The Most Important Source of Support for Finnish Culture in the United States

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Anne-Mari Paster cuts the ribbon at the rededication of the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock, Michigan, surrounded by FFN trustees and special guests including Consul General of Finland in New York, Ambassador Jarmo Sareva (third from left).

Did you know...

...that Soiva Music Camp is now offered at a special price?

APRIL 30 is the deadline to register for this cultural experience, hosted by FFN for youths ages 12-17, July 15-21, 2024 at the Gwinwood Retreat Center in Lacey, Washington (near Olympia)

While true to its roots as an international music experience for young people, Soiva Camp 2024 has a new format, location and collaboration with Sibelius Academy’s Global Music program that offers the opportunity for musical exploration to everyone, whether or not they have previous training in music.

Maria Männistö is coordinating Soiva 2024, and leading the sessions are instructors Artur Uronen and Kata Vuoristo from Helsinki.

Let's Create Music Together!


Are You an Alumni of Fulbright Finland?

FFN is partnering with Fulbright Finland Foundation and Fulbright Finland Alumni Council to celebrate the 75th anniversary of U.S.-Finnish exchanges. All Fulbright

Finland alumni are invited to attend the May 24-25 event in Mystic, Connecticut.

Contact FFN at office@ for more information. To register click:


A changing of the guard. A passing of the torch. A hallmark for organizations, both public and private alike, is change in leadership.

Finlandia Foundation National met in Hancock in April for our annual board meeting, which we marked by celebration of the Saving Finland in America campaign as well as changes in leadership. Read more about this exciting moment in this newsletter.

The board of FFN has always been a passionate one, fully committed to promoting and advancing Finnish and Finnish-American culture in the United States. This year, several board members reached the end of their term. For this group especially, kiitos! Their dedication has truly guided this organization.

And, I am no longer the "newest" member of the team! In this newsletter, you will get to know our four newly elected trustees. We are excited to have them on board and look forward to working together. If you get a change, tell them tervetuloa!


These board members step into the foundation at an exciting time. We continue our robust offering of online programming—don’t miss this weekend’s Finnpoisum, co-hosted by FinnFest, featuring The Forest Finns. We continue next week with a highlight of FFN inaugural Artist of the Year, Eric Aho, moderated by founding member of the Young Leaders Board, Julia Paster. Stay tuned for more of these events in May!

We are also happy to be celebrating a milestone with Fulbright Finland Foundation on its 75th anniversary. FFN is co-sponsoring an event for alumni and Finlandia Foundation members in Mystic, Connecticut, May 24–25. If you are interested in attending, there is still time to sign up. See info at left.

As we continue into the spring and summer, we hope to see many of you along the way.

Thank you // kiitos // tack for your continued support of our mission and programs as we continue together to be “Fiercely Finnish.”


Tommy Flanagan 

Executive Director


At its annual meeting April 13 in Hancock, the board of directors of Finlandia Foundation National elected trustee Päivi Tetri as president. She fills the seat vacated by Anne-Mari Paster, who served the maximum of two terms in the position.


Päivi was born in Jyväskylä, Finland, and with her parents, Eero and Helli Tetri, immigrated to Seattle in 1957. The family also lived in Juneau, Alaska. With her degree in biology, Päivi did research on human genetics at Yale University, and worked primarily as a psychotherapist before retiring in 2008. She has citizenship in both the United States and Finland, and most recently served as FFN secretary. She and her husband, Brent Tetri, live in St. Louis.


The board thanked departing trustees Richard Ahola, Betsey Norgard, Hilary-Joy Virtanen and Hanna Wagner for their dedication to the work of FFN and support of Finnish America.


FFN welcomes four new members to the all-volunteer board:

Annika Ahonala is a native of Finland who relocated to the U.S. in 2019. She has extensive marketing experience and founded Sand Hill Marketing in Menlo Park, California, which specializes in “Building Bridges Between the Nordics and Silicon Valley.”

Elaine M. Kumpala, an attorney experienced in immigration law, is Honorary Consul of Finland for Minnesota (Southern half) and South Dakota. Her volunteer activities include serving on the board of the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce in Minnesota.

David M. Rowe has a background in business management, product development, finance and market research. He is CEO of MTEC SmartZone, a non-profit located in Houghton, Michigan that assists entrepreneurs in developing their concepts into viable businesses.

Kirsi St. Marie is an engineering professional with experience in consulting, research, and as an engineer in Finland and the U.S. She is president of Finlandia Foundation Colorado and a volunteer language teacher and treasurer for the Finnish School of Denver.

FFN Trustees Meet in Hancock

Finlandia Foundation conducted its annual board meeting in Hancock, Michigan April 11-13, accompanied by a variety of free events open to the public, from a coffee hour to the rededication of the Finnish American Heritage Center. FFN was honored to have Consul General of New York, Ambassador Jarmo Sareva, address those gathered for the occasion.

It was the first opportunity for the majority of FFN trustees to visit the properties that the directors voted unanimously to assume responsibility for with the 2023 closing of Finlandia University. A tour of the facilities included a visit to the archive (above).

It was also a chance to celebrate the momentous Saving Finland in America campaign, which inspired donors who raised funds to acquire the historical and cultural Finnish-American assets that faced an uncertain future. 


Accordion virtuoso Viola Turpeinen's Kauhavan Polka was accepted by the Library of Congress for the 2024 National Recording Registry.

It is one of 25 recordings honored as audio treasures worthy of preservation for all time based on their cultural, historical or aesthetic importance in the nation’s recorded sound


Margaret Fibel, a member of the Finlandia Foundation National Capital Chapter, and James P. Leary, emeritus professor of Folklore and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, were leading advocates of the nomination.

Viola (1909-1958) was one of the most well-known Finnish-American musicians of her time, and is possibly the first woman in the world to record accordion solos.

Click here to listen to the recording.


All times are Eastern

April 27: Noon Finnposium: The Forest Finns; click here

April 29: 7 p.m. Artist of the Year Eric Aho In Conversation; click here

April 30: Soiva Music Camp registration deadline; click here

April 30: Salolampi Language Village grant application deadine; click here

May 24-25: Fulbright Finland Foundation 75th Anniversary Alumni Event, co-sponsored by FFN; for details click here

July 15-21: Soiva Music Camp; for details click here

July 24-28: FinnFest USA 2024 in Duluth; click here

4th National Sauna Week: February 16-22, 2025


Click here to register

for the July 24-28 event in Duluth

Your Gifts Make It Possible

At its annual meeting April 13, the FFN board approved awards recommended by the grant and scholarship committees. Stay tuned for more information about this year’s scholarship recipients and grantees.

Your contributions make FFN programs possible, and your gift to FFN is matched dollar-for-dollar by the Paloheimo Foundation (up to $100,000 annually). Finlandia Foundation National, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization, so your donation is tax deductible.

Please make your gift today.

Thank You!



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