New law for Swiss culture and the arts

13 September 2005, Switzerland

Five years after the Swiss government’s authority in matters concerning cultural policy was enshrined in the constitution, a parliamentary bill containing a new statutory instrument on the promotion of culture (KfG) and extensive amendments to the Pro Helvetia Act (PHG) has been submitted for review. The proposed new law represents important changes for the shape and future of Arts Council and public debate on key issues such as how the bill defines and incorporates existing key programmes, credit lines, sponsorship concepts and performance mandates, is now expected to inform development of the government’s proposals. To read comments made by Pro Helvetia director Pius Knüsel about the strengths and weaknesses of the two bills, CLICK HERE In response to the excessive use of jargon employed by those dealing with government policy on a regular basis, arts journalists Silvia Ricci Lempen and Christian Rentsch have published a useful glossary of Swiss arts policy, the "Glossar zur Schweizer Kulturpolitik". In addition to an A-Z definition of key terms, the journalists also explain 36 concepts central to the debate on the new law (on the promotion of culture) and the amendment of the Pro Helvetia Act. To order Pro Helvetia’s new glossary of Swiss Arts policy in German, French or Italian, CLICK HERE The bill, submitted on 15 June, will finally establish the Arts Council’s activities on ‘a firm legal basis’ and has been welcomed by key stakeholders. To further facilitate the public debate all those involved in Swiss culture and the arts have been invited to participate in the review procedure by attending a one-day conference on the objectives of Swiss arts policy, taking place in Aarau on 15 September. The event has been organised by the Centre for Arts Management at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Winterthur, and PRO CULTURA (a forum of art societies and associations). The conference, titled "A Law for Culture?" aims to provide ‘a common platform for artists, administrators, cultural institutions and the media.’ Confirmed attendees include: Iso Camartin (President of Suisseculture), Jean-Frédéric Jauslin (Director of the Federal Office of Culture), Christine Egerszegi-Obrist (Member of the National Council, FDP) as well as Yvette Jaggi (President) and Pius Knüsel (Director) from Pro Helvetia. For further information about the conference (in German and French), CLICK HERE