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Concreate Urban Art Festival

Concreate is a festival focused on urban art which turns streets of Helsinki into a unique, open space art exhibition, accompanied by workshops and events. Concreate 2020 was granted funding from Culture and art programme for its Nordic dimension.

27 artists from Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Italy and Spain were brought together in august 2020 for a week-long painting work in Itä-Pasila (Helsinki) to create artworks in different techniques, strengthen their networks and plan future collaborations. An estimated 1000 people visited and photographed artists in their work during the week in addition to all the passers-by.

In addition, events held in the area during the week gathered about 3,000 people. About 2,500 of them visited the block party on the closing day of the festival. The block party included music and poetry performances on two stages, an outdoor flea market open to everyone and a printing workshop.

Festival artists had their own art exhibition, where they could display their works or paint them directly on to the gallery walls. Guided street art tours, where the audience got to see the fresh artworks and hear the artists’ own stories behind them were popular. Artist meetings and artist interviews covered beside presentations of the newly made artworks also thoughts on working as street artists as well as the current state of the street art scene.

Long-term effects of the project

For the participating artists the festival has offered work opportunities, interaction with both audiences and fellow artists, stronger networks and plans for future collaborations.

From the producers point of view ”the project has strengthened the belief that art in the public space increases the well-being and cohesion of the area’s residents. Our aim is to make public spaces aesthetically more attractive and at the same time create an environment that connects people closer to each other. And we think we succeeded. We also made a short documentary of the festival.”

A printed street art map of the area including all the older artworks and the ones made during the festival has been made after the festival. The map is actively distributed to attract more people to see the artworks. Guided tours will also be organised when possible. Outdoor possibilities to experience art become even more important with the closure of museums due to the current pandemic.

More information available on:

Concreate 2020
Instagram @helsinkiurbanart / Concreate 2020
Short documentary (length 13.23, in english, subtitles in finnish)

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Mobility funding for 49 projects from the Nordic-Baltic mobility programme for culture

As the year draws to a close, the expert group in the mobility funding met online for their final decision meeting in December. Nordic Culture Point received 101 applications for a total of 306 720 € in the fourth round. The experts decided to grant a total of 155 750 € to 49 projects in the Nordic and Baltic countries.

One of the granted applicants is Warda Ahmed, a professional visual artist, teacher, and illustrator based in Helsinki. She will travel to Gothenburg in Sweden to host a workshop about LGBTQ+ diversity in children’s literature. The workshop is facilitated by Status Queer in Sweden and Ahmed is invited to take part in their network The Queer Agenda, and a week of public-facing cultural programme in august 2021.

Another artist who is granted travel support is Vegar Vårdal, a professional Norwegian folk musician, composer, and dancer. He will be travelling from Vågå in Norway to Finland next year to participate to the project Tales from Norway. The project is initiated by the Italian Indian composer Krishna Nagaraja based in Helsinki. Vårdal will perform the premiere of Nagaraja’s Suite for solo Hardanger fiddle and hold a Norwegian folk music workshop at the Sibelius Academy.

Syrian curator Abir Boukhari has successfully established AllArtNowlab, a collective and artist-run space in Stockholm. AllArtNow represents migrants’ and exiled artists, with various underrepresented ethnicities and language affiliations. Boukhari is travelling to Denmark to curate an exhibition with artists from AllArtNow at Juxtapose Art Fair. The curator will also participate in discussions, meet with other curators and artists, and engage with a Nordic and international audience.

The Nordic Saxophone Collective are based in Aarhus in Denmark. Next spring, they will be travelling to the Faroe Islands to present new Nordic music for saxophone as well as working with music students on the Faroe Islands. The project demonstrates collaboration and exchange and is inclusive of young people.

In spring 2021, Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium – Odin Teatret in Denmark is going to participate in a touring festival around Greenland, the Kiinnat Festival. The aim of the project is to create cultural barters in the local communities with a high degree of involvement and inclusion of both amateurs and professionals. This is a collaboration with The National Theatre of Greenland, and it will be the first time that the Odin Theatre visits and performs in Greenland.

Mobility funding is part of the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture that aims to strengthen artistic and cultural cooperation in the Nordic region and the Baltic countries. The grant covers travel and accommodation expenses of professional artists and cultural practitioners in the Nordic and Baltic countries. The next application round will be in spring 2021.

On the Granted projects page, you find the list of all granted projects on this round as well as the previous rounds.

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12 granted applications in Norden 0-30

The third and final round of 2020 of Norden 0-30 resulted in 12 granted applications, out of the 25 that were submitted.

