Our 70th Anniversary Year

Many---but not all---of the FFN-affiated folks at FinnFest 2024 in Duluth


Lyhyt Suomen kesä on!

What a summer we have had!

Just about six months ago I became the first executive director of Finlandia Foundation National, and what a ride it has been! I plunged in during National Sauna Week, which was followed by the FFN trustees' decision to secure the Finnish-American cultural assets held by Finlandia University, when the school suddenly announced its closing.

I want to thank our Board of Trustees and our FFN staff for their dedication to making our summer a success. Most of all, I thank you, our friends, supporters and donors, for helping to make it all possible. Your continued support allows us to have a robust offering of online events, grants, scholarships and innovative and exciting programming. We can do this only because of our community.

Speaking of community, many of us had a chance to meet in July at FinnFest in Duluth. Hats off to FinnFest USA on a fantastically Finnish 40th anniversary celebration. From sessions about family genealogy and heritage to Ambassador Hautala speaking with US Senator Amy Klobuchar about NATO, this FinnFest was a great first one for me. Seeing many of you in the tori was wonderful. It will be hard to top this one, but something tells me, our friends at FinnFest are already on it.

FinnFest offered us wonderful opportunities, from the busy booth at tori to a collaborative children's music program with Sibelius Academy and more; click here for a brief overview of FinnFest events.

We also had the soft-launch of our initiative, “Saving Finland in America.” A capacity crowd of more than 200 learned about our successful effort to save the historical archives and collection of the Finnish American Heritage Center. However, there is much more to do to secure the fate of these treasures. Please stay tuned: in the month of September, we will launch this campaign full-scale. We will need your help.

In the meantime, we invite everyone to watch our recorded FinnFest session for “Saving Finland in America” at the FFN YouTube channel, here. Although the road ahead is long, we know that together, as a community, we can ensure that our Finnish-American heritage lives on for future generations to enjoy.

Oscar Heikkinen (at left) and other volunteers at Hanka Homestead Finnish Museum, located south of Hancock, Michigan, welcomed FFN Executive Director Tommy Flanagan (second from left), New York Consul General Jarmo Sareva and James Kurtti, Honorary Consul for the Upper Peninsula.

From Duluth, my introduction to the Nordic community of the Upper Midwest continued in Hancock, where I traveled with FFN Trustee Tim Nurvala, and Consul General of Finland in New York Jarmo Sareva. Together, we visited the sites and people connected with the Finnish American Heritage Center. I was moved by the unique beauty and Finnishness of the region, and look forward to much more. I ended my tour in the Twin Cities, where I visited many of FFN’s local Nordic partner organizations.

We’ve also been busy conducting interviews with the applicants to our second cohort of the Young Leaders Board. We received applications from across the nation--Washington to South Carolina, and Michigan to Pennsylvania. We will be introducing our new YLB soon.

We would like to remind you that August 31 is Itämeripäivä / Ostsjödag / Baltic Sea Day! With our partners at the John Nurminen Foundation, we want to highlight the importance of clean water around the world. Follow our social media for ways to get involved. (Catch our recent Baltic Sea webinar here.)

And finally, Thank You! // Kiitos! // Tack!! Thanks for your attention and your continued support. Never hesitate to be in touch with us. We always enjoy hearing from you.


Tommy Flanagan

Executive Director



August 31: Baltic Sea Day; click here

September 1: Performer of the Year 2024 application deadline; click here

September 5: Virtual Joint Chapter National Sauna Week Meeting, 8 p.m. (ET)

October 1: Lecturer of the Year 2024 application deadline; click here

October 1: Lindfors Law Scholarship application deadline; click here


January 17: Grant application deadline; click here

February 1: Scholarship application deadline; click here

February 18-24: National Sauna Week; click here

October 1: Lindfors Law Scholarship application deadline; click here

July 25-28: FinnFest USA 2024 in Duluth; click here

Your Gifts Make it Possible: Grants Spotlight

Teuvo Peltoniemi is an independent Finnish researcher, author and science journalist based in Helsinki.

He received a 2023 grant from FFN to assist in his multi-dimensional project, "Finnish and Scandinavian Utopists in Americas." It will explore these idealistic societies through a website, virtual exhibition and book.

Teuvo attended FinnFest in Duluth, with a display at the tori about his work on Finnish Utopian Communities (above).

Following the event, he did research at the archives of Midwest universities, Nordic organizations and locations of old Scandinavian utopian communities.

Projects like Teuvo's are possible thanks to your gifts to Finlandia Foundation.

Your contribution to FFN is matched dollar-for-dollar by the Paloheimo Foundation (up to $100,000 annually). Finlandia Foundation National, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization, so your gift is tax deductible.

Thank You! Kiitos!

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