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Art Testers (2017-)

Every year, the Art Testers cultural education programme takes all Finnish Year 8 students (around 60,000 students and 5,000 teachers) on a visit to one or two renowned art attractions across Finland.

School groups are provided with tickets and transportation to an event, such as an opera or theatre performance, a concert, or an art exhibition. The visits align with the school curriculum objectives and allow schools to engage in art-focused collaboration across various subjects, providing new learning environments beyond the confines of the school building.

Cultural institutions and artists receive direct feedback from young people, which they can use to make their content more appealing to young audiences and increase their provision of such content for young people.

The Art Testers programme provides additional resources for in-school education on arts, citizenship and democracy. Every effort is made to remove barriers to participation so that young people can have equal access to art visits, regardless of their physical limitations, first language, or place of residence.

The Art Testers programme was launched by its primary funder, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, in 2017-2020 and was later joined by the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland. In autumn 2020 the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture also became a funding partner by Parliamentary decision. The programme is coordinated by the Association of Finnish Children’s Cultural Centres.

Cultural Education Plan (2021-)

The project aims to support municipalities in developing cultural education plans and to share knowledge on these plans nationwide between municipal agents and experts in children’s arts and culture. The project enables local agents to build cultural education plans under the guidance of experts in children’s arts and culture, and monthly webinars will discuss topics related to cultural education plans under the guidance of alternating experts. The project particularly supports municipalities that either do not yet have a cultural education plan or need help designing one.

The Finnish model for leisure activities (2021-)

The purpose of the Finnish model for leisure activities is to increase the wellbeing of children and young people by allowing them to engage in fun and free leisure activities during the school day. The choice of activities is based on the preferences of the children and young people. The model will be planned, created, and tested in collaboration with leisure activity providers.

Activities based on the Finnish model for leisure activities will be held in 249 municipalities in the 2022–2023 school year. Based on applications, the Ministry of Education and Culture has granted municipalities a total of EUR 14.5 million in special funding for the school year 2022–2023. The funding will make it possible to organise more than 10,000 groups for various leisure activities in almost 2,000 schools. Nearly 400,000 children and young people are participating in these organised activities. The aim is to make the Finnish model for leisure activities a permanent fixture in these municipalities. The municipalities will provide detailed information about the leisure activity groups and registration on their websites.

Art activities for refugee families

Ukrainian refugees who came to Finland in the wake of the war are offered the opportunity to meet weekly to engage in art. The activities are designed for children and young people with their families, especially Ukrainians. The weekly art sessions are intended as an opportunity for creative expression, emotional release and integration with Finns. The project also aims to direct refugee children who have studied art in their home country towards basic education in the arts.

The art activities take place on a weekly basis, and children can participate alone or with an adult. Children under the age of 5 participate with their own adult companion. Each session lasts 1-2 hours, depending on the age of the children and the content of the activity.

The programme includes various art forms depending on the specialist area of the children’s cultural centre and the art teachers involved. Depending on the size of the group, an activity is led by 1-2 art teachers from the participating centre. Guidance is provided in English, Ukrainian, or Finnish, with interpretation into Ukrainian or Russian when possible. The preferences of the children and parents are heard and taken into account when planning the activities.  

Activities are also brought to the places where refugees reside, such as reception centres.

The project is coordinated by the Association of Finnish Children’s Cultural Centres and funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.

Sustainable Development in Children’s Culture (2021-2022)

Launched in the summer of 2021, the project produced a Guide to Sustainable Development in Children’s Culture as an e-book in Finnish, Swedish, and English. The guide provides children’s arts and culture practitioners with guidelines and tips on how to take into account sustainability, climate change, biodiversity, and the preservation of the cultural environment in an ecological, economic, social, and cultural way in their own art education, performance, leisure and exhibition activities. 

The guide is freely available to all those involved in children’s arts and culture, teachers, art educators, and youth workers. The project also provided training in sustainable development for those involved in children’s arts and culture.

More information about can be found on this page: Sustainable Development in Children’s Culture.

Art for Preschoolers

The Art for Preschoolers project brings culture and art to preschools through a participatory approach by skilled art educators. The project represents a new approach to the arts, promoting equality, equity, inclusion, mutual respect and sustainable development. Through a series of workshops, preschool children are introduced to different art forms. In spring 2021, workshop videos were produced to help teachers and other early childhood educators introduce children to different arts.

Harrasta kotona (2020-)

Harrastakotona.fi (Finnish: “harrasta kotona” – “do hobbies at home”) is a website for children and young people, providing guidelines and ideas for experiencing, experimenting, and engaging in art at home, during their free time or as part of teaching.

A wide variety of artwork and experiences have been selected for the site. The Hobby at Home team has studied all the content and ensured that it is suitable for children and adolescents.

Read more about international projects here: International Projects

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