We received a great variety of applications and among the approved where projects focusing on sustainability and climate, dramaturgy and Agenda 2030.

One of the granted applications – Why Plastic? A Nordic youth-led network against plastic pollution – was granted funding for to conduct a project that they describe as: raising awareness on the irreversible consequences of plastic on the natural environment and human health.
The project is a collaboration between Denmark, Greenland, Finland and Sweden.

The application rounds for 2021 are now published on our website:

Application rounds 2021:

11.01.2021 – 11.02.2021
06.04.2021 – 06.05.2021
06.09.2021 – 06.10.2021

The total overview of 2020 is the following:

83 submitted applications, 30 granted.
The total amount granted is 640 303€.

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Artists Ida Brockmann and Anna-Lea Kopperi selected for the nordiSKulptur joint exhibition 2021

The latest exhibition, which is part of the three-year collaborative project between the Association of Finnish Sculptors and Nordic Culture Point, will open in November 2021 at Galleria Sculptor. This curated exhibition series has been realised in co-operation with rotating Nordic partner countries. Next year it will be the turn of Denmark to step into this role.


Ida Brockmann was born in 1991 and she lives and works in Copenhagen. She graduated as a Bachelor of Arts from the Valand Academy in Gothenburg. Her art consists of various techniques and materials, including most recently ceramics, stones, and videos. Brockmann is interested in material culture and in those objects that surround us and that we leave behind. Her way of working brings to light the cultural and social layers that are linked to everyday objects and she strives to alter the existing conception of these objects. “What we consider trivial often contains many layers of information about history, social interactions, power, and values.”


Anna-Lea Kopperi was born in 1960 and she is renowned internationally for her site-specific works of environmental and community art. She studied visual arts in Finland, France, and Germany, and she graduated from the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf in 1996. Kopperi’s works have been widely featured in Europe and Asia since the 1990s. Kopperi’s site-specific and transient artworks come to life based on the aesthetic, architectural, and ecological premises of a place. In her works, thoughtful material choices and variations of light and motion allow her to examine the concepts of space and place holistically through broader existential issues, such as life and death and themes of time and continuity.


The 2021 exhibition project is organised in collaboration with Danish artist and curator Peter Holmgård, who also curates the exchange exhibition in Denmark. A four-member jury which, in addition to Holmgård, included Andy Best and Simo Rapatti, members of the exhibition committee of the Association of Finnish Sculptors, as well as Annika Bergvik-Forsander – an expert at Nordic Culture Point – was responsible for the artist selection at Galleria Sculptor.

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14 projects granted Short-term Network Funding

What do queer festivals, intangible cultural heritage and artistic investigations of microbes have in common? They are all topics discussed in the latest granted short-term network funding projects.

On the second round of short-term network funding in 2020 the Expert Group assessed 48 applications and decided to grant funding to 14 short-term network projects. The total granted amount was 262 540 euro.

The granted projects include a vast spectrum of different genres and themes. The Nordic-Baltic Queer Festival Network is one of the granted applications that the Expert Group want to highlight as a good example of goal-oriented networking. The network focuses on queer topics using film as the central medium. It is shaped as a response to the lack of ties and communication in the field and is the first and long-awaited initiative of the kind.

The Finnish Folk Music Institute coordinates the Nordic-Baltic Intangible Cultural Heritage Network that aims at sharing good practices and methodology on safeguarding intangible cultural heritage (ICH) in Nordic and Baltic countries. The network emphasizes community involvement and is open for all stakeholders working in the spirit of the UNESCO Convention for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Governing Bodies: Temporary Interdisciplinary Nordic Network for Artistic Investigations of Microbes is a network of artists and academics who want to raise awareness about microbes, as there is extensive and growing knowledge in medicine and psychology about how the microbes in our gut affect our lives – but how does this influence the arts?

Several granted projects aim to create collaboration across genres and as many as 9 out of 14 granted projects define themselves as cross-disciplinary.

Network Funding is part of the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture that aims to strengthen artistic and cultural cooperation in the Nordic region and the Baltic countries.

The next application round will be in the spring 2020 when both the short-term network funding and the long-term network funding will be available. Short-term funding is for projects working together up to 1 year whereas the long-term funding is for projects up to three years.

On the Granted projects page you can see a list of all granted projects on this round as well as the previous rounds.

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Nordisk kulturkontakts bibliotekarie Mikaela Wickström får Vanessapriset

Nordisk kulturkontakts specialbibliotekarie Mikaela Wickström tilldelas Vanessa-priset 2020. Hon delar priset med bibliotekspedagog Lena Sågfors från Kronoby.

