picture of  two young children looking at a touchscreen tablet pc

Helsinki City libraries, cultural centres, museums as well as sports and recreation and youth services provide new contents weekly

The aim of the city is to provide experiences and to motivate people to exercise also amidst the exceptional circumstances caused by the coronavirus epidemic. The City of Helsinki also wants to support the operators in the fields of culture, youth and sports and recreation as well as Helsinki residents in the new conditions.

Sports adventures for families with children

Every Tuesday at 10:30 AM the Helsinki channel helsinkikanava.fi will provide the #HelsinkiLiikkuuLive transmission, a live transmission of the Helsinki Sports Services. The first transmissions lead you to children’s sports adventures with the physical education instructors Jaakko and Juhana. These adventures are perfectly fitted as exercises carried out in day care centres and primary schools’ remote working conditions.

In Tuesdays’ #HelsinkiLiikkuuLive transmissions Jaakko and Juhana will lead you to different attractions providing fun and versatile exercises at the same time. Get up from the sofa, put on your sports outfit and make way for exercising with a positive and cheery spirit. You can take part to Jaakko’s and Juhana’s sports adventure by yourself or with the whole family.
Follow the live stream every Tuesday at 10:30 AM here. The adventures can be streamed on the Helsinki channel after every live transmission. In addition, videos of gymnastic exercises for other focus groups are constantly added to the Helsinki channel. Content covering pilates, outdoor gymnastics, stretching and dry run for swimmers, for example, can be streamed on the channel. Jumppahetki exercising programme also airs on Yle TV2 on weekday mornings at 08:50 AM. The exercises are lead by the physical education instructors in Helsinki. The programme will be rerun on weekday afternoons at 15:50 PM. The workouts of the whole week will be rerun on Saturday around noon.

HAM Helsinki Art Museum

An exhibition of Vilho Lampi (1898–1936), an interpreter of landscape and mindscape, opened at HAM in February. The exhibition is the first exhibition composed of the artist’s works in Helsinki for over forty years. Vilho Lampi, a painter of the plains from Liminka, was long forgotten, and the appreciation of his artistic work only grew decades after his life ended in the rapid of Merikoski in Oulu. While the museum’s premises in Tennispalatsi are now closed, the public is granted admission to the exhibition through a digital guided tour. The guided tour will be published on HAM’s website and on the Helsinki channel. The language of the tour is Finnish and it is subtitled in Finnish, Swedish and English. The content is a recording, which enables it to be streamed whenever best suited for oneself.
There are almost 500 public sculptures in the Helsinki city area. The sculptures are located in the pivotal places of the city districts, where the citizens go on about their everyday lives and celebrate special occasions. Every sculpture has a myriad of tales related to them and each one of them has seen hundreds of fights as well as thousands of kisses. HAM wants to give a voice to these recollections and is thus gathering memories from the residents. The memories related to the sculptures are being gathered on as well as on the sculpture specific sites of HAM’s sculpture archives.

Over a thousand works published online by the Helsinki City Museum

The Helsinki City Museum has published online over 1400 additional works. These works have previously been available for the public only inside the museum walls. The works published now include art, posters, postcards and construction drawings.

For the first time in the museum’s history, the new initiative includes copyrighted material; over 1400 new works. Publishing these works grants the public access to those kinds of artworks, posters, postcards and construction drawings that have, until now, only been available inside the museum. The works have been published in the Helsinki City Museum’s Finna -site, which will increase the already vast content of the site. The site exhibits the history of Helsinki and its residents through illustrations and photographs, objects and art.

The works of the Helsinki City Museum document the Helsinki of the time of their birth. The authors have wanted to store vanishing views while the cityscape has been changing. The works also depict the work and leisure time of the residents.
The arts collection includes works from both maestros as well as amateurs. The most renowned artists of the collection include Magnus von Wright, William Ahlgren, Greta Hällfors-Sipilä and Tove Jansson. Some of the interesting amateur artists include Oiva Viinipuro and Uno Heikkinen. The core of the arts collection lies in the changing of the city, which has been commemorated with varying styles.

The poster collection describes the multitude of events taking place in the city. In these posters, Helsinki is portrayed as a hub for exhibitions and fairs. The war time brought aid work and reconstruction also to the poster art. The posters that are published now were designed as adverts for diverse exhibitions and fairs by such famous graphic designers like Holger Erkelenz, Göran Hongell and Jorma Suhonen.

The changing of the city is also visible in the construction drawings of Elias and Martti Paalanen. Elias Paalanen drafted the drawings for first small detached houses in Finland by the request of the social administration in 1922. Buildings designed by Elias Paalanen’s agency were built, for instance, in the districts of Kallio and Töölö in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Helsinki City Museum site on the Finna search service. Finna is an online search service offering Finnish archives, libraries and museums the possibility to bring together their materials for everyone to find and enjoy.

The City Museum has published a gymnastics video carried out in the style of silent films on the website of the Villa Hakasalmi and on Helsinki channel. The film was originally presented at the exhibition Carefree Capital that was open until August 2019. In the exhibition, the public could try the 1920’s way of female gymnastics. The movements and music were selected by Aino Sarje from the gymnastics manual written by Helvi Salminen, hugely popular at its time.

