Men going in to Sompasauna. Photo: Lauri Rotko.

Residents of Helsinki want art and culture to be seen and heard in their everyday lives

Helsinki is preparing its Art and Culture Vision for 2030. As part of the planning process, residents were asked what they thought art and culture should look and feel like in the City of Helsinki in 2030. The summary of the visions shared by residents in an online survey is now complete. The responses stress that the residents want to make art and culture an even more diverse and visible part of everyday life than before. 
The visions for the future described by the respondents highlight megatrends such as equality, internationality and multiculturalism, nature and sustainable development, community and participation. Events are emphasised as a singular theme. The respondents want Helsinki to host all kinds of events from large, world-class events to block parties and underground gatherings all year round in the near future. People also want to secure the necessary resources and premises for art. Furthermore, people want art and culture to become an even more integral and tangible part of everyday life and a more visible part of the design of public spaces and areas, quite literally. In terms of age groups, the need for art and culture services for children and young people is emphasised. 

A short online survey on what residents would like art and culture to look like in Helsinki in 2030 was open to the public between 22 May and 31 August 2019. Respondents were encouraged to examine the issue from many viewpoints, e.g. who should produce art and culture, where art and culture could be experienced and made as well as what aspects of art and culture should be better acknowledged. The respondents were asked to describe an individual thing or idea that they would like to be realised or to submit a more comprehensive vision. Nearly three hundred respondents shared their dreams and ideas. 
“Thanks to all of those who replied and shared their vision of the future. I was impressed by how much effort people had put into describing quite comprehensive ideas. Even though our sample was relatively small, the material offers important insight for the Art and Culture Vision Committee to use in their envisioning of the future of Helsinki. For me, these dreams speak of a living, breathing, eventful cultural city, the presence of art in the everyday life of the city and opportunities for people at different stages in their lives to participate and feel at home in Helsinki.” says Aleksi Malmberg, chair of the art and culture vision committee. 

Click this link to view the survey summary  (In Finnish) 
The Art and Culture Vision utilises the insights of both residents of Helsinki and experts. The Art and Culture Vision Committee has held meetings since February. The Art and Culture Vision Committee is chaired by Aleksi Malmberg, general manager of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. The other members of the committee are Emeritus Director Leif Jakobsson MA (Svenska Kulturfonden); General Director Gita Kadambi (Finnish National Opera and Ballet); Professor Elina Knihtilä (Theatre Academy); Planner-teacher Emmi Komlosi (Helsingin Työväenopisto); Choreographer and Artistic Director Sonya Lindfors (Urbanapa); Artist and Doctor of Fine Arts Teemu Mäki (chair of The Artists' Association of Finland); Managing Director Eeka Mäkynen (Finnish Metal Events Oy); Managing Director Sara Norberg (Cinematic) and Senior Advisor Veli-Markus Tapio (Finnish Cultural Foundation). 

The committee will be organising open events for operators in the field of art and culture in the autumn of 2019. At these events, operators will have the chance to learn more about the committee’s work and join in on brainstorming proposals for the different areas of the vision. In addition to this, the committee will be inviting local resident panels to comment on the drafts for the vision and discuss the measures that emphasise distinct local aspects of their area in September and October 2019. The City of Helsinki vision for arts and culture 2030 is set to be completed in the beginning of 2020. 


Further information (in Finnish) 

Aleksi Malmberg 
Chair of the Helsinki Art and Culture Vision Committee
+358 (0)9 3102 2701 

Ulla Laurio 
Secretary to the Helsinki Art and Culture Vision committee
+358 (0)9 3107 0137