The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to ripple across the international art sector, limiting mobility and opportunities for international collaboration as well as revealing the very precarious realities of many arts practitioners, cultural organisations and institutions. The pandemic has also brought into stark relief the prevailing structural inequalities that continue to shape much of the arts and culture landscape across the globe. The next few years will be a time to regroup and rebuild, and with this, an opportunity to reflect on ways to reconnect across national borders to exchange and collaborate in ways that are more equal and sustainable.
The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia is launching a new call to support the development and testing of new frameworks and methodologies for working internationally. The «To-gather» International Collaboration call supports 2–3-year collaborations between arts practitioners, cultural organisations and institutions in Switzerland and their counterparts in the regions of the Pro Helvetia liaison offices. The call looks to support time for critical reflection on the current situation, for sharing ideas towards more equal forms of exchange between cultures and across contexts, and for experimenting with new formats for collaborating.
Funding is aimed at projects with the following goals:
- To encourage artistic collaborations with long-term visions between Switzerland and one or more region of the liaison offices.
- To maintain existing AND develop new professional networks during and beyond the pandemic.
- To reflect on and develop new models of collaboration between artists, and between artists and organisations, towards a more equal and sustainable practice – both on the local and global level.
This call for projects is deliberately broad in scope, mindful of the unique challenges of different regions and disciplines. «To-gather» aims to support either new or ongoing long-term international collaborative projects and encompasses all disciplines that are supported by Pro Helvetia: design, interactive media, literature, music, performing arts, visual arts and architecture as well as projects which combine multiple disciplines both within and beyond the arts. Digital formats are just as welcome as analogue ones. Projects can include both small or large groups of partners.
- Applications should be for activities spanning a period of 2-3 years, and which must take place between 2022 and 2024, or until 2025 for three-year projects.
- Proposals must be complete at the time of submission and define all partners.
- All projects must include partners (artists, organisations, collectives, platforms, etc.) in Switzerland and at least one liaison office context.
- Applications including multiple partners in liaison office regions are possible and encouraged. (Please refer to the list of liaison office regions and associated countries).
- All partners must demonstrate several years of experience in their field, and should illustrate in their application a genuine interest in testing new ground for future ways of collaborating internationally.
- Projects which are part of a school or university curriculum/basic training, or continuing education programme closed to the public are not eligible.
- All partners should invest according to their capability (financial, spaces, programming, accommodation, meals, network, visibility, advice, etc.) These investments should be declared and explained.
- Applicants can charge reasonable administrative, management and overhead costs to a project.
- Cost for the construction of new physical infrastructures will not be supported.
- «To-gather» is open until 3.10.2021. Applications must be in English and submitted via the questionnaire via this link. Any of the partners can submit the application.
Applications must contain the following elements:
- A concept outlining the aims, form, content and implementation of the project, specifying multiple steps during the 2-3 years, the intended impact during the project period as well as long-term impact beyond the project period.
- Information about all participating partners: CV, role in the project, investment in the project.
- A budget and financing plan (with detailed information about the financial contributions of the partners) incl. specification of the amount requested from Pro Helvetia. The maximum grant per project is CHF 50,000.
- Additional relevant documents (e.g. documentation of past projects, media reports, etc.)
Applicants will be communicated with before the end of December 2021.