Jouko Astor

Art centre Verkatehdas - an old fabric factory - is a marvellous place. We have been here for 6-7 years and we are still admiring this space and feeling, people are going through and they are finding the way for their interests. I am the managing director of Verkatehdas centre. It was established (the main building was completed) in summer 2007 but in fact, here in this area has been for example art museum and other cultural spaces already from 50´s. The big change regarding all this old industrial area was decided in the end of 90´s.  During last 8 years over 46 million euros were invested into transforming this whole area of 30 000 square meters and 14 buildings into arts and congress centre. 

We have about 40 permanent tenants and we provide them a good space for work and help with co-production or some other things. Beside that we have about 300 short-term tenants annually who just rent the venue or conference space or gallery and we provide them good technique and modern space to work. So this is our main task. We also do small volume of programming here. Mostly the program is made by tenants. We produce few concerts and other performances ourselves – maybe 20 per year and it is always that kind of program that enriches the audience – mostly marginal things like contemporary music, dance, circus, Jazz music and sometimes even rock´n´roll. So our organization is independently run non-profit organization. Our annual budget is about 4,7 million euros and 60% of incomes come from the rents and services, about 20% comes from municipality and little under 20% comes from the other business-services or business operations. Our public support is minimal. 

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Jouko Astor

Jouko Astor

Managing director of Verkatehdas in Hämeenlinna, Finland

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