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The Helsinki Model

Helsinki Model performance

The Helsinki Model is a model for participatory local cultural work, which encourages art institutions and professional groups of artists to expand their operations beyond their own facilities and work in cooperation with the residents and communities of various neighbourhoods.

The aim of the Helsinki Model is to balance out and diversify the artistic and cultural experiences offered in different neighbourhoods, strengthen the sense of community between neighbourhoods, improve the neighbourhoods’ image and increase cultural participation amongst residents. 

The goals of the Helsinki Model

  • Culture is to be made more accessible by creating new operating models with the area’s operators and art institutions.
  • Residents and communities will be encouraged to evolve from viewers to active agents in creating art and culture.
  • Malmitalo, Kanneltalo, Stoa and Vuosaari House will actively form networks between the residents and operators in their respective areas, providing access to their facilities and know-how to be used in participatory art- and culture-related work.

The assessment criteria

Artistic quality

  • Artistic vision and competence
  • The operator has the necessary skills to work with its target group (e.g. pedagogical skills)


  • The activities conducted in the operating area with the target group are systematic and long-term in nature
  • There is dialogue with the neighbourhood’s residents and local operators when planning and conducting the project
  • The projects are linked to the art organisation’s core activities and artistic programme
  • The projects diversify the audiences of art institutions and communities
  • The projects are conducted outside of art institutions and the city centre

Productional and financial quality

  • A clear action plan and schedule, sufficient production resources and internal funds, and a realistic budget.

Projects for grant period 2022-2024

A total of EUR 600,000 per year will be reserved for development grants in the field of art and culture for 2022–2024, the third project period. The priority areas of the third project period will be Tapulikaupunki-Suutarila, Kontula, Malmi ja Pihlajamäki-Pihlajisto. More detailed information on the priority areas is available from the draftspersons and the Director and Culture Producer of  Malmitalo.

The objectives of the third grant period are a continuation of the pilot period’s goals. 

The Culture Division of the City of Helsinki’s Culture and Leisure Committee decided on the allocation of Helsinki Model grants in their meeting on 29 April 2021. The grants were divided as follows:

  • Helsingin kaupunginteatteri​, Malmi​ (theater)
  • Lasten ja nuorten arkkitehtikoulu Arkki​, Malmi​ ( multi-art)
  • Sun Effects Oy​, Malmi (light art)
  • Q-teatteri​, Malmi (theater)
  • Helsinki Urban Art, Tapulikaupunki-Suutarila​ (multi-art)
  • Suomalainen barokkiorkesteri​, Tapulikaupunki-Suutarila​ (music)
  • Todellisuuden tutkimuskeskus ry​, Kontula​ (theater)
  • Voimauttavan taiteen äärellä ry​, Kontula ( multi-art )
  • Zodiak presents ry​, Kontula​ (dance)
  • Suomen Kansallisteatteri​, Pihlajanmäki-Pihlajisto​ (theater)
  • Tanssiareena ry​, Pihlajanmäki-Pihlajisto​ (dance)
  • Osiris teatteriyhdistys ry​, Pihlajanmäki-Pihlajisto​ ( multi-art)

Further information

Planning Officer Sara Kuusi, +358 (0)9 310 32204,

Apply for a culture grant via the E-services (

Grant Criteria

Application Schedules

Online Application and Appendices

Application Process and Decision-making

Instructions and Links

Development Grants page

Grants for Culture main page

Photo: Helsinki Material Bank