Information for cultural professionals

The consequences of the coronavirus pandemic are having a major impact on people working in the cultural sector and on cultural businesses. Protective measures, along with postponement and cancellation of cultural events and projects are having an enormous negative impact on cultural life. At the same time, cultural professionals and cultural enterprises are developing projects and concepts in order to adapt to the changed conditions. The Federal Government and the cantons have put together a package of support measures to protect livelihoods and to prevent longer term harm to cultural life.

What support do cultural professionals receive?

Self-employed cultural professionals who have suffered losses in income due to official measures to tackle coronavirus can make an application to their compensation office [Ausgleichskasse] for compensation for loss of earnings due to coronavirus [Corona-Erwerbsersatzentschädigung]. Cultural professionals whose economic existence is threatened because of state measures to tackle coronavirus can get Swissculture sociale emergency aid to cover immediate costs of living. This applies to self-employed, freelance and employed professionals in need.

On 17 December 2021, the Federal Council extended the Covid 19 Ordinance with regard to culture. This has thus created the basis for cultural professionals to continue to submit applications for compensation for loss of earnings in 2022 (Link: Covid-19: News).

More information:

What support do cultural enterprises receive?

Cultural enterprises can take up those support measures that are also available to other businesses ‒ obviously provided that they satisfy the relevant conditions. Find detailed information about the regulations for businesses here.

They can also apply to the canton for loss of income compensation for cancelled or postponed projects, as well as for contributions to transformation projects.

Which regulations apply for cultural events?

These regulations apply in the Canton of Basel-Stadt when it comes to dealing with events

What about safety policies?

Cultural institutions and organisers of cultural events must develop and follow safety policies. You can find more information and framework safety policies here.

Where can I find further information?

You can find detailed information about Covid-19 support measures for cultural professionals and cultural enterprises at:

You can obtain detailed information about support in the cultural sector and about the legal principles of the Federal Government from the Federal Office of Culture (BAK)

You can get more information about the current situation of cultural professionals from Suisse Culture, the umbrella body of organisations for cultural professionals, as well as from the industry associations: Verein Musikschaffende Schweiz, the professional association of musicians in Switzerland, Verein der Theaterschaffenden Schweiz, the professional association of the theatre industry in Switzerland, Danse Suisse, the professional association for the dance industry in Switzerland, Verband der Autorinnen und Autoren der Schweiz, the professional association of authors in Switzerland and Berufsverband der bildenden Künstlerinnen und Künstlern, the professional association of the plastic arts.

Protective umbrella for large public events with 5,000 or more people

Since July 2021, large events with between 1,000 and 5,000 people, and since 20 August 2021 events with up to a maximum of 10,000 people, can be held again. These events must be approved by the Department of Public Health (find more information here). 
For public events with a minimum of 5,000 people of supra-cantonal significance, the federal government and the cantons (for the canton of Basel-Stadt with the resolution of the parliament from 23.6.2021) have introduced a so-called "protective umbrella". Events that are being planned and prepared now and are to take place in the canton of Basel-Stadt by 30 April 2022 can fall under the protective umbrella: In a first step, the organisers of events apply for protection status. If this application is approved, the canton guarantees for its participation in the uncovered costs. If the event has to be cancelled, postponed or greatly reduced due to a later official order because of the Covid 19 pandemic, the damage incurred can be claimed in a second step. 
Further information on this topic can be found here.

Further important information for cultural professionals

Umbrella organisation of organisations for cultural professionals Swissculture and Swissculture sociale.

The Verein Musikschaffende Schweiz demands payment of unpaid fees for musicians.

The Verein Theaterschaffende Schweiz demands payment of unpaid fees for theatre professionals.

Danse Suisse, Swiss professional association of dancers, demands payment of unpaid fees for dancers.

The Swiss association of authors provides information on its website: Swiss association of authors

The professional association of visual artists provides information on its website: Professional association of visual artists

Swissfoundations has put together important information for foundations providing funding.