Our 70th Anniversary Year

The Most Important Source of Support for Finnish Culture in the United States

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Red Lodge Montana photo by Suzanne Matson

Did You Know...

...that FFN is sponsoring a National Sauna Week Poster Contest for the third annual celebration, February 18-24, 2024?

The poster will promote the authentic Finnish heat-and-steam bathing method that is beloved by generations of Finnish-Americans, and is growing in popularity with the general public across the United States.

The competition is open to those 18 and older who reside in the U.S. Deadline for entry is December 1, 2023.

We are pleased to announce that judges are FFN Artist of the Year Eric Aho and Carrie Flaspohler, director/curator of Finlandia Art Gallery.

The contest winner will receive $200 and a copy of the poster.

Click for details:


Syysterveiset! Hösthälsningar!

Autumn greetings from Finlandia Foundation National.

We’ve had a busy fall so far. Last weekend we had our virtual FFN board meeting to discuss short- and long-term plans.

In September, we launched our largest and most significant fundraising effort yet, Saving Finland in America. We must raise an initial $3 million by the end of this year to ensure the future of the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock, Michigan. Stay tuned here, on social media and on our website for more on this effort. We are well on our way to meeting our goal—and we have a long way to go. It’s up to us, together.

Our annual programs continue. I was lucky to catch up with FFN Lecturer of the Year Suzanne Matson in my home state of Montana! Suzanne presented at our local Finnish Family of Kaleva. Coming to Red Lodge was a sort of homecoming for Suzanne. Her father was a part of the booming mining scene in Red Lodge in the 1920s. Through her research on this era, Suzanne has drawn much inspiration for her writing, uniquely informed by her Finnish-American heritage. With area Finns and friends of Finland, we gathered over a pea soup dinner, complete with Finn bread, to hear Suzanne talk about her research and writing. Kiitos to Suzanne as well as the chapter leaders for your work.

I continue to be inspired and thankful for the support I have seen for Finlandia Foundation National across the country. It assures us in our mission and makes us even more steadfast in our commitment to Finnish-America, cultural and historical preservation, and a focus on contemporary Finland.


Tommy Flanagan

Executive Director

[email protected]


October 17: In Conversation with Ambassador Robert Pence; click here

October 24 Virtual Joint Chapter Meeting, 8 p.m. (ET)

December 1: National Sauna Week Poster Contest Deadline; click here


January 17: Grant application deadline; click here

February 1: Scholarship application deadline; click here

February 1: Lindfors Law Scholarship application deadline; click here

February 18-24: National Sauna Week; click here

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

FFN Welcomes New Members of Young Leaders Board

The Young Leaders Board of Finlandia Foundation National was formed in early 2021 to encourage involvement in, and appreciation of, Finnish America and Finland in the United States among people between the ages of 23 and 35.

YLB is an all-volunteer organization designed to have a rotating membership, so that the perspectives, engagement and activities remain fresh. Earlier this year, FFN put out a call for YLB applicants, and the response was tremendous. We are excited to welcome new members Lexi Brewer, Abi Carlson, Oliver Gardner, Rachel Hamalainen, Anne Junttila, Nate Kilponen-Fix and Ashley Lund. They join Mirva Johnson, Mikko McFeely, Anya Peck and Lauren Tuiskula, and have already had the opportunity to participate in the Young Leaders Forum, “Digital Economy and Tomorrow’s Leaders," at the Embassy of Finland in Washington, D.C.

FFN thanks the departing, founding members of YLB: Tatu Kunto, Julia Paster and Kaija Perkiömäki. Tommy Flanagan, also a founding YLB member, was named FFN Executive Director in February of 2023.

Pictured above at the Embassy, from left: Lexi Brewer, Abi Carlson, Lauren Tuiskula, Tommy Flanagan, Ambassador Mikko Hautala, Anya Peck, Ashley Lund and Sauli Sinisalo of Finland's Bluefors, who spoke about Finnish quantum tech expertise.

Chapters Stepping Up to Saving Finland in America

Finlandia Foundation National has been gratified to see several of its affiliated organizations working to meet the initial $3 million in funds needed for the Saving Finland in America campaign. It is the urgent goal of FFN to raise this amount by the end of 2023 to protect the heritage and cultural assets of the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock, Michigan.

In Minnesota, Finlandia Foundation Northland added the topic to its October membership meeting agenda, and has made a cash donation as a chapter. Finlandia Foundation Twin Cities will hold an informational session for its members in November. On its website, the Finnish American Society of the Midwest provided the link to the FFN video about the project, and encouraged support. The chapter also has made a cash gift to SFIA. The Finnish Family of Kaleva in Red Lodge, Montana, has twice collected donations at its member events. Finnish Heritage House, Finlandia Foundation National Astoria and Finnish Americans & Friends-Hibbing Chapter have also donated to SFIA. Additional efforts are being discussed for New York City, Portland, San Diego and Seattle. Many thanks to all of these efforts on behalf of SFIA.

If you haven't yet viewed the "Saving Finland in America" video, you can catch it at the FFN YouTube channel; click here.

In Conversation with Ambassador Robert Pence

Former U.S. Ambassador to Finland Robert Frank Pence sat down with FFN Executive Director Tommy Flanagan in a chat before students and alumni of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. Ambassador Pence shares stories of his time of service, from 2018-2021.

The program was recorded in Washington, D.C., and is now available at the FFN YouTube channel. Click below to view:

In Conversation with Ambassador Pence

Your Gifts Make it Possible: Grants Spotlight

Ameriikan Poijat (Boys of America), is a Finnish American brass septet founded in 1990 by Paul Niemisto to keep alive the Finnish brass band tradition. The group is based in Minnesota, and travels the Upper Midwest to perform in concert, at dances and events including FinnFest. They have also performed in Finland, and have made a half-dozen recordings

With assistance of a grant from Finlandia Foundation, the band produced a video documenting their history and purpose, "Revitalizing Finnish-American Music: 30 Years of Ameriikan Poijat."

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

It is your gifts that make possible these efforts to preserve Finnish heritage, and to share and educate the public about the cultural contributions and rich history of Finnish America.

Please consider a donation to support the upcoming round of FFN grants.

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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