Finnish support of non-institutionalized culture

Stuba Nikula

 The cultural funding and administration in Finland is I would say very Scandinavian. The biggest factor is that municipalities are really strong in Finland. Municipalities collect big taxes and they have big budget. I once heard that the cultural budget of the city of Helsinki is almost as big as the cultural budget of Paris. And that just shows the fact that when France is government run the Finland is municipality run. Of course government has a big role in cultural funding as well but the regions have almost no role.

We do have big cultural institutions unfortunately as well and most of these institutions have very solid funding structure and they suck up most of the budget money that comes from government. And the government programmes are still almost blind to the independent arts and culture. They just give out pennies and pocket money for those projects. But the city of Helsinki has been very good noticing the rise of the non-institutionalized culture in the area. In the current economic situation everybody is scared that this will be the money that will be then cut out. But after talking with the politicians I am still pretty confident than they want other things than just fancy buildings with one institution in them.

The very Finnish thing about cultural funding is that if you want to have it easy you should make Swedish speaking culture. Because we have three very wealthy foundations that have more or less no other task than to support Swedish speaking culture. I know operators that really use this just to be able to do they want. But the fact is that this is a very Finnish phenomenon and we are bilingual country. There are 6% of Swedes around here that are very wealthy and they have good structures around them. At the same time I have to say that they produce very interesting culture. They are actually very much more open-minded, very much more international in their work. I see a very big value in fact that they often are the ones that move things forward and then the others follow.

Related fights

More fights by Stuba Nikula

Stuba Nikula

Stuba Nikula

Managing director of Kaapeli and Suvilahti in Helsinki, Finland

Full biography