Our 70th Anniversary Year

Photo by Yoksel Zok, Unsplash

Eurovision photo

Did You Know...

...that Finland came in a close second to Sweden in this year's Eurovision competition? 

Käärijä, born