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Special grant for art and culture communities for recovering from the coronavirus pandemic

The application period starts on 7 September 2020 and ends on 2 October 2020 at 16:00.

The special grant is intended for registered art and culture communities, organisations, associations and resident communities in Helsinki for assisting public art and culture operations. This is a one-time grant that can be applied for due to the special circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic for the purposes of launching, maintaining and redesigning professional operations for 2020–2021.

Three (3) million euros will be used for these grants in total. The decisions concerning these special grants will be made in the Culture and Library Sub-Committee’s meeting on 24 November 2020.

Eligible communities

The grant can be applied for by Helsinki-based, legally competent communities, such as registered associations, business proprietors, foundations, co-operatives and limited liability companies.

Private persons or workgroups cannot apply for this grant.

The grant cannot be applied for by educational institutions of basic art education. Furthermore, the grant will not be given to communities owned by the City of Helsinki or included in the Helsinki Group.

Special allocation of the application

The allocation of the special grant will focus on professional operators. The grant will be allocated to applicants who have not received substantial subsidies related to the coronavirus pandemic via the state or foundations for the same purpose.

Eligible applicants

The following communities with professional operations will be considered primary applicants:

  • Performance art communities that are not eligible for state subsidies (independent operators)
  • Visual arts and design communities
  • Festival and event operators

Assessment criteria for the applications

When comparing the grant applications, the assessment criteria for art and culture grants decided by the Library and Culture Sub-Committee as well as the complementary assessment criteria specific to this special grant will be applied.
The criteria for art and culture grants include artistic quality, diversity, equality, accessibility, availability, inclusion, participation, operational quality and realisation. Operational quality and realisation will be the special focus areas.
The grants are awarded on a discretionary basis.

When assessing the applications, the following criteria will be emphasised. The grants are awarded on a discretionary basis.

  • The operations contribute to the vitality, pulse and appeal of the city and diversify the service selection of the City’s cultural services.
  • The operations have a wide-ranging impact and significance.
  • The community’s own income makes up at least 50% of its total income. NOTE! Due to annual fluctuations, we encourage all communities operating with at least 40% own income to apply for the special grant intended for art and culture communities to counteract the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, in so far as the activities meet other application criteria. We apply overall consideration in evaluating the fulfilment of this criterion as well.
  • The operations promote one or more of the following objectives:
  • - securing the employment of professional artists and creating new work opportunities,
    - development of digital and remote art and culture services,
    - realising and finalising launched projects (generated additional costs), and
    - developing new operational methods that follow the restrictions/safety recommendations.
  • No significant corona subsidies have been granted to the operations for the same purpose.

Using the grant

When using the grants, the general grant guidelines and the guidelines applied to art and culture grants by the City of Helsinki will be applied.

The grant can be given to operations meeting the assessment criteria to cover costs related to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020–2021. The grant can be used to cover costs related to operations in autumn 2020.

The grant can also be used for media publication operations, websites, film productions, recordings and similar when these are used to complement the community’s basic operations with new services models.

The grants will not be granted to communities whose umbrella organisations are receiving financial support from Helsinki, for theses or publications, competitions or celebrations, religious or party-political events, closed events, presentations, lectures, seminars or courses, hobby groups, study or club activities, or camps, individual concerts, performances or exhibitions or activities that mainly take place outside of Helsinki.

General guidelines for the City of Helsinki's grants (in Finnish)

General grant principles for the Culture and Leisure Division (in Finnish)

Principles for giving art and culture grants

Frequently asked questions

See the most asked questions and answers here.

Applying for grants

1. Please read the instructions carefully before you fill in the application. You can find the application at this link: https://asiointi.hel.fi/wps/myportal/lomakkeet/avustus/kuvaHarrastus/?new=1

2. You will be asked to log into the City of Helsinki’s e-services portal. You can log in with a Katso ID (primary option) or a personal bank acces code, mobile certificate or certificate card (secondary options).

3. Fill in the application and attach three documents: an electronic bank statement from your organisation, your 2019 financial statement, and your plan for how to use the grant and continue operations. See the instructions for further details.

4. After you have completed the application, you must also fill in a questionnaire that will ask you to describe how you plan to use the grant. You can find the questionnaire at this link: https://response.questback.com/helsinginkaupunki/3d2rvx7phk
Please answer every question that is answered. If you feel a field is not relevant to your application, please fill in the blank with a “0” instead of leaving it empty. Find an example of a completed questionnaire at this link: https://www.hel.fi/static/liitteet-2019/KuVa/EN_QB_tayttoohje.pdf

5. Both the application and the questionnaire must be returned by the deadline of 2 October 2020 at 4 pm. Take care to submit your documents in time, as all late applications will be rejected.

Please note! Visitors to the city’s e-services portal who are using Google’s Chrome browser may encounter problems. Connections to the site from outside of Finland may also cause problems that can prevent you from filling in the application.

Instructions for filling out the application form (pdf)
Instructions for describing your plan to use the grant (pdf)
Example of a completed questionnaire (pdf)

Mandatory appendices to the application

  • The applicant’s electronic bank statement
  • Annual report 2019 (the auditor's report, the annual report, the profit and loss statement and its analysis which clearly shows the grants received, the balance sheet and its analysis)
  • The usage and work plan for the applied grant

Reporting the use of the grant

A review of how the grant was used must be completed by 31 March 2022, at the latest. The reporting instructions will be given at a later date.