In their strategic programme for 2015-2019, Prime Minister Juha Sipila's Government introduced twenty-six key projects. These key projects were dedicated to subjects on which the Government placed a special emphasis. One of the 26 key projects was dedicated to art and culture and carried the title "Access to art and culture will be facilitated". The project was implemented via two schemes, one dedicated to the expansion of the percent for art scheme and the other to improving children and young people's access to culture and basic art education. The latter will be described in more detail under its own heading below.
The Percent for Art scheme refers to the budgetary allocation of around one percent used in construction projects to procure art. The scheme applies to both public and private development. The aim is to improve the quality of built environment, while promoting artistic works and employment. Over 2011-2018, the Ministry of Education and Culture dedicated EUR 2.5 million to the promotion of the scheme in the form of discretionary Government transfers granted by the Arts Promotion Centre to construction projects which include art procurement.
The goal of the implementation project at hand was to expand the Percent for Art Scheme from visual arts, which had been the most widely procured form of art. Another goal of the project was to harness the positive effects of art and culture on health and well-being by expanding the scheme or its equivalent to social welfare and healthcare services. The desired outcome was to integrate art and culture into these services on a permanent basis.
The Ministry of Education and Culture and Ministry of Social Affairs and Health appointed an expert group to steer the project (2016-2018). The expert group was chaired by the Ministry of Education and Culture and included experts from several organisations within the art and healthcare sectors. The implementation was divided into development projects (14) and guided pilots (7).
The development projects received EUR 1.3 million in funding and spanned over 15 regions with over a hundred participating municipalities. The beneficiaries represented NGOs, the private sector, municipalities, regions and the health care sector, inter alia. Cooperation between the beneficiaries took place in a network coordinated by the Arts Promotion Centre. The network was also tasked with building permanent models and principles to increase the availability and accessibility of art within the social and health services.
The guided pilots were set up to identify, test and assess new operating and funding models to expand the scheme. The pilots received EUR 350 000 in funding and featured projects integrating theatre to social work and circus to children's health care, for example. The Ministry of Education and Culture worked with Demos Helsinki on the pilot part of the project.
Independently of the key project, an intersectoral cooperation group for arts and cultural activities promoting health and wellbeing appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health explored similar themes. The group presented its report "Culture and arts as promoters of wellbeing in healthcare and social welfare, working life and education" in 2019. The themes of the working group covered a variety of fields, from national and regional cooperation and development activities to working life, education and research. Under these themes, the working group defined twenty proposals for further measures concerning the central government as well as municipalities and other regional stakeholders, working life and employers, education organisers and the world of research.
A recommendation given by Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Annika Saarikko and Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sport Sampo Terho to municipalities and future counties on improving the accessibility of art and culture in social welfare and healthcare services was drafted within the project. In addition, the project initiated the development of indicators for the activities carried out by municipalities as part of their cultural services to promote health and well-being (so-called Kulttuurin TEA).
The work carried out by the intersectoral cooperation group created new opportunities for using arts and culture as part of health and social services and as means to promote wellbeing and health. Various forms of activities have started to emerge through projects and experiments.
|Name of partner||Type of entity|
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Arts promotion Centre
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Yes. Centre for Cultural Policy Research evaluated the development projects and Ramboll/Owal Group evaluated the pilots.
Both evaluations presented similar findings. Art and culture as part of the structures of social welfare and healthcare compliment health and social services and make them more versatile as well as increase opportunities for the realisation of cultural rights in various situations in life. Establishing art and cultural activities as part of social welfare and healthcare requires more consistent funding from funds allocated to operational economy and special resources for novel development and pilots. In addition to this, the evaluations identified a need to strengthen expertise within health and social services as well as social welfare and healthcare, as well as a need for a shared understanding of the significance of the operations in terms of overall well-being. These observations were taken into account in the further measures proposed by the expert group appointed to support the implementation of the key project.