Så här lyder prismotiveringen:

Mikaela Wickström, specialbibliotekarie i Helsingfors, tilldelas priset för den kreativitet och entusiasm hon satsar på barns läsning i form av högläsningsstunder och många slags bilderboksevenemang. Hon inspirerar barnen att fördjupa sig i både text och bild, och upptäcka en värld att göra till sin egen. Med hennes hjälp hittar många barn och böcker varandra.

Vanessapriset på 10 000 euro delas ut vartannat år för förtjänstfulla insatser för att främja barn- och ungdomslitteratur samt läsförståelse bland barn och ungdomar på svenska i Finland. Prissumman delades detta år jämnt mellan de två pristagarna. Vinnarna offentliggjordes i år på den 4.12 kl 13.00. Tidigare pristagare är Linda Bondestam (2016) och Annika Sandelin (2018).

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Library closed until Epiphany

Because of the latest Corona restrictions our library is closed from 29 November to 6 January.

No physical events are held at Nordic Culture Point during this time. Loans from our library will automatically be renewed with due dates set to 7 January at the earliest. Log on to our Web Library to check your new due dates.

We hope that cozy holidays are waiting ahead despite the bad news!

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Digital residencies and artwork

A digital residency may seem both abstract and concrete. With a width, freedom and accessibility that also can be challenging. It is free from the restrictions of a physical place, existing online, producing and expressing content for an invisible audiece that can be whereever, whenever and in all possible ways. This can feel unreal. The sentiment of being visible but not able to meet. Whereas the art makes it concrete.

Eight artists contributed to DiGiRES, a project that was granted funding from Culture and art programme in 2018. Two of them had their residencies at Nordiska Akvarellmuseet in Skärhamn, Sweden. The others participated on distance from Russia, Belarus, Egypt, Iceland and Norway. They were connected by the digital platform Liquid Fiction.

The mission was to investigate whether a digital residency can work and to develop the digital form of residency as well as both content and pedagogical tools in connection to it. The participating artists agreed on that digital residencies are interesting and sustainable possibilities for developing the online art field.

The project DiGiRES searched also for new methods and tools for digital art pedagogy, dissemination and interaction with both visitors and audiences without the restrictions connected to a physical space. The experience from the project contributes to further development of competencies in digital interaction. A tutorial for knowledgebased research on olineproduced art will also be created based on the results of the project.

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42 projects were granted funding from Culture and art programme

The second round of Culture and art programme in 2020 received 153 applications for a total of 4 840 456 euro. The budgeted total amount for this round was 1 274 314 euro, shared to 42 projects as grants from 5880 to 100 000 euro.

This round received only ¾ of the usual amount of applications. Through an extra funding by the Nordic Ministers of Culture an amount of 400 000 euro was added to the budget. This made it possible to grant funding to 30 % of all applications.

You may find all projects that have received funding on Nordic Culture Points website.

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Mobility funding granted for 40 projects

Johanna Juhola & Imaginary Friends recieved funding for travel from Finland to Denmark. Photo by Jimmy Träskelin

The third decision meeting in the Mobility funding was held in online in October. Nordic Culture Point received 85 applications in this round and the applied amount was in total 193 880 €.  The expert group decided to grant a total of 83 460 € to 40 projects in the Nordic and Baltic countries.

Among the projects that received funding were Johanna Juhola & Imaginary Friends, based in Helsinki Finland. This is a strongly visualized concert with solo accordion creating musical stories and soundscapes, together with other musicians and sound sources appearing on video screens. Johanna Juhola is the only live performer, with her team of accompanists and fellow performers projected alongside on two large video screens. Joining the accordionist virtually are fellow musicians, an amorous navigator, a chorus of clapping hands and an entire orchestra of cloned Johannas. The project will be touring Danish schools, performing for pupils 9-12 years old.

Another artist that received funding was Diane Tamane, travelling from Tartu in Estonia to Riga in Latvia in connection with her solo exhibition Within Arm’s Reach at the ISSP gallery. In the project the artist is focusing on her own mother’s experience as a truck driver – traditionally a masculine profession. After her mother’s enterprise in Riga went bankrupt 7 years ago, she became a truck driver, driving internationally distributing goods throughout Europe, breaking the stereotypes of women’s role in post-soviet society. Within Arm’s Reach is an extensive series of drawings showing motorway restaurants, landscapes, cityscapes, iconic tourist attractions, still-life, and portraits. During her stay in Riga, the artist will participate in the gallery’s public program and meet with Latvian artists.

The Greenlandic artist and shamanistic practitioner Amalia Fonfara based in Trondheim in Norway, received support for travelling to Aalborg in Denmark to work on a performance in collaboration with a group of young Greenlanders. The performance Forflytninger is developed in collaboration with Kunstens, Aalborg Museum of Modern Art where it will be part of the public program OPEN. Forflytninger is based on the post-colonial Arctic connection that has been between Greenland and Aalborg since the 1700s via the trade route. In addition to the logistical systems’ movement of goods, materials, and bodies through time and space, Forflytninger questions the invisible part of this connection, where culture, identity, and history are in a continuous process of negotiation.

Mobility funding is to cover the travel and/or accommodation expenses of professional artists and cultural practitioners in the Nordic Region and/or Baltic countries.

The funding gives applicants – individuals or small groups – access to contacts, skills, and knowledge from different parts of the Nordic and Baltic regions. Funding can be used to present art and culture productions, as well as increase interest in Nordic and Baltic art and culture.

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Reinventing the critical language on contemporary crafts

Nordic Platform for Critical Craft Theory is a network for exchange of knowledge and expertise on contemporary crafts in the Nordic region.  The network received Short-term network funding in 2018 and was considered as one of the best short-term network projects that year.

With an ambition to attract a broader understanding of crafts as a diversified aesthetical field, the network consisting of experts within craft theory in the Nordic region  has contributed to strengthening the critical and analytical language on contemporary crafts within the Nordic countries.

Through seminars and workshops, the network has modified and reframed the Nordic and international perception of what constitutes as Nordic and to include aesthetical traditions such as duodji and non-Nordic/ non-Western crafts that challenge and broadens the concept of a shared Nordic aesthetics, politics and heritage.

It was a good opportunity to understand what are the current issues that my Nordic peers deal with in different sides of the field: the academia, makers, curators, small operators, large operators, and the under-represented. It also was a fantastic opportunity to understand who the key people in the field in the Nordic countries are, which I must admit not knowing that well. I feel I got huge amount of new contacts that I will for sure be using and sharing to my peers in the future.

The workshops were a productive framework for rethinking what constitutes as contemporary crafts from the Nordic region but building tools and language that can adequately discuss the current situation of crafts, craft-based practices, and materiality, takes time. Critical thinking needs new terminology and new perspectives time to mature to become part of the shared language.

Network funding is granted for without a requirement of an end-product. The network members agreed that there is a huge value in workshops that are open-ended, without a typical physical outcome, such as an exhibition.

I think I got a lot verification that the issues discussed during the platform, such as equality, equity and diversity etc. are needed to take into the DNA of institutions like our museum. We are actually trying to do it with our new strategy (which is in progress), and it was great to see how on point we are with our upcoming strategy. It aligns really well with the topics discussed in the platform.

As a part of this project Norwegian Crafts has published two articles on its website open for anyone:

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Participate in our library survey, win Nordic books!

The role of the Nordic Culture Point library is to raise awareness of Nordic culture and literature in Finland. Through this user survey, the library wants to understand your thoughts on our collection, the library’s digital programme, and our potential future digital ventures.

Your answers are anonymous, but if you want you can provide your contact details at the end of the survey for a chance to win a selection of recently published Nordic books.

The survey is open until 15 December.

Participate through this link!

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The Kelp Congress

The Kelp Congress (Tangkongressen) was a networking and knowledge exchange art research project that explored the relationships between artistic practices, kelp, seaweed and coastal communities. It was initiated with an emphasis on the environmental and ecological resonances these relationships held within the Nordic countries. The event focused on artistic enquiry and knowledge exchange surrounding the materiality of seaweed.

The project centred on the staging of three research enquiries, feeding into a public symposium that took place during the 2019 edition of the Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF 2019). The research strands took place in Digermulen, Napp, and Svolvær in the Lofoten Islands, Norway, between the 16–20 September 2019. Contributors to the research strands were formed through partner representation, invited guests, and an Open Call.

The symposium and public engagement event of the Kelp Congress took place between 20–22 September 2019. The symposium featured artistic interventions and performances, opportunities for the sharing of insights from the three research strands, two keynote lectures, a panel discussion, and a dedicated networking gathering. The embeddedness of the Kelp Congress within LIAF 2019 also enabled access to the local, Nordic, and International audiences that the biennale attracted, increasing the congress’s overall visibility and impact.

Following the event, a publication was produced and published by the North Norwegian Art Centre (NNKS). A copy of the publication can be found at the Nordic Library at Nordic Culture Point in Helsinki.

More information about the project can be found here.


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