Theme year aims to promote culture for children and young people
Veijo Setälä: Last Dolphin. Photo: Päivi Setälä
Special events are planned throughout Finland in 2016 under the theme #artfortheyoung (#taideonlasten). The Arts Promotion Centre Finland will be partnered by children’s cultural centres, and Tuomas Kurttila, Ombudsman for Children, will serve as the patron of the theme year.
“During this theme year we want to draw attention especially to artists who work in the fields of children’s and youth culture in order to promote their status and support their recognition. In this way we want to ensure that children and young people are offered the highest quality of art,” says Minna Sirnö, Director of the Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike).
“According to Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, children have the right to join in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities. As ratified by Finland, the law states that all children have equal opportunities to art and culture,” explains Tuomas Kurttila, Ombudsman for Children in Finland and patron of the theme year.
“A world in which children and young people have the chance to enjoy art treasures and create new art is a world that is creative and sustainable. A child who discovers art also gains insight into him- or herself and all that is timeless – that which cannot be measured in this calculating world,” Kurttila continues.
Taike plans to promote children’s and youth culture in several collaborative forums this year. These include the nationwide Culture Leap Project (Kulttuurivoltti), which aims to develop cultural education plans, the Jyväskylä Summer Festival (Jyväsylän Kesä) on 13 July, the Finnish-Russian Cultural Forum in Tampere in September-October, and the Eurocities Forum in Oulu. In addition, Taike will organise a children’s theatre festival together with partners in October, as well as other similar Taike events throughout the year.
Children’s cultural centres in Finland have done excellent work over the years in ensuring that children and young people have equal opportunities to participate in art, that they can experience art also in everyday life and that they are given the opportunity to work together with professional artists.
“Cultural diversity and accessibility to art are seen by our children’s cultural centres as key factors ensuring equality. Children are excellent and receptive partners for artists,” comments Päivi Setälä, Chairperson of the Finnish Association of Children's Cultural Centres.
In November, on Universal Children’s Day, Taike will present the annual State Prize for Children’s Culture, as well as a special Children’s Art Award for the theme year as chosen by Tuomas Kurttila. The theme year will culminate on 1 December, Arts Promotion Day, the theme of which will be children’s culture and the artists who create it.
Also during the theme year, Taike will launch a five-year development programme for children’s and youth culture that will be implemented by specialised regional artists Mette Ylikorva, who was recently appointed in Lapland, and Laura Arala, who begins in March. The programme will be coordinated by special advisers Mikael Karikoski and Ulla Lassila.
Minna Sirnö, Director of the Arts Promotion Centre Finland, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ulla Lassila, Special Adviser, t. +358 295 330 860, email@example.com
Mikael Karikoski, Special Adviser, t. +358 295 330 880, firstname.lastname@example.org