The Advisory Board of Finnish Cultural Centres, active for nearly two decades, is updating its operations. The advisory board will be replaced by Suomen Kulttuuritalot ry, a new association of Finnish cultural centres and concert halls. The association already has 29 members from different parts of Finland.
In the 1980s, Finland saw a construction boom of cultural centres. Bastions of the arts of all different sizes were built in different parts of the country.By the beginning of the 1990s, the cultural halls began to feel a need for mutual exchange of information because the everyday challenges they faced were largely similar, despite varying administration and operational models. A new forum, the Advisory Board of Finnish Cultural Centres and Congress Halls, was established to address this need. The advisory board convened a couple of times each year to discuss matters of importance to its members. Over the years, the members started to aspire to developing the perceived importance of the cultural centres and creating new opportunities for collaboration and networking. After several years of preparations and discussions, the inaugural meeting of Suomen Kulttuuritalot ry was held in autumn 2010.
The cultural centres finally had their own forum and a springboard to achieve closer mutual collaboration and more target-oriented development. The long-term objective of the association is to function as the link between Finnish cultural centres and concert halls to improve the quality of their operations, build up their professional expertise, increase their social status, strengthen their financial standing and develop closer mutual collaboration. Closer ties with the music world and other performing arts will be developed. The association will also function as an expert organisation of the cultural field by studying its different phenomena and problems and by collecting and disseminating information. Its aims also include promoting international collaboration and working as an active member of international networks and organisations.
The first objective of the association is to increase its number of members. Developing internal and external communication and establishing and developing new communication channels were listed among the key objectives of the association’s early stages of operation. In addition to disseminating information about its own activities, the association will issue statements on cultural-political matters in its role as an expert, and promote networking across the field using means such as initiating new dialogues with representatives of the music world and other spheres of culture. The association will also arrange open seminar and training events.