The winners of the Arts and Culture Work Life Awards 2023 have been published. The jury's reasoning emphasizes the importance of developing the accessibility of art and culture and taking into account special groups, but also the development of new and multi-party operating models.

The Arts and Culture Champion Professional 2023 -award has been awarded to Pilvi Kuitu, who as the managing director of PiiPoo Cultural Center has worked long-term for the accessibility of cultural services for children who need special support.

Correspondingly, the Arts and Culture Champion Action of the Year 2023 honorary mention has been awarded to the Kunnan Pojat -orchestra, which has offered cultural experiences for audiences who otherwise cannot attend cultural events. At the same time, long-term unemployed professional musicians have been employed.

The jury made its decisions based on the proposals received in advance. Both of the winners received several mentions. Juha Isotalo, Johanna Lipponen and Paola Nieto were members of the jury and Netta Norro acted as the chairperson.

Arts and Culture Champion Professional of the Year 2023

Pilvi Kuitu

The Arts and Culture Champion Professional of the year 2023 award has been granted to Pilvi Kuitu, Managing Director of Cultural Centre PiiPoo.

Since 2006 Kuitu has worked as the Managing Director of Kulttuurikeskus PiiPoo and she has done nationally significant and pioneering work for the accessibility of culture.

Together with PiiPoo’s personnel, Kuitu has developed long-term cooperation with key parties (kiderkartens, schools, social service, organizations representing special groups) to enable cultural inclusion.

Culture center PiiPoo operates from Lempäälä in Pirkanmaa, but also nationally and internationally.

Arts and Culture Champion Action of the Year 2023

Kunnan Pojat

The Arts and Culture Champion Action award has been granted to Kunnan Pojat -orchestra. Kunnan Pojat has been taking music performances for over six years to target groups which wouldn’t otherwise reach their right for culture (service centers, hospitals bed wards, substance abuse rehabilitation, mental health facility etc.).

Performances have also been held in libraries, village halls and daycare centers, for example - and in total there have been around 1,500 of them.

Kunnan Pojat, which started in 2017, is a welfare service produced by the cultural services of the city of Rovaniemi, and it extends its activities beyond the municipal borders. The composition consists of music professionals and professional musicians employed through wage support employment.

The effects of the operating model devised by cultural producer Hannu Raudaskoski have been significant in terms of both employability and cultural accessibility.

Kunnan Pojat -orchestra (photo below): Jaakko Niemi (guitar), Jari Karjalainen (guitar, lead vocals) and Hannu Raudaskoski (bass).