The Finnish Cultural Institute in New York aims to promote Finnish art, design and architecture in North America. In all its activity, the goal is to help create long term collaborative relationships between Finnish and North-American professionals in the field of visual arts.
The Institute has three principal areas of operation: It runs an artist-in-residency program in Brooklyn, New York; it produces, curates and presents both large scale touring exhibitions and smaller one-time events in collaboration with local galleries and museums in North America; and it develops active collaboration networks with North American educational institutions and organizations within the field of visual arts.
The Finnish Cultural Institute in New York is one of the 17 Finnish Cultural and Academic Institutes abroad. It is a member of the EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture) cluster in New York. In addition to an office in New York, the Institute maintains an office in Helsinki, Finland.
The Institute’s field of activities covers all of North America. It is a not-for-profit private foundation with a 501(c)3 status. All donations made to the institute are tax deductible. The Institute is supported by an annual endowment from the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland, and by various corporate and private sponsors and grants.
Finnish Cultural Institute in New York was founded in 1990 by three Finnish artists’ associations: STS (The Artists’ Association of Finland), SAFA (Finnish Association of Architects), and ORNAMO (The Finnish Association of Designers). Due to its background and focus, the name of the Institute was the Finnish Foundation for the Visual Arts until 2005.
During the years, already some 600 architects, designers and fine artists or work groups have had the opportunity to work and stay in New York in the artist-in-residency program.
The Institute has organized exhibitions and events related to all of its focus areas. The most recent ones being Bodies, Borders Crossings: Photography and Video Art from Finland (2011-), Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future (2006-10), and SCENARIOS: New Finnish Design (2011). In addition to organizing these exhibitions and events, the Institute has also published related websites and printed catalogues.
Furthermore, the Institute has developed active networks of collaboration with North American educational institutions and organizations within the field of visual arts.