

The board will also be split up into a directorial committee and a council of experts. Its secretariat will also be reorganised.

Pro Helvetia's mandate is to promote cultural diversity beyond Switzerland's borders. The foundation supports musical, literary and theatre projects, and publishes a variety of brochures.

The organisation also runs cultural centres in Paris, Milan, Cairo, Cape Town, Bratislava, Budapest and Krakow. It also fulfils mandates from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Bucharest, Kiev, Sarajevo, Skopje, Sofia and Tirana.

The projects supported are chosen on the basis of quality and innovation.

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