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To describe 2020 as a difficult year would be an understatement. The coronavirus has shaken our society to the core. Those working in the cultural sector were particularly affected. If the initial lockdown in the spring was already difficult, the constant ups and downs from fall until now led to a state in which culture increasingly found itself in a vacuum. For all of us, 2020 was therefore a year of hardship and uncertainty – for many also associated with moments of despair and fear for their own existence.

For us as a foundation, flexibility was required during these months. The planning uncertainty also caused us headaches. During this time, it was important for us to act unbureaucratically and to communicate transparently. In many contacts and conversations, we were able to sense that there is a solidarity within the Swiss music landscape that transcends genres and professional fields: a ray of hope under otherwise rather gloomy circumstances. But as the saying goes: you have to expect everything, even the good.

I would therefore like to express my gratitude – to the artists, to the Board of Trustees and – last but not least – to my team: together we have tried to defy the situation. We have sailed around cliffs that we did not know existed and are now in the process of steering our ship back onto open waters in a seaworthy condition. This would have been impossible if everyone had not pulled together.

Even more than the balance sheet of yesterday, we are interested in the prospect of tomorrow. It is clear to everyone by now that the world after Corona will function differently than we were used to. A high demand for flexibility is required from all of us. At FONDATION SUISA, we already started making adjustments two years ago in order to continuously adapt our funding policy to contemporary demands. The Get Going! grants, which were launched at that time, are evidence of our efforts to be able to better respond to the demand in Swiss music creation. On December 17, the Foundation Board intensively discussed further measures and decided on an offensive strategy for the future. This means that nothing stands in the way of greater flexibility and a more intensive focus on needs-based and demand-oriented funding opportunities within the framework of the Foundation’s purpose.

The world needs to be rethought. Innovative approaches are needed more than ever – not only from artists, but also from all those who ensure that we can continue to count on a thriving Swiss music landscape in the future.

With this in mind, I wish us all happy, reflective holidays and a smooth slide into a better year. 

With a big thank you to all

Urs Schnell, Director FONDATION SUISA