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Children’s Arts & Culture Without Borders

At the Association of Finnish Children’s Cultural Centres, our member centre’s linguistic versatility and cultural activities reflect a commitment to inclusivity and international collaboration. As our members engage with partners across Europe and beyond, we build a dialogue that resonates with Finnish values and global perspectives.

Our member centres operate primarily in Finnish and Swedish and are complemented by English, Ukrainian, Estonian, Russian, Somali, and other languages, helping to create a welcoming environment for all families so that workshops and other activities are accessible to a diverse audience. This multilingual approach reflects our vision for a world where every child has access to arts and culture.

International projects by the association and its members

Our international projects are designed to exchange knowledge, foster professional development, and enrich children’s cultural experiences. In addition, our centres have initiated and participated in a variety of projects that serve as examples of those goals.

For instance, The Small Size Network, where our member centre in Helsinki, Annantalo Arts Centre for Children and Young People, contributes to global conversations about early childhood arts education, and showcases commitment to cultural rights from the earliest age.

Projects like Peripheral Memories For Future by the BARK network, or the cross-cultural youth project “I AM HOPE” by Kulttuurikeskus PiiPoo, serve as examples of the kind of impact we aspire to have internationally, illustrating our shared values of children’s cultural rights, creativity, and well-being.

Our centres, whether involved in local or international initiatives, contribute equally to our mission. We take pride in every effort, recognizing that whether actions are rooted in our Finnish communities or extended across borders, they are all important in enriching children’s arts and culture education.

A regional collaboration project, the Nordic book podcast “Hela Norden Läser” (a project which our member Luckan Raseborg is leading) engages young people from Finland, Sweden, and Åland in discussions about literature and creativity. By focusing on storytelling and poetry, this initiative underscores the importance of reading and the joy it brings at a pivotal time in young people’s lives. The project not only encourages a love for literature but also strengthens the sense of a shared Nordic identity.

Seasonal festivals and workshops, like the SAMPO Festival, bring international puppetry to Finnish audiences, offering a platform for performances that captivate and educate. Similarly, international and/or multilingual art workshops organized by the association’s members provide forums where young minds can engage with cultural diversity and artistic exchange.

Local actions, international impact

At the core of our work is the belief that arts and culture education lays the foundation for a more understanding and interconnected world. Each centre within our network, whether focusing on multi-arts, environmental education, or media literacy, contributes uniquely to this educational mission.

The Association of Finnish Children’s Cultural Centers work is guided by a clear vision: ensuring every child’s right to culture and art. It operates with a mission to promote quality in children’s arts and culture, protect the sector’s interests, and encourage cooperation across the nation.

Our strategy is focused on making sure that every child and young person in Finland has a chance to take part in arts and cultural activities. We value and respect the child’s perspective. By sharing our knowledge and learning from others, we aim to create a culture where children not only take part in arts and culture but also feel inspired to create their own.

Our international projects are a part of this big picture. They bring new ideas and ways of doing things into our work. They help us make sure that the right of children to experience and create arts and culture is a reality, not only in Finland but across the world.

We are working toward a future where the voices and creativity of young people are a visible force in society. We aim to see the participation of children and young people in arts and cultural activities recognized as a right and an everyday part of growing up in Finland (and beyond).

The photo is from a free art activity for Ukrainian children and young people organised by the PiiPoo cultural centre.

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