Goals of the Finnish Jazz Federation for the Cultural Policy Report

Valtteri Pokela

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo’s government decided in its government program to prepare a cultural policy report, which is currently being prepared. The preparation of the report is being carried out by a working group appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture, and the goal is for the Government to submit the cultural policy report to Parliament in the autumn session of 2024.

The Finnish Jazz Federation has participated in the preparation of the cultural policy report by participating in several events preparing the report, including a joint inauguration event organized by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Changing World event organized by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland, and the event Towards the International 2040s of Art, as well as the live music sector’s roundtable discussion on the cultural policy report held at the Mars Festival. The Finnish Jazz Federation has also been involved in preparing the joint objectives of the Finnish Music Council and the independent field of the arts for the cultural policy report, as well as drafting and submitting its own objectives for the cultural policy report to the working group.

The cultural policy report is an important opportunity for the live music sector – including jazz music – to influence the long-term development of Finnish arts and cultural policy and to highlight the strengths and development needs of the sector that the report should recognize. The report looks far into the future, until 2040. It is of paramount importance that the importance and potential of our sector as part of Finland’s future success are understood and that we are actively working together to find solutions to future societal challenges and emerging opportunities, beyond the boundaries of administration.

In the goals of the Finnish Jazz Federation, art and culture are seen as part of societal solutions and Finland’s sustainable success.

As part of societal solutions and Finland’s sustainable success

The goal of the Finnish Jazz Federation is a cultural policy report that recognizes the role of art and culture in employment, sustainable growth, and well-being, and supports its operating conditions and vitality as part of Finland’s success story.

Creativity and art play a central role in the sustainable renewal of our society and in strengthening Finnish competitiveness. Finland’s international success story has been built on education, which is reflected in our society as competence and creativity, strong democracy, and civil society. A knowledgeable, participatory, and creative society finds the best solutions to future challenges.

The significance of intangible capital in economic growth increases at the same time as the sources of meaning for people become increasingly immaterial. Investing in the vitality of Finnish art and culture is an investment directly in the sustainable development and well-being of our society.

In our view, the cultural policy report should ambitiously aim for the growth of art and culture, as the success of our art and culture is not separate from the success of our society.

  • Several arts and cultural sector organizations have drafted their own objectives for the report. The Jazz Federation highlights below six objectives raised by multiple organizations, which it also hopes the report will especially consider.
  • In particular, the operating conditions of the independent field need to be strengthened to ensure the comprehensive development of the arts ecosystem. Only by ensuring that it is possible to see, create, and experience various forms of art in Finland can we enable different people to find art forms that are meaningful to them. By increasing participation, art strengthens well-being and active citizenship, and thus also democracy development.
  • The potential of art and culture as an accelerator for the green transition should be recognized and invested in. Creative industries need to be supported in goals related to combating climate change and in developing more climate-friendly operating models. The business opportunities of sustainability and those that strengthen the competitiveness of the sector should also be recognized and invested in. Strengthening the operating conditions of the cultural and arts sector is also part of a comprehensive strengthening of eco-social education and sustainable development.

Note! Performing Music has drafted a common climate roadmap for the sector, which defines the sector’s common climate goals and the roles and key impact opportunities of stakeholders in climate work. The goals are linked to Finland’s 2035 and IPCC’s 1.5-degree climate goals.

  • The report should take into account the social security, unemployment benefits, and working conditions of artists, as well as copyright issues in a rapidly digitizing operating environment. Those considering a career as young art professionals must feel that making art will remain a viable and attractive profession in the future. Generating new generations of artists is essential for the vitality and adaptability of art.
  • New support instruments to promote internationalization need to be developed to make it easier for Finnish artists and art to become part of the international market. Promoting international mobility needs to be supported in both directions, from Finland to the world and from elsewhere to Finland. The growth potential of the sector’s exports must be recognized at the national level.
  • Investments in culture and arts in the state’s economic activities produce sustainable added value, well-being, and strengthen social capital. The share of funding for the sector in the state budget’s total appropriations needs to be raised to internationally competitive levels, at least 1% in the short term. Finland’s current share of the cultural budget in the state budget is among the five weakest in EU countries.
  • In addition to increasing cultural funding, rapid support is needed for developing new employment models – such as community economy – and for reforming the necessary legislation to support the vitality and needs of today’s working life. Reforms are of paramount importance in ensuring the livelihoods, good working life, and skilled workforce of art practitioners.

Two solution proposals from the Jazz Federation for future changing needs

The Finnish Jazz Federation also wants to highlight two “precision solution proposals” that arise from the current structures and operating models of the domestic jazz sector, and which the Federation believes offer solutions to broader changing needs of the operating environment, such as ensuring the accessibility and regional availability of art in the current urbanization trend and population age structure changes.

Our proposal:

The structures of touring activities are strengthened and new structures are created to ensure diverse cultural services throughout Finland in the future

By strengthening touring structures and creating new models enabling touring across various art sectors, the accessibility and regional availability of art are promoted in a situation where urbanization is accelerating and population decline threatens many locations. Touring activities implement a life cycle approach to works and productions, and are often the most ecologically sustainable and resource-efficient way to bring art nationally to different parts of Finland. Touring activities can enhance the diversity of cultural services, strengthen cooperation between institutions and the independent arts sector, and narrow regional disparities in the provision of various art forms. Functional touring structures in Finland also lay the groundwork for the touring of international artists, promoting intercultural dialogue and export opportunities.

Our proposal:

The regional availability of culture and strong local expertise is ensured by strengthening and building multi-channel funding models

A vibrant national ecosystem in the arts is a prerequisite for employment. New funding models, where the state, municipalities, as well as foundations and regions co-finance regional and local cultural organizations, promote the regional availability of professionally produced cultural services, the employment of the independent arts sector, and the permanent improvement of the operating conditions of the sector by supporting the expertise of local actors.

As an example of such a funding model, the Music Finland LIVE concert and club support model serves as an example, which could also be applied to other art forms. The support funding is based on a tripartite model, where municipal funding, private foundation funding, and state grants together form a comprehensive funding package for concert organizers.

For more information:
Suomen Jazzliitto ry / Finnish Jazz Federation
Maria Silvennoinen
Executive Director
+358 (0)50 5367491

Photo: Krista Kuu