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New adviser in the grants team

Nina Refsnes started as a senior adviser at Nordic Culture Point on 1 June 2019. She is an educated artist as well as an expert in arts management. Nina moves to Helsinki from Norway and Arts Council Norway where she worked as a senior adviser for Norwegian Culture Fund’s grant programmes as well as in the secretariat for the Government grants for artists.

Nina will be working with Mobility funding which is a part of the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture. The programme focuses on increasing the exchange of knowledge and contacts between the countries as well as increasing an interest in Nordic and Baltic art and culture.

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NORDBUK grant decisions

In the second round of this year’s NORDBUK, we received a total of 27 applications, and granted 13. The total amount applied was 470 101€, and the total amount granted is 260 886€.

Nordic Culture Point is happy to notice the broad variety of applications that have been submitted, many from fields not directly related to the arts and culture, which is over all a well-represented field among NORDBUK-applications. In this specific round there were applications for the realization of a conference on the topic of cancer-treatment, for young med-students. Also, there were applications discussing the topic Agenda 2030, and organizations working with deaf children and youth.

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Mobility funding – second round

This year’s second round of mobility funding broke the last few years record for received applications. 364 applications were submitted, for a total applied amount of 903 070€, and a total granted amount of 131 570€, for 74 grantees.

The next application round will open on the 23rd of July and close on the 22nd of august.

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42 projects were granted funding from Culture and Art Programme

The first application round for Culture and Art Programme is now finished. Nordic Culture Point received a total of 199 applications for a total sum of 6 029 460 euros. The expert group has decided to grant a total of 1 104 726 euros to 42 projects.

Projects with a strong nordic dimension were given priority in comparison with projects with a more local character. As during previous years the experts also stressed the importance of transparency in budgeting and fair remuneration for participating artists within the projects. You may see all the granted projects from this and previous rounds when you scroll down on the page Results.

Culture and Art Programme supports Nordic cooperation within art and culture. You can apply for funding for a project with artistic or cultural quality which promotes a multifaceted and sustainable Nordic region. The grant programme is administered by Nordic Culture Point.

Funding is being distributed twice per year. The next application round for 2019 is from 19th of August until 19th of September 2019. Please note that the application deadline is 15.59 Finnish time.

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Creating possibilities for lifelong dancing

The main idea of the project Lifelong Dance Practice: 45+ is to promote collaboration between dancers and choreographers after 45 years of age in the Nordic and Baltic countries. The aim is to discover new ideas and opportunities and identify ways of developing artistic qualities and artistic existence of dancers and choreographers after the age of 45.

The project includes further education, sharing experiences, discussing a range of issues and identifying resources that are relevant for dancers and choreographers who are becoming seniors. The project received short-term Network funding in 2016 and long-term Network funding in 2017.

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Open call: Do you want to create site specific art for the corridor wall at the Nordic Culture Point?

In the autumn of 2019 we invite Nordic artists to suggest a site-specific art work to be displayed at our premises at Kaisaniemenkatu 9 in Helsinki. This will be the second of three application rounds during 2018-2020. Applications are welcome from artists with a permanent address in a Nordic country, regardless of nationality.

Your artwork should visually comment on The Nordic Culture Point’s profile and themes. Our theme for the autumn 2019 is “Individual voice – collective expression”. The UN global environmental goals Agenda 2030 is a guiding principle in our activities.

We offer the selected artist an artist fee of 1000€, including taxes, and reimburse travel, material and working costs up to 1000€ as well as a daily allowance of 42€/day, the Finnish rate. Our guest apartment in Suomenlinna, a Unesco world heritage site 10 minutes by boat from the city centre, is at your disposal free of charge during the working period, between August 6th and 15th. The opening will take place on August 15th at 5 pm, as part of the Night of the Arst of the Helsinki Festival 2019.

Interested? Please send your cv., a brief description and/or rudimentary sketch of your idea and a link or a pdf of your previous work to the undersigned by May 15th 2019.

We only pay for the commissioned work, and ask you not to invest time and work in a detailed proposal. Should we want more information before the selection we will get in touch.

Technical information
Ground level, with specified rooms

For more information, please contact:

Henrik Marstrander
Phone: +358 45 1554947

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Ten Nordic and Baltic artist residencies were granted support

This year’s funding for Nordic and Baltic artist residencies has now been distributed. There were a total of 63 applications, of which ten were granted support in order to strengthen artistic and cultural cooperation in the Nordic region and the Baltic states. Nordic Culture Point has distributed a total sum of 315 866 €. The experts stressed the diversity of the artforms and regions the importance of grants or fees for participating artists in their assessment.

