Pro Helvetia Research Trip Grant

From the Pro Helvetia website

Sylvia Arthur is the Founder of the Library Of Africa and The African Diaspora (LOATAD) in Accra, Ghana, a library, archive, and museum dedicated to collecting the work of African and Diaspora writers from the late 19th-century to the present day. During her research trip in Zurich, Switzerland from 14 April to 12 May 2022, Sylvia will visit various Swiss literary institutions located both in and outside of major cities to learn more about sustainability models.

Sylvia will base her research primarily at Literaturhaus Zürich, where she hopes to learn about building, running, and sustaining a large-scale literary institution with particular reference to funding, branding and marketing, programming, and audience attraction and retention. She will also visit nearby institutions and organisations including Strauhof and Wyborada in St. Gallen, which like LOATAD, have niche literary focuses. Sylvia then also plans to spend a considerable period of her trip at Fondation Jan Michalski, where she is interested in learning about the residency programme and how the organisation operates within the rural context.

A secondary dimension of Sylvia’s trip is to investigate the role literary institutions play in the placemaking of a town or city, and how such institutions develop meaningful relationships with communities that include local residents as well as attract wider national and international audiences.

Sylvia says, “My hope is that this trip will mark the beginning of a relationship of mutual learning, support, and exchange between Swiss literary institutions and LOATAD.”

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