New services of Helsinki Cultural Centres

Helsinki’s cultural centres Annantalo, Caisa, Kanneltalo, Malmitalo, Savoy theatre, Stoa and Vuotalo offer art and culture to Helsinki residents during the exceptional circumstances. Kanneltalo, Malmitalo and Vuotalo have decorated their windows to bring joy to neighbourhood residents. On the windows of Malmitalo, best parts of Tuija Markonsalo’s exhibition Palsamoitu metsä (Embalmed forest) can be seen. The traditional giant Easter egg made of narcissi has been brought in front of Vuotalo at Mosaiikkitori. Savoy theatre’s social media channels are filled with artists’ recommendations on cultural offerings. Around Stoa, art has been placed outdoors to delight passers-by. Virtual Annantalo offers pastime activities for children and young people online.


New content available on the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra’s HKO Screen online service - also concerts given by visiting musicians

The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra give public concerts on the HKO Screen online service every week during spring. On Fridays every other week, the orchestra’s musicians play an Impromptu -chamber music concert in the Musiikkitalo without audience. The dates for the concerts are as follows: April 17, May 15 and May 29, always at 7 PM.
The traditional May Day Matinee takes place on Friday, May 1 at 2 PM. All the concerts are available online, the HKO Screen mobile app and Yle Areena. You can also listen to the concerts on Yle Radio 1. In addition to the live streams, HKO will release concert recordings from previous seasons. Archive material is published every other week on Fridays, taking turns with the chamber music concerts. 

HKO Screen Guest concerts are a novelty

During the spring season, the HKO online concerts will feature concerts by visiting musicians. The first in the series is Klassinen Hietsu that was heard last Sunday on YouTube. The concert, played at the Hietsu Pavilion, was released on Tuesday on the HKO mobile app and website. HKO Screen Guest concert feature Eriikka Maalismaa on the violin, Emil Holmström, Mirka Viitala and Maija Väisänen on the piano and Petri Kumela on the guitar. The concert recording was directed by Anders Pohjola.

This spring, the HKO Screen Guest concerts will be released on Tuesdays every other week. In addition to Klassinen Hietsu, guests include e.g. the UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra musicians. The guest concerts can be watched on the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra’s website and mobile app as long as the restrictions for organising public events apply.
Program information on the concerts: https://helsinginkaupunginorkesteri.fi/en and on the orchestra’s social media channels.
The HKO Screen mobile app can be downloaded from application stores and used free of charge.

Young people are not left alone in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area - Youth Work reacts to young people’s individual needs for support

In exceptional circumstances, the biggest cause for concern are the young people who are at a risk of being outcast or do not feel safe at home. Helsinki Metropolitan Area youth workers have reacted speedily on the increased need for individual support. The individual support is shaped from the particular need of each young person and help and assistance are offered online, on social media, over the phone and by meeting young people. At the moment, the youth work in Helsinki Metropolitan Area mainly takes place in digital channels but also outreach youth work is being carried out on the streets and public spaces. Both the digital and outreach youth work take into account the increased need for support. Individual support consists of personal support and assistance offered to a young person during challenging situations, reacting in situations that cause concern and getting to know the individual situations and needs of the young person.

The need for discussions and individual youth work may be recognised by the young themselves as well as the youth workers. A young person may talk about their anxiety or depression to a youth worker or counsellor. Many young people are now worried about their summer jobs being cancelled, their own performance with remote school work and their own health or the health of their loved ones. There have been hundreds of contacts from young people through social media. For example, the Malmi unit confirmed that they had received over a hundred contacts from young people in the Malmi area during last week.

What’s common for both online and outreach youth work is the individual support that is realised through personal encounters and discussions. The young person and the youth worker discuss together what kind of support is needed and how it can best be brought as part of the young person’s life. The outreach youth work can detect e.g. minors’ substance abuse and other problematic behaviour.

New services in the libraries

In March, the use of e-books, e-audiobooks and e-magazines has increased by tens of percents due to the closing of the libraries. For instance, the number of borrowed e-books has increased by 20% compared to normal times. Also the remote use of information services and assistance on digital services are rapidly increasing. The use of the Helsinki libraries’ Helmet-chat has increased by 700% and even the national https://www.libraries.fi -service has seen a rise in the number of users.

It is fair to say that the Helmet e-libraries are crowded at the moment. Due to this, customers are kindly requested to return their e-books for others to use as soon as they have finished reading them. Actively returning the books that have been read is an efficient way to broaden the selection of available e-books. You can return the e-books and e-audiobooks even before the two-weeks’ loan term. This helps keep the selection of e-books extensive.

The queues on new titles are particularly long. Books that have been published earlier are easier to access, and you can limit the search to available titles. The situation of the e-books is being followed and more access rights will be purchased when possible.

As the libraries are currently closed, the work done at the moment is mainly remote assistance and choosing new titles for the autumn season. Licences for e-books are also being negotiated and acquired. Twenty-five percent of the staff of the libraries in Helsinki have been relocated to work at the Helsinki Helpline, which was established to help the senior citizens during the coronavirus pandemic.

All the libraries’ events have been transferred online. Helsinki channel offers you the possibility to keep track of the content produced by the libraries, such as fairy tale reading, author interviews and scissions on current topics. A list of ongoing streams is available online on helmet.fi.

Photo: Maarit Hohteri

Coronavirus updates from Helsinki


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