The Plein Air Residency by Art Lab Gnesta in Sweden offers a cross-disciplinary framework asking what political, social or historical references the landscape can bring into artistic practice, and how human activities are configuring the landscape itself on an overall level. The residency is a place for experimental connections between art and society, considering ecology and sustainability in artistic practice and activities. Read here more about Art Lab Gnesta.

Nordic-Baltic A-i-R by Troms fylkeskommune – Troms fylkeskultursenter is a cross-disciplinary residency in Northern Norway, The residency is in strong interaction with the local community. Local artists are introduced to new ways of working and thinking, and can benefit greatly from input that artists from other Nordic and Baltic countries bring. More information about the residency here.

The Finnish organisation Dots: förening för audiovisuell konst rf was granted support for their residency program called Filmverkstaden. It focuses on the research and production of analogue film-based works with equipment and facilities to which the artist would not have access in their local region or situation. Their aim is to become an established knowledge centre for experimental audiovisual art. More information on Filmverkstaden.

Funding for artist residencies is a part of the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture. The programme focuses on increasing the exchange of knowledge, contacts, presence and interest in Nordic and Baltic art and culture. The Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme comprises three forms of funding: mobility, network and funding for artist residencies. If you want to read more about the programme and upcoming deadlines, click here.

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NORDBUK: The good application

By the time NORDBUK Grant Programme had its first deadline this year, a total of 25 hopeful applications went through the assessments. They were written by organisations, networks, youth departments and associations from across the Nordic Region.

After the decision meeting six projects received a message saying their project had obtained the support needed to realize their project idea. NORDBUK is looking forward to seeing how these youths develop the six projects and what they will return with in terms of new experiences, contacts and ideas.

There are two more deadlines to come this year, so there is still plenty of opportunity left to apply.

The purpose of the children and young people’s programmes are simple: Children and young people must experience ownership in projects that concern them!

They don’t have to decide everything, but in order to achieve a grant the applicant must carefully present ideas and methods on what a young cooperation can lead to across Nordic borders.

What’s good to consider?

NORDBUK wishes to strengthen children and young people’s cooperation within the areas of culture, politics and society in the Nordic Region. The target group is between zero and 30 years old. Project ideas from organisations, networks, groups, associations with a Nordic country of residence may apply. All projects must be based on a cooperation between at least three Nordic countries.

1. Remember that limitation is a good thing
All applications go through the same assessment points that are available to read on our website. It’s mandatory for the application to describe exactly how big of an influence children and young people have on the project and what it is that you/they wish to contribute to the Nordic cooperation. If this is your first time applying, then a simple yet well thought-out idea, may be most powerful.

2. Use the priorities to your advantage
NORDBUK is looking for projects that are aiming for a sustainable world. We’re talking about the UN’s Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goal number 12. Do you want to create tools for reducing our carbon footprint on nature, or change the way we get rid of waste and harmful pollutants? Maybe you already have a platform from where you can encourage corporations to adapt to a more sustainable work ethic? Maybe you’re stewing on a project idea that sees the potential for more jobs for young people within sustainable development, or something that furthers our knowledge on local culture and patterns of consumption in the Nordic Region?

NORDBUK is also interested in projects that specifically represent, support or prevent children and young people from living under vulnerable circumstances. Do you wish to create a greater inclusion of at-risk minorities or immigrants, or maybe help child refugees? It could be that you are better able to better the networks between children and young people who have or are at risk of deteriorating physical or mental health, or maybe find themselves between work and study? Maybe you have a greater expertise when it comes to including children and young people with little to no access to arts and culture, or discussing themes like online hate speech?

If you have prior experiences and good ideas, we want to hear from you.

Nobody is guaranteed support and it is unfortunately a bitter feeling to put time and effort into preparing an application, that can end up being rejected. However, there is no reason to despair. All NORDBUK rejection letters are quickly followed up with more in-depth feedback, that may assist you in developing your idea and application further.

The NORDBUK Grant Programme’s next deadline is on the 3rd of May at 15.59 Finnish time. What are you waiting for?

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Results from the first round of mobility funding

The first round of the mobility grant program 2019 has now ended.

We received a total of 271 applications, the amount applied was 580 360€.

93 applications were granted funding, the total amount granted was 161 740€.

The deadlines of the remaining application rounds in 2019 are published on our website.

The mobility funding provides applicants, who may be individuals or small groups, access to contacts, skills and knowledge from different parts of the region. Funding may also be used to present artistic and cultural productions and to increase interest in Nordic and Baltic art and culture. Mobility funding is intended for the travel and/or stay of professional artists or cultural workers within Nordic and/or Baltic countries.

