Lokakuu/October 2021
The most important source of support for Finnish culture in the United States
Saarinen House at Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; photo by Anne-Mari Paster
Lauri Tähkä, a YLB Spotify Fav

Did You Know...

...that the Finlandia Foundation Young Leaders Board (YLB) has created a curated Spotify playlist of favorite Finnish bops (including Lauri Tähkä, above) and a YLB Linkedin page for Young Finnish Americans?

The YLB, formed in early 2021, is comprised of eight professionals who are of Finnish descent and are committed to working with FFN to help the organization thrive and grow. YLB
members bring diverse skills, interests and experiences to their volunteer positions.

Click here for a newsletter article about YLB. Click below to reach each of the two new initiatives:

The FFN fall board meeting October 15-16 was a hybrid event, with several trustees at the Finnish Cultural Center in the Detroit area and the balance joining via Zoom.

It was a busy agenda, with discussion and decisions about existing programs and initiatives including the November online auction to benefit our scholarships, National Sauna Week in February and exciting Ice series (details below).

We had an informative tour of the beautiful Saarinen House and campus buildings of Cranbrook Educational Community, followed by a fun evening with members of the Detroit Finnish Cooperative Summer Camp Association (Finn Camp).

At this historic retreat, we enjoyed a delicious supper, traditional folk music, and presentation of the FFN Award of Excellence to The Finnish American Reporter on its 35th anniversary. FFN also recognized Jim Kurtti, recently retired director of the Finnish American Heritage Center, for his many contributions to Finnish-American interests. Capping the evening was The Bowery Trio's premiere of its Cosmopolite Project.

We very much appreciate the hospitality shown by the Detroit Finnish-American community; those of you who receive our print newsletter will read more about these events in the fall issue.

Anne-Mari Paster
ampaster @ rcn. com
Throughout the month of November, Finlandia Foundation will host a three-part online series about Ulla-Lena Lundberg's novel Ice, which won the 2012 Finlandia Prize. The story, about a young pastor and his family in Finland’s rugged outer archipelago, was adapted into a popular opera that premiered in 2019.

The first two programs are exclusive FFN productions; the third is for members only by special arrangement with the Finnish National Opera.

Part One—Tuesday, November 9
A cultural visit to Åland’s Kökar, and a conversation with Ulla-Lena Lundberg about life in the islands during post-war Finland and the story connections to her own family. Free and open to the public at FFN YouTube.

Part Two—Tuesday, November 16
An interview with Jaakko Kuusisto, composer of the Finnish National Opera’s adaptation of the novel, by music journalist Pekka Hako. They discuss the composer’s inspiration and giving life to the story of the pastor meeting the risks and dangers of winter in the islands. Free and open to the public at FFN YouTube.

Part Three—November 23-29
Viewing of the Finnish National Opera production of Ice (2019 and 2020)
The immensely popular opera can be viewed for one week only. An exclusive event for members of Finlandia Foundation National.

To join FFN and for more information on this special virtual series, go to:
You can win great items while helping Finlandia Foundation to expand its scholarship awards in an online auction November 1-7.

Auction items in a range of price points include original works of art, Finnish imports, a copy of Ice signed by author Ulla-Lena Lundberg, gift cards and more. You can even vie to spend a week at an oceanfront, 3-bedroom, 2-bath condo in Jensen Beach, Florida.

Click here to preview the auction items, and make your wish list for next week, when the bidding begins!
About FFN Scholarships

By Pirjo Kujansuu Schulbach, Scholarship Committee Chair

In 1956, Finlandia Foundation National established its first program, a scholarship fund dedicated to music students in the United States and Finland. It was named for the organization’s first Patron, Jean Sibelius.

The inaugural Sibelius Scholarship went to Einojuhani Rautavaara, a student at the Sibelius Academy who applied his funds toward study at The Juilliard Academy in New York City. Rautavaara (1928- 2016) would go on to become one of Finland’s most important composers.

Until 1991, only music students were eligible for FFN scholarships.
Since then, students in any field of undergraduate or graduate study at an accredited American or Finnish college or university may apply. This year's recipients include Jori Carter (above), a senior at the University of Washington pursuing majors in Civil Engineering and Scandinavian Studies, as well as a minor in Finnish language. Jori was born to a Finnish mother and American father in Seattle.

Law students in the U.S. and Finland are eligible for scholarships from the P.J.C. Lindfors Legal Studies Fund.

In 2021, FFN received the highest ever number of scholarship applications. The committee reviewed the applications of 68 post-secondary students and two law applicants for the Lindfors scholarship. Committee members remarked on the high caliber of applicants for both programs. All bode well for the future of the U.S. and Finland.

The committee and the FFN Board of Trustees voted to award the largest ever scholarship budget: $57,000 to 25 students in a variety of fields, including aerospace engineering, biology, fire science, music composition, print making, medicine, law, intellectual property and human rights. Individual awards range from $1,000 to $3,000. There are five Americans, four Finns and 16 dual U.S./Finnish citizens.

The Scholarship Committee is chaired by FFN member Pirjo Kujansuu Schulbach with members Ellen Harju, Satu Lehto, Marjo Northup, Turto Turtiainen and FFN Trustee Hanna Wagner. Finlandia Foundation National and the committee congratulate the 2021 recipients. The next application deadline for scholarships is February 1, 2022.

Help us continue to strengthen and increase our support of students by making a generous donation today.

Your gift to FFN, a 501(c)(3) organization, is matched dollar-for-dollar by the Paloheimo Foundation (up to $100,000 annually).

Thank You! Kiitos!

Mark Your Calendar
Click here to visit the FFN calendar of virtual and in-person events happening across the country, click each date for info on these events:
November 1-7: FFN Online Auction
November 4: New "My American Dream" program on FFN YouTube
January 17: Grant application deadline
February 1: Scholarship and Lindfors Law Scholarship application deadline
February 20-26: National Sauna Week
Your online shopping can benefit FFN! Amazon will direct .5% of your qualifying purchases to FFN. Click: AmazonSmile