Ukrainian Youth Jazz Band

Since March 25, the Artas team has been busy looking after 15 young jazz musicians that fled their homes. With the support of the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation, we swiftly organised accommodation, covered the administrative requirements and organised teaching opportunities. Various local organisations offer their support, too.

Furthermore, we are organising a series of music workshops to support the young musicians’ education away from home. During those, they will learn Swiss compositions, improve their improvisation skills, and be introduced to some digital tools to produce music. We also prepare them for studying in Switzerland should their stay become protracted. Many interrogations remain for the youngsters, but thanks to the donations, accommodation proposals, and suggestions, we have been able to prepare an attractive programme. We thank you for your help!

Next Shows:
Sunday 5 June 2022, 19.30 h, Club Jazzcampus Basel, with the Jugendjazzorchester Basel
Thursday 16 June 2022, 19.30 h
Yehudi Menuhin Forum Bern

Wishing Wishes

The dance project Wishing Wishes invites young people from Armenia and Abkhazia1 to explore their own wishes and visions, and encourages them to expand their familiar horizons of action and to position themselves independently in relation to the social norms of their home environment. New spaces for play are created in the encounter of traditional folk and national dances of the South Caucasus, which are oriented towards communality, with Western-influenced contemporary dance, with its focus more on improvisation and the individual. Swiss dancers and choreographers work in close collaboration with colleagues from the South Caucasus.


Jour Fixe on Wednesday 20 July 2022, 17h15 CET

For this summer Jour Fixe, we want to invite you to a film evening! We are currently preparing an art education exchange project between Georgia and Switzerland for the autumn and would like to get tuned in by watching the Georgian film The Long Bright Days by Nana Ekvitimishvilis and Simon Gross.

The film is about the life of young women in Tbilisi in the summer of 1992, in the difficult and turbulent times shortly after the end of the Soviet Union and in the middle of the war in Abkhazia. The topic of the different orientations and values between generations that the film touches on is still relevant in Georgia today. The film won numerous awards after its release in 2013.

invites you to the Jour Fixe on the third Wednesday of every month to discuss ongoing projects as well as issues related to the work of the foundation or political developments in the partner countries. 

It's a hybrid event, taking place both on site at Lindenbachstrasse 21 in Zurich and in virtual space. 

The discussion is held in German or English, depending on the participants.

If you wish to be informed about the agenda each month, please sign up on our Jour Fixe invitation list here.


From the current circular

What We Can Do
Many regions of the world are in turmoil. Where artasfoundation is active, political tensions rise, war rages, artists, colleagues and friends live under threat. What is it that we can do? Here is the beginning of the list we made for ourselves:

  • (Continue to) heat the artasfoundation office with wood instead of fossil fuels
  • Resist thinking in terms of broad, blanket categories
  • Not forget other regions in crisis (Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Yemen, among, unfortunately, many more) despite the relentless flood of news from Eastern Europe
  • Neither forget the people from those very regions who also seek protection in our countries
  • Take the long view: the “peace industry” changes its focus quickly. After it has moved on to the next place of acute need, much will remain to be done, especially with art
  • Find good concert opportunities for the Ukrainian Youth Jazz Band that we have been supporting since their arrival in Bern last March
  • Assist endangered artists holding Russian passports in applying for Schengen visas
  • Read as much poetry as news
  • Arrange private accommodation and workspaces for refugee artists
  • Continue our planned projects in the Caucasus, where it is possible
  • Develop new projects drawing on art as a means for mediation in divided societies
  • Keep in mind how well we are living in Switzerland and reflect on how we can share more
  • ...

Dear friends of artasfoundation, in response to our call after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, we received financial donations and more than 40 offers of accommodation for people seeking protection. Although we were able to arrange some, the need is not over. As we try to respond to both short- and long-term needs, we do our best to pass on your contributions as wisely as possible. We thank you for your engagement and solidarity!

1artasfoundation would like to underline that its use of names and titles particularly in regards to conflict regions should not be understood as implying any form of recognition or non-recognition by the foundation or as having any other political connotation whatsoever.