The application deadlines for 2019 are the following:

23.07.2019 – 22.08.2019
19.09.2019 – 21.10.2019



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Network Funding awarded for 19 projects

Network funding was distributed for the first application round of 2019 and the round proved that working cross-disciplinary across genres is still an important trend in the field of arts and culture. Nordic Culture Point received a total of 66 applications, of which 26 were for the long-term network funding and 40 for the short-term network funding. A total amount of 666 519 € was granted to 6 long-term projects and 13 short-term projects and as many as 11 of the granted projects engage several artforms.

One of the granted short-term projects, Nordic Arts & Health Research Network, combines arts with health issues and aims to create new kind of collaboration between researchers, professional artists, artist-researchers and educators working within the Arts & Health field in the Nordic countries.

The literature project Network of the Literary Organizations of the Baltic Countries was among the granted long-term projects and its main objective is to set up a regular exchange between literary organizations of the three Baltic countries. The network wants to encourage the exchange and mobility in the field of literature as well foster translations, educate new translators and to share experiences on literary issues between the countries.

Network funding enables periods for cooperation, exchange of ideas and knowledge between professional artists and cultural workers in the Nordic region and/or the Baltic countries. The funding is a part of The Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture, which strengthens artistic and cultural cooperation in the Nordic region and the Baltic states.

The next application round for the short-term network funding opens on 26 August 2019. Long-term network funding has only one application round per year.

Would you like to find out more about the effects of the funding? Please download and read the report Effects of Network Funding (Nordic Culture Point 2019).

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Viktiga, nyskapande bilderböcker från hela Norden!

Idag är bilderboken väldigt ofta ett konstverk, som kan och bör läsas av såväl barn, tonåringar och vuxna. Dagens bilderböcker skildrar allt mellan himmel och jord, allt oftare svåra ämnen såsom sorg, död, att bli lämnad utanför, flyktingar och rädslor av olika slag. Det är bra att barnet får möta dessa svåra ämnen via litteraturen, och lika viktigt att vi vuxna samtalar med barnet efter högläsningen.

Sorg och andra känslor

En trend inom utgivningen av bilderböcker i Finland verkar vara att samma titel ges ut på svenska och finska ungefär samtidigt. Så är det med tex Maija & Anssi Hurmes Skuggorna om längtan och sorg som berör men som också ger hopp. Ett litet barn saknar sin mamma. Längtan och tryggheten finns där i form av en liten figur som ingen kan se, men som följer med barnet som en skugga. Med tiden blir skuggorna en del av pappans och barnets liv. Ibland är de helt och hållet borta, men båda vet att de ibland kan knacka på och komma på besök. Skuggorna är ett fint exempel på en bilderbok där text och illustrationer samspelar perfekt!

Sorg och saknad är också två viktiga teman i den danska bilderboken Bezunk og egernet av Tina Sakura Bestle. Bezunk är änkling sedan fyra år tillbaka. Hans längtan efter Ellen är stor, han dukar en kopp kaffe till henne varje dag, i väntan på att hon skall komma tillbaka som en ängel. I stället får han besök av en lurvig ekorre som så småningom hjälper Bezunk att komma ihåg de glada minnena från ungdomen utan att glömma Ellen. Ekorren är en färgklick i Bezunks färglösa liv, men också i bilderbokens annars så matta färgsättning.

Rädslorna av den svenska författaren Jesper Lundqvist är en annorlunda bok om känslor. Här får vi möta Henrik som är trött på Ängslan, Ilskan och Frysan, känslorna som gör livet jobbigt för honom. Men hur skall han bli av med dessa känslor? Och hur är det ifall han trycker undan dessa känslor? En fint skriven bilderbok om hur viktigt det är att ha känslor och att kunna hantera dem.

Det samnordiska verket Monster i knipa handlar om de bekanta Monstervännerna som här får besök av Luddmonster. Stora Monster hade tänkt leka med Lilla Monster och har svårt att tackla situationen att de nu är tre. När det dessutom kommer fram att Luddmonster inte har ett hem att återvända till blir det kris. Hon kan ju inte flytta in hos någondera av monstren, så de måste hitta på en lösning som är bra för alla tre.

Att inte få vara med

I norska Jill Moursunds Ester og hvalen får vi följa med hur svårt det kan vara att börja i en ny skola och att hitta vänner i en klass där alla redan känner varandra. Ester och de andra flickorna är väldigt olika med olika intressen, vilket leder till att Ester lämnas utanför även då flickorna skall jobba i smågrupp under en lektion. Hon känner sig som en vilsegången val i klassen eller en klumpig sjöjungfru i allt hon gör. Hon blir tyst, vill vara osynlig och vill bli lämnad ifred. Men hon har sett valen, hon har en snäcka hon kan lyssna på havets brus med och hon känner till stjärnorna. Alla dessa hjälper Ester när hon har det som svårast och givetvis också läraren som så småningom uppfattar situationen.

