New partnership between Uniarts Helsinki and the Academy of Sámi Music
The founders of the Academy of Sami Music Utsjoki, Annukka Hirvasvuopio-Laiti (left) and Anna Näkkäläjärvi-Länsman (right)
New collaborations between the Academy of Sámi Music – as part of the Sámi Education Institute – in Utsjoki and the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki have been planned in order to foster an approach to music education that sees cultural difference as an opportunity – rather than a problem for teachers and students to overcome. Collaboration between the two institutions has been launched as a result of research conducted as part of the national ArtsEqual Research Initiative.
Founders of the Academy of Sámi Music, Anna Näkkäläjärvi-Länsman and Annukka Hirvasvuopio-Laiti have been working together with ArtsEqual researcher Alexis Kallio since December 2015.
Kallio's research has aimed to identify the current obstacles Sámi artists and students face in accessing Finland's Basic Arts Education, and collaboratively envision more democratic approaches to teaching and learning in the arts.
"This means that rather than looking for spaces in the existing TPO system where Sámi arts cultures might fit in, this research seeks innovative solutions to challenges of participation in arts education - such as the planned collaboration between the Academy of Sámi Music and the Sibelius Academy," says Kallio.
The new partners hope that through the sharing of different perspectives and expertise, students of both institutions will gain valuable skills and understandings of what it might mean to be an artist, or an arts teacher, in a 21st century Finland that sees difference as an asset, rather than a challenge.