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Selection for «To-gather» International Collaboration

«To-gather»: International Selection

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The COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenges to the global art sector. It’s time to regroup, rebuild, and reconnect. From August to October 2021, we have launched this «To-gather» International Collaboration open call. This call supports 2–3-year collaborations between partners in Switzerland and in the regions of the Pro Helvetia liaison offices. We expect these 3 selected projects to have critical reflection on the current situation, to share ideas towards more equal forms of exchange between cultures and across contexts, and to experiement with new formats for collaborating.

Pro Helvetia liaison offices and related countries

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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.

FAQs at the bottom of the page

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 regions 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 document attached at the top of this page)
  • 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.

Funding conditions: 

  • 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 in the https://www.myprohelvetia.ch/r.aspx?q=1VhRnmrp portal. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions relating to eligibility

What type of partners are eligible to apply? 

Individual artists and cultural practitioners (curators, promoters, organisers, etc.) as well as collectives and organisations (institutions, festivals, platforms, etc.) active in the arts and culture field.

Can I apply if I am a student, or the project is part of an academic curriculum?

No, students are not eligible to apply. Pro Helvetia does not support projects that are part of a school or university curriculum/basic training, or continuing education programme closed to the public.

What nationalities are eligible to apply?

We do not assess the nationality of applicants. However, partners must be recognised as active practitioners in the art and cultural field of Switzerland or an eligible country from the liaison office regions to apply.

I have an international collaboration proposal including Swiss partners, but I am not based/active in a liaison office region. Can I still apply?

No, this call is open to cultural practitioners who are active in the cultural and artistic scenes of Switzerland and the countries covered by the liaison offices. You do not need to be a permanent resident or a passport holder of an eligible country. It is however essential that you are recognised as an active practitioner in the art scenes of either Switzerland or an eligible country from the liaison office regions to apply.

Can a project include partners in countries other than Switzerland and those in the liaison office regions?

Yes, but Pro Helvetia funding will only be allocated to partners active in Switzerland and the countries of the liaison office regions.

Is there an age limit for applicants?


Is a reference needed to apply?


I have an existing project that meets all the criteria. Is it eligible? 

Yes, as long as there are planned activities for at least another two years.

Can I apply for a filmmaking grant?

No. Filmmaking is not covered by Pro Helvetia’s mandate.

When should my proposed project take place?

Two-year project should take place before the end of 2024. Three-year projects can take place until the end of 2025.

I have a project idea but do not yet have confirmed partners in Switzerland/countries in the liaison office regions? Can I still apply? 

Unfortunately, incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications must be complete and define all partners in detail at the time of submission.

What disciplines are included in this call?

The call encompasses all disciplines that are supported by Pro Helvetia: design, interactive media, literature, music, performing arts, visual arts and architecture as well as projects that combine multiple disciplines both within and beyond the arts.

Can I apply for support through this open call for a project that is already supported through another Pro Helvetia open call/grant?


Questions relating to financing

Can Pro Helvetia cover 100% of the funding for the project?

Yes. However, every partner is expected to invest according to their abilities (financial, spaces, programming, accommodation, meals, network, visibility, advice, etc.) These investments should be declared and explained. Institutions who have the possibility to invest financially (and not only in kind), are expected to do so.

Do I need to provide an expense sheet?

Yes, an expense sheet will be part of the reporting requirements to Pro Helvetia at various review/funding moments during the project cycle. Payment of the grant will be made in tranches against reporting of actual expenses which should be supported by receipts.

Am I entitled to receive funding for subsequent projects emerging from the project supported through this call? 

No, the grants awarded through this call only cover the projects/activities outlined in the proposal and which take place during the project period. Pro Helvetia is under no obligation to finance follow-on projects, subsequent developments, etc. However, any meaningful follow-on project can be submitted as a new request for support and will be assessed by Pro Helvetia in line with any other application.

Will any new concepts, formats or methodologies developed in a project belong to Pro Helvetia?

No, all intellectual property rights belong to the project partners.

Questions relating to applications

Can a partner submit more than one application?

No, only one application per partner is accepted. However, it is possible for a partner to take part in several projects.

Must my application be in English?

Yes. Only applications in English will be accepted.

Can I submit an application by email?

No, all applications must be made via the online portal https://www.myprohelvetia.ch/r.aspx?q=1VhRnmrp (if you do not already have a myprohelvetia.ch user account you will first need to create one to be able to apply to this open call).

Who do I contact if I have questions? 

Questions should be addressed to the relevant liaison office for the region that your project relates to. If your project relates to more than one region, you can choose an office to contact.

How and when will I know if my proposal was successful?  

Applicants will be communicated with before the end of December 2021.

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