Almost 200,000 Art Testers on the move
In Finnish history, the Art Testers is the largest cultural project directed at young people. The Finnish Cultural Foundation will take three age groups of eighth-graders to art institutions. The first trips were made in September 2017, and the project will continue until May 2020. Including the teachers, the national campaign will reach almost 200,000 individuals. The aim is to provide young people with an opportunity to experience art, also art to which many would not otherwise have access.
The Art Testers campaign is bilingual and offered in both the official languages, Finnish and Swedish. The campaign will be implemented in cooperation with the Association of Finnish Children’s Cultural Centres, which will be in charge of coordinating it, arranging transports and administration. The overall costs are expected to be in the region of EUR 20 million. The Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland will participate in the funding with approximately EUR 1.2 million.
The youth are guaranteed access to art despite the distances and the location of their home town. Each eighth grade will be provided with an opportunity for two pre-arranged visits. One will take place in their own province or nearby area and the other in the capital Helsinki – or if they live in the capital region, they travel elsewhere in Finland. The foundations will pay for the travel and tickets.
The campaign strives to offer young people unforgettable art experiences which may trigger a life-long interest in culture. In selecting the art organisations, emphasis is put on the artistic quality of the works but also to information directed at young people in an interesting way. The 14–15-year-old pupils will receive advance information on the performance, artists and the art form. At the site, they will get an opportunity to acquaint themselves with what artistic work is like or what happens before a performance is ready. After the experience, various channels will be open to thoughts, ideas, emotions and opinions.