Why we all
need the arts
- Cultural tools in
Director of Youth Affairs
City of Helsinki
600 000 residents
10-17yo: 41 000
13-17yo: 27 000
5 000 / age group
”The capabilities approach starts from a
very simple question: what are people
really able to do and be? What real
possibilities do they have?”
- Martha Nussbaum: Creating Capabilities. The
Human Development Approach.
Art is a way to change, claim and use your surroundings.
Helsinki has gone from zero tolerance policy on street art to currently having eight
permitted locations for street art. Most of them have started as an initiave of young
people. Graffiti is becoming a thing parents try with their kids.
Nuorten valtakunnallinen teatterikatselmus Teatris, 24.–26.5.13
Arts is a tool to explore and broaden who you are by taking roles.
National youth theatre event Teatris gathered 1000 performers and an audience of
16500 to the National Theatre this spring. Theatre is growing rapidly as a hobby in
Finland. Most of the texts were written by young people.
Arts is a way to build hope.
Tullaamo (Customs House) was a joint production of City of Helsinki and Helsinki
Festival where 30 young people were offered a summer job to make art in a empty
warehouse owned by the city. Most of them had no background in art. Tullaamo
received tremendous national attention. Tullaamo was opened as an arts space for the
general audience during Helsinki Festival, Finland´s biggest arts festival.
Artistic statements stir emotional responses.
Together with contemporary arts festival IHME, we organised traffic sign workshops
where young people made signs from real materials. The signs were installed on
Helsinki Energy´s posts. The signs caused questions and debate in the media.
Helsinki invests heavily in cultural
youth work as we see that:
1. cultural tools allow young people to
deal with emotions and competencies in
a safe environment
2. cultural expressions of young people
are harder to bypass than statements,
meetings and debates
3. cultural expression should not be a
privilege but a right
City of Helsinki, Youth Department
PO BOX 5000, 00099 CITY OF HELSINKI
(09) 310 89045
tommi.laitio (a) hel.fi