Culture and creative industries in Hämeenlinna

Jouko Astor

In general the culture and arts in Finland are not funded enough, but here in Hämeenlinna the municipality has a quite good attitude to culture and art what means that this sector is treated as well as any other sector of municipality functioning. In fact about 20 years ago - in the beginning of 90´s when Finland had a very deep economical depression, here in Hämeenlinna the municipality made a dramatic change in the strategic thinking when city was looking for the way out of this situation. The culture was put into the centre of the plan for optimistic future, not as the most important thing in this vision, but it had an important role. After this - between 1995 and 2010 - the city built up totally new infrastructure for culture and had invested enormous sum of money into it, not only into Verkatehdas area but also into medieval castle area, libraries, museums, etc. It was really a local decision, it was our politicians – not any cultural project - it was just an establishment decision that culture needs to be part of our good future, and it has been. Now we are in the situation that all investments are done and we need to be responsible for making this optimistic future possible 

The cultural activity in Hämeenlinna area has increased during last 10 years quite rapidly and we had reached new audience, new kind of people coming here.  Also things like contemporary visual art has found great number of spectators -  ordinary people that you meet every day in shops and streets and they are coming here to see exhibitions or various kinds of concerts. So I can say that we have had a very positive impact for activity in cultural area in Hämeenlinna. 

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Jouko Astor

Jouko Astor

Managing director of Verkatehdas in Hämeenlinna, Finland

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