Officials in Helsinki are to open a cultural centre in the capital designed to help Russian speakers better integrate into Finnish society. Chairman Janna Puumalainen said on behalf of the group setting up the centre, “The meeting place will offer exhibitions, discussion events, films, poetry readings and other literary evenings. We hope this will become a place with a low threshold where those with Finnish and Russian backgrounds can meet,” the YLE news agency reports.
The project marks the maiden effort by the new Cultura Foundation organisation, which has taken over the role of the former Institute for Russia and Eastern Europe. The group’s mission statement says that it aims to create better “opportunities for the Russian-speaking population in Finland to participate as consumers and creators of culture.”
The Foundation has backing from the City of Helsinki, as well as the Ministry of Education and Culture and the cities of Joensuu and Turku. Additionally, it has been endorsed by Eilina Gusatinsky, who heads the Spektr Russian-language magazine.
The cultural facility is to be located in the Kaisaniemi area near the Helsinki multicultural centre and will open its doors on 10 April, according to the YLE report.