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

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Photo by Jaako Tähti courtesy

Did you know...

...that there is a Finnish bowed lyre called the jouhikko?

The instrument is the focus of the June 20-23 Midsummer Jouhikko Gathering, hosted by the Finnish American Folk School in Hancock, Michigan.

There will be jouhikko playing workshops, bow making, an instrument tune-up clinic and a performance opportunity.

The sessions are open to students ages 16 and up. Jouhikko playing is open to beginner through intermediate students. No experience is necessary to participate in the bow making workshop.

You don’t need to have your own instrument, there will be a small number of instruments available for rent during the event.



We’ve been thinking a lot about partnerships at FFN. We all know on a personal level that relationships can be difficult. They require a lot of work and, most of all, trust. Humans aren’t always great at partnerships. Organizations can find partnerships difficult in similar ways to people. What is an organization at the end of the day, anyway, if not people working together? A prerequisite for a strong partnership, both personal and on an organizational level, is having shared values.

FFN had an opportunity to deepen our relationship with such a partner, Fulbright Finland Foundation (FFF), during a Fulbright alumni event celebrating 75 years of FFF. Both of our organizations met in Mystic, Connecticut to sign a Memorandum of Understanding placing our common interests and shared values at the center. There is much opportunity in partnering with similar, like-minded organizations and institutions, such as FFN and FFF. We look forward to what new possibilities will be enabled due to this cooperation.

As the “premier source of support for Finland in America,” FFN is a proud sponsor of FinnFest 2024 in Duluth, Minnesota, “North America's premier experience of Nordic culture and learning.” This combination of values makes sense. FFN is excited to be a sponsor of this year’s keynote by Pekka Haavisto, former Foreign Minister of Finland.

Additionally, the Young Leaders Board of FFN brings you “Young & Finnspired! Young Professionals Networking Event” on July 25 in Duluth. Register here. Read below for more information on FFN and FinnFest 2024.

Successful partnerships can lead to seeing things from new perspectives and inspire innovation. And if we take a hint from Finland today, we see that partnering with other Nordic groups may prove to be fruitful.

All of this is a part of our work at FFN. However, for real good work to be done, one must also take a break to rejuvenate. FFN wishes everyone a happy midsummer // hyvää juhannusta // glad midsommar!

Tommy Flanagan 

Executive Director

FFN Seeks Communications Director

Do you know someone who would like to be a part of the team that is the premier supporter of Finnish America?

Finlandia Foundation National is seeking an enthusiastic communications professional who is a strategic thinker and practical problem solver to join our team as Communications Director. 

This position may be fully remote. 

The applicant must be located in the United States 

and have the ability to legally work in the U.S. 

Deadline to apply is Sunday, June 30, 2024

Anticipated Start Date: August 1, 2024

Click here for job description and application

"Heather Hietala: Reconnecting to My Finnish Roots"

On Tuesday, June 18 at 4 p.m. (Eastern), join Finnish-American artist Heather Hietala In Conversation with Finlandia Art Gallery Director Carrie Vander Veen as they discuss Heather's Finnish heritage and its impact on her creative process.

Heather grew up in rural New Hampshire at the end of a half mile dirt road in the foothills of the White Mountains, her experiences so close to nature, and the cyclical nature of the seasons, significantly influenced her life and work.

“I am an innovator across many mediums; including wood and salt-fired ceramics, cloth, wire, paper, gut and natural materials from my orchard garden," says Heather.

Her exhibition Evolution was on display at the Finlandia Art Gallery through June 5.



Plan now to attend FinnFest USA, July 24-28 in Duluth, Minnesota.

Finlandia Foundation is hosting several programs and with Finnair is sponsoring Keynote Speaker Pekka Haavisto.

Click here for more on FFN involvement at this annual celebration

Click the FinnFest button at right for full information and registration


June 18: 4 p.m. Finnposium: Reconnecting to My Finnish Roots with artist Heather Hietala; click here

June 30: FFN Communications Director application deadine; click here

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

August 6: 8 p.m. Virtual Joint Chapter Meeting

September 1: Lecturer of the Year 2025 application deadline; click here September 1: Performer of the Year 2025 application deadline; click here

October 1: Lindfors Law Scholarship application deadine; click here

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

GRANT SPOTLIGHT: Your Gifts Make It Possible

The 2024 FFN grants program awarded funds to 63 projects, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra debut on August 10 of Finnish conductor Dalia Stasevska at Tanglewood, the country’s preeminent summer music festival and the summer home of the BSO. She will conduct two works by Sibelius and a violin concerto by Stravinsky.

Click here for information about the concert in Lenox/Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Your contribution makes FFN grants and other programs possible. And, it goes twice as far because it 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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