Vad är sant?

Sist men inte minst, vill jag tipsa om den färöiska minimalistiskt illustrerade berättelsen Træið (Trädet) av Bárður Oskarsson. Här får vi möta två figurer som är varandras motsatser. Kaninen Bob är nyfiken men försiktig och oerfaren medan hunden Hilbert är väldigt berest och en fena på att berätta historier. Den här berättelsen hjälper oss att reflektera över om man alltid kan lita på allt som sägs. Inte ett svårt tema i sig, men i dagens värld väldigt viktigt att kunna ifrågasätta!

Mikaela Wickström, specialbiblotekarie, Nordisk kulturkontakt

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Meet the spring 2019 Nordic Match participants

During the second week of April, the networking platform and pop-up think tank Nordic Match takes place in Helsinki with the aim to create ideas for positive social change through art, culture and social design and we are proud to present our five participants! One creative professional from each Nordic country was selected in an open call process that resulted in nearly 40 highly qualified applications.

  • Inanna Riccardi is an anthropologist, a project manager, and a visual artist based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Since 2015 she has specialised in using art as a tool for social innovation in different contexts and with a variety of vulnerable target groups. In her artistic practice Inanna investigates issues related to the construction of personal and national identity and has a special interest in the cognitive processes that lie behind how we think about who we are.
  • Leiry Seron is a brand designer and strategist based in Iceland. She is passionate about working across borders with entrepreneurs who are working hard to create a more beautiful, fair, and resilient world. Her design practice is fully focused on growth, innovation, and multidisciplinary collaboration. Through her work she seeks to empower creative thinking, promote social cohesion, and design tools for human happiness.
  • After graduating as an architect in Mexico City in 2007, Alberto Juarez got a position at a multinational architecture and engineering firm in Bergen, Norway. After working in three different firms, he established his own practice in 2015 in Oslo. Since the start, the office has carried out over 70 projects in five countries on three continents. Alberto’s design approach is based on holistic design, innovation and projects where everybody wins.
  • With a background in design, Natalia Villaman (Finland) has spent the past few years working alongside NGOs and social movements to tackle problems related to migration, human rights, refugee crises, and sustainable development. In addition to her current MA studies in Creative Sustainability at Aalto University, she is trained in Cultural and Intercultural Mediation.
  • Julia Zachemba migrated to Sweden for ideological and political reasons just over a year ago. Because she’s always observed how people interact with products and services and always been a fan of human-centric solutions, she decided to embark on a PhD from Service Design. In addition to taking part in a project for the Scientific Centre in Poland, she has been involved in numerous Hackathons and Tech Think-Tank events in Poland and Sweden.

The overarching theme for the April round of Nordic Match is migration, and the results from the workshops will be presented to the public at a networking event on 11 April. The participants will also present their work at two public events at the Nordic Culture Point on 9 April and 12 April.

Follow Nordic Match on Facebook to get all the latest updates and event info – there will be opportunities to engage in the Nordic Match discussions both on-site or online!

Nordic Match is initiated and financed by the Nordic Culture Point in Helsinki and carried out together with the creative agency Måndag. The local partner and recipient of the workshop outputs from the April round is the Finnish Refugee Council’s Empathy Movement.

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Network funding creates results also beyond funded projects

Projects that receive Network funding contribute to inspiration, new ideas and productive collaboration that can even lead to new ways of handling cultural policy issues in the Nordic and the Baltic countries. This is shown by the report Effects of Network Funding – An Evaluation that Nordic Culture Point has just published.

According to the report Network funding provides professional artists and cultural practitioners in the Nordic and Baltic regions a chance to exchange information, competence and experience relevant to their work. The results show that the funding covers many more participants than those formally applied for. Networking is seen important for its own sake and beneficial also for the whole field of arts and culture the respondents are in as networks strengthen participants’ identity, self-esteem and contacts and contribute to increased legitimacy and status in the field.

Respondents reported that the projects often had more participants than the funding was initially intended to cover. In some cases, the projects covered participants even outside the Nordic-Baltic region. The report concludes that the funding is seen valuable among professionals and it is especially important for the most remote regions as well as smallest countries such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Nordic Culture Point assigned the Norwegian researchers Donatella De Paoli and Lene Foss for a period of three months in autumn 2018 to conduct a qualitative study on networks that have received funding from Nordic Culture Point. Donatella De Paoli presents the conclusions at Nordic Culture Point on 28 March.

Network funding is a part of the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture that aims to strengthen artistic and cultural cooperation in the Nordic region and the Baltic states. The programme focuses on increasing the exchange of knowledge, contacts and interest in Nordic and Baltic art and culture.

The report is available here: Effects of Network Funding – An Evaluation.

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