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Koli Art Residence receives 10,000 euro Barents Scholarship for Cultural Cooperation

Ministry of Education and Culture
Publication date 24.10.2023 12.18
Press release
Barents Scholarships for Cultural Cooperation 2023 recipients.
Photo: Janne Käyhkö

A Barents Scholarship for Cultural Cooperation in Finland has been awarded to Koli Art Residence. The value of the scholarship is EUR 10,000. Barents Scholarships for Cultural Cooperation were awarded on 24 October in Joensuu in Eastern Finland. Scholarships were also awarded to recipients from Sweden and Norway.

From its beginnings, Koli Art Residence in North Karelia has reached out beyond Finland to international partners. Every year, around twelve artists stay at the Residence next to Koli National Park. In choosing the artists, the Residence emphasises community involvement and interaction with Koli village and residents. The Residence’s activities have brought international influences to the area, not only giving a boost to local village life, but also helping to make Koli a more attractive tourist destination.

“Many artists are so enthusiastic about Koli and our life here that they apply to stay at the Residence again and again; some of them have even settled in our village, at least in part,” says a spokesperson for Koli Cultural Society, which runs the Residence. 

Koli Art Residence is a member of a network of residencies and art practitioners in the northern regions of Finland, Sweden and Norway. The Backyard Residencies creates opportunities for artists, curators and producers to work in another region or country. 

The grounds for awarding the Barents Scholarship to Koli Art Residence highlighted cooperation and working together with others: “Residencies are places for cooperation and creation of new works. Artistic and cultural collaboration in the Barents Region needs structures, such as this network of residencies, that promote the mobility of artists in the region and enable them to meet each other. Koli Art Residence responds to this need, bringing North Karelia and artists from this area into the Barents cultural community.”

About Barents Scholarships for Cultural Cooperation

Barents Scholarships for Cultural Cooperation were established to recognise cultural cooperation and artists in the Barents Region and encourage people to work there. The scholarships are awarded every two years. The previous Finnish scholarship recipients are Tornio photographer Jaakko Heikkilä (2017), the Northern Finnish cultural magazine Kaltio (2019) and the Artists’ Association of Lapland (2021). 

Finland holds the Chairmanship of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council in 2021–2023. The Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture currently chairs the Joint Working Group on Culture, which awards the Barents Scholarships. The Ministry also funds the scholarship awarded in Finland. At the end of Finland's Chairmanship in October 2023, the Barents Euro-Arctic Council will continue its work under the joint chairmanship of Finland, Sweden and Norway. Cooperation with Russia was suspended in March 2022, and Russia announced its withdrawal from the Council in September 2023.

Hanna Susitaival, Senior Specialist (Arts Promotion Centre Finland), tel. +358 295 330 910
Maija Lummepuro, Senior Ministerial Adviser (Ministry of Education and Culture), tel. +358 295 330 198