Kati Laakso, Msc (Econ), named new Director of the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux.
The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux is a Brussels-based organisation specialised in arts and culture and is part of Finland’s worldwide network of cultural and academic institutes. Kati Laakso moves to Brussels from the Finnish Institute in Japan where she was the Culture and Communications Manager. Laakso has, amongst others, previously worked as a consultant for cultural and creative activities at the Consulate General of Finland in New York and as coordinator of international media relations and satellite projects for the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 project. Laakso’s strengths lie in her expertise in the visual arts and design fields, her extensive international work experience as well as her skills in managing a diverse range of projects.
The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux’s current Director Aleksi Malmberg, M.Phil, took on his assignment in 2014. Malmberg will move on to become the General Manager of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra in January 2018 and Laakso will take on her new role in February 2018.
The new EUNIC Brussels conference cycle questioning the future of Europe. The ambition of the project is to rethink the social contract, so that it no longer relies on the relationship between citizens and the state but goes beyond this by taking into account the different dimensions of life today and the crucial issues citizens are facing.
Prolific entrepreneur and senior advisor Risto Kuulasmaa has been chosen as the Institute’s new advisor in the Netherlands for autumn-spring 2018-2019
In 2018, the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux together with Zodiak – center for contemporary dance, SPRING Festival Utrecht and Baltic Circle Festival, commissions a new work by choreographer Sonya Lindfors and writer-activist Maryan Abdulkarim. The work is a combination of workshops, lectures and performances, where choreographers and activists come together, imagining radical utopian common futures. Lindfors and Abdulkarim work closely together with local activists in Utrecht, Brussels and Helsinki.
This summer, BOZAR centre for fine arts opens an exhibition together with artist-run galleries from across Europe. Jaakko Pallasvuo & Viktor Timofeev are represented by the Brussels-based Komplot gallery.
Kaarina Kaikkonen is creating a new work called If I had Wings – Social Elevator in the Marolles neighbourhood of Brussels.
The Musiqu’3 Festival is presenting a wide range of Finnish musicians this summer as part of this year’s Nordic Vibes theme. The three-day festival, which takes place at the end of June and the beginning of July, will feature music by leading Finnish artists as well as Finnish musicians who are in the early stages of their international career.
Established in 2011, the festival has from its inception placed an emphasis on bringing classical music to a broad, young and as diverse as possible audience. The festival organisers take pride in their openness and willingness to experiment and aim to present a rich pallet of musical genres. The festival features choral music, folk music, world music, jazz and even rock sounds.