Due to the additional existential threat to performing artists posed by COVID-19, the need for counselling, coaching and financial support for retraining and further education has risen sharply.
This does not only affect freelance performing artists, who often live in financially precarious conditions. The Corona Wave has also caused great uncertainty in permanent theatre engagements. For the dancers in particular, the isolation during the lockdown and the closure of the cultural institutions is an extremely difficult situation. The lack of training opportunities and daily structures, as well as fears about the future, led to stressful situations. You can find suggestions for coping under: Mental Health.
The SSUDK encouraged the performing artists to use the time for self-reflection and for new inspiration for professional development. For this purpose, “The Dancers’ Survival Guide to Transition” was published by SSUDK.
The Transition Centre SSUDK supports in this difficult situation with individual counselling sessions and coaching, which are currently offered by telephone or video conference.
Many performing artists are not able to pursue their profession until their regular retirement. Be it for health reasons or because they can no longer cope with the physical demands of the profession. For dancers in particular, a career change is an inherent part of their career: due to the physical demands of their profession, they have to reorient themselves at an average age of 35. Some are able to find another position in their traditional field, but many have no choice but to retrain.
Due to the rather low wages during an artist’s career, it is often not possible to build up savings for retraining purposes. The entry into further professional life is made even more difficult by the often unrecognised professional qualifications of performing artists.
This is where the SSUDK helps people to help themselves. With information on changing careers, counselling and contributions to retraining, performing artists are offered the opportunity to channel their creativity and working power in new directions.
The Foundation for the Retraining of Stage Artists was established in 1993 by the Swiss Association of Stage Artists (SBCA). In 1997, the foundation opened up to non-members and since 2013 it has operated under the name Swiss Foundation for the Retraining of Performing Artists SSDUK.
In 2016, the Transition Centre SSUDK was established to support and advise performing artists before, during and after their career in German-speaking Switzerland, Ticino and Liechtenstein. This applies in particular to dancers during their professional transition.
Initial assessment and information about retraining opportunities
Grants may include both contributions for education as well as cost of living contributions
The main objective is to give artists practical knowledge and to make them aware as soon as possible of the issue of changing careers
Networking with partner organizations and former performance artists who have successfully started a new career
Schweizerische Stiftung für die Umschulung von darstellenden Künstlerinnen und Künstlern
c/o Szene Schweiz
Tel. +41 78 718 15 01
Schweizerische Stiftung für die Umschulung von darstellenden Künstlerinnen und Künstler
IBAN CH17 0900 0000 8913 6523 8
Many thanks for the generous support of the following foundations: Schweizerischen Interpretenstiftung SIS/ Swissperform, Stiftung Corymbo, Ernst Göhner-Stiftung, Szene Schweiz , Sophie und Karl Binding Stiftung and Danse Suisse.