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Boost Your Future 2023 Event Tool Pack

Student ambassador Rong reflects on Boost Your Future, a networking event for foreign-born art professionals in Finland.

Photograph by Anastasia Lapteva

Who am I and why am I writing this post?

I am Rong, currently studying in KuvA (the Academy of Fine Arts). The main point of this blog post is to make the resources accessible for people who were not there at the event, and it works as a reminder: Hey, life can be really harsh after the new government is in place, but here are some tools that might help you make it a bit easier! (If you’re still planning to stay in Finland XD or if you haven’t decided yet, this blog post might help you with that a bit.)

What is Boost Your Future about?

Boost Your Future is a networking event for foreign-born art professionals in Finland. The event is held by Uniarts and Globe Art Point, together with various cultural organizations, providing practical tools and information, and the opportunity to grow both on the personal and societal level.

How it helped?

It is difficult to find the balance between the artistic need and the financial need sometimes, at least for me. The panel discussions were especially useful. Various perspectives of tackling life as a foreign artist were discussed by panelists from several cultural backgrounds working in different art areas. It started from why Finland is an option for staying to how to actually survive as an artist or a person. In conclusion, focusing on what works, rather than what doesn’t, appears to be the optimal approach for most individuals navigating their paths.

I was skeptical of how the event was promoted, as only the good sides of Finland were being revealed at the beginning. But as the event went on, more narratives emerged. Participating in this event and listening to other people’s experiences helped broaden my knowledge of the Finnish art scene.

How I navigate myself after all?

Be curious, listen to what other people have to say from their experiences, gather enough information, so you have enough to analyze, and make the decisions that are right for you!

Boost Your Future 2023 event recording

Panelists and their information:

Panel 1: Your Future in Finland

  • Anu Lampela – Anu Lampela is a pianist, Doctor of Music and a researcher, currently working as the Director of the Open Campus at the Uniarts Helsinki, developing and leading the teaching, activities and continuous vision work of the Open Campus.
  • Nana Salin – Nana Salin is a visionary and open-minded leader with a wealth of experience in the public and private sectors. Currently, she is the Director for Alternative Funding at Aalto University Executive Education and Professional Development.
  • Sergio Castrillón – Sergio Castrillón is a multidisciplinary Sonic-based artist/researcher focused on experimentalism and improvisation, working within educational and cultural production sectors.
  • Vera Boitcova – Vera Boitcova is a Russian, Helsinki-based theatre director, performer and dramaturg – currently a Doctoral candidate at Uniarts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy.

Panel 2: Landing a Job in Finland

  • Priyanka Banerjee – Priyanka Banerjee is a DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) consultant who has helped hundreds of company leaders on their DEI journey over the past 6+ years. As partner at DeiDei Entrepreneur and Ex Chairwoman at International Working Woman in Finland, Priyanka has been actively supporting international talents in finding their path in Finland.
  • Paola Nieto – Paola Nieto is a cultural manager and performing artist, co-Artistic Director of Catalysti, and a board member of Taku. Graduate from the Sibelius Academy’s Arts Management program.
  • Marouf Majidi – Marouf Majidi is an Iranian-Finnish composer and musician (MMus Sibelius Academy), whose songs travel from Kurdish scenes to Arabic and Scandinavian atmospheres – Marouf’s collaboration works varies from traditional to avantgarde art forms, and he has been working with musicians and dancers across Europe, Middle East and Africa.
  • Lora Milutinovic – MA Art Historian from Serbia and a student of the Arts Management master’s program at the Sibelius Academy. Her biggest interest is audience engagement and has presented Taide Talks on Spotify.
  • Feven Abegaz – Feven Abegaz is an Integration Coordinator at Luckan Helsingfors. With over 9 years of experience in the development and third sector, Feven provides one-on one guidance and counseling and facilitates bi-annual peer support groups for international job seekers. Feven is also a vice-chairperson of Think Africa.

Panel 3: Navigating the Finnish Art Scene

  • Suzanne Mooney – Suzanne Mooney is a visual artist working with photography, moving image and found materials and a Lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts, where she focuses on courses related to Professional Practice, Art in Society, internships and Public Art.
  • Tina Jeranko – Tina Jeranko is a performance artist from Slovenia currently based in Helsinki, Finland. Her interest engages with voice and its concept through the field of translation between thought, verbal language, emotional language, and physical language.
  • Salla Vallius – From live music and urban culture. Salla has worked as a venue and festival producer, managing director of an advocacy organisation LiveFIN and as Helsinki’s first Night Liaison (Night major). At the moment they are finalizing their studies in the Art Management master program.
  • Luis Bellido – Luis Bellido is a coach and art educator with a background in architecture, and with the spirit of an athlete. His purpose is to help people explore their full potential, either on a personal or organizational level. Luis has studied coaching and has a one-person company Metacomics.

Life of an art student

In this blog, Uniarts Helsinki students share their experiences as art students from different academies and perspectives, in their own words. If you want to learn even more regarding studying and student life in Uniarts and Helsinki, you can ask directly from our student ambassadors.

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