Held in Helsinki on 5–7 October, the World Cities Culture Summit 2022 brings together the world’s cultural leaders for three days. The summit is part of the activities of the World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF) network, comprising cultural leaders and deputy mayors of cities around the world. This is the first time the annual meeting will be held in Helsinki.
The summit aims to increase dialogue and the exchange of ideas between cultural leaders, decision-makers and the cultural field in different countries. Another goal is to improve the job opportunities and operating conditions of cultural operators in the cities.
The three-day summit includes debates and workshops addressing issues such as changes in the urban cultural landscape, past crises in the cultural sector, post-COVID-19 reconstruction and new culture funding models. The discussions will also focus on how the role of cultural operators and culture is considered and developed in changing societies. Cultural leaders will be invited to share their challenges and receive suggestions for solutions from their colleagues.
The participants will also get to visit the main cultural institutions and sites in Helsinki and enjoy cultural performances, including a commissioned work by dancer-choreographer Susanna Leinonen. The summit events will be organised at the Finnish National Opera, Central Library Oodi, Bio Rex, Cable Factory, Lapinlahden Lähde and the Fortress of Suomenlinna.
The summit supports Helsinki’s goals
The international guests of the summit organised as a private event include Justine Simons, London’s Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries and Chair of the World Cities Culture Forum. From Finland, the summit will be attended by Paavo Arhinmäki, Deputy Mayor for Culture and Leisure of the City of Helsinki, and Reetta Heiskanen, City of Helsinki’s Deputy Culture Director, among others.
“Helsinki is building international cooperation in the field of art and culture more strongly than ever before. Through this cooperation, we are seeking valuable contacts and new ideas for the cultural scene in Helsinki, for example from New York, Amsterdam, Sydney and Buenos Aires. As the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is over, it is particularly important to get together and create new cooperation between cultural operators. The culture sector is one of the worst affected by the pandemic, and this is one way of helping culture get back on its feet,” says Paavo Arhinmäki, Deputy Mayor for Culture and Leisure of the City of Helsinki.
Justine Simons, London’s Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries and Chair of the WCCF, also believes in the importance of cooperation.
“Culture has the power to transform lives and drive economies, and by uniting with other cities across the world we are learning from each other and tackling the common challenges we are facing. From New York to Tokyo, and Buenos Aires to Paris, the World Cities Culture Summit 2022 will help us to bounce back from the impact of the pandemic and support the future of our culture and creative industries”, Simons says.
The most important art and culture policy cooperation network in the world
The Helsinki Summit is part of the activities of the World Cities Culture Forum network. The WCCF is the world’s most important international art and culture policy cooperation network on the role of cultures in cities. The network consists of members from more than 40 cities all over the world. The member cities consider culture as one of the key factors contributing to their social and financial success. The key operating methods of the network include the sharing of ideas and information and the designing of innovative and fair operating models. The network was established in 2012 on the initiative of the Mayor of London. Helsinki joined the network in 2018.
The World Cities Culture Summit in Helsinki in October will be the network’s tenth annual meeting. The previous meetings were held in Chengdu, Lisbon, San Francisco, Seoul, Moscow, Amsterdam, Istanbul and London.
Photo: Mika Huisman
has been published on 28.9. and has been updated on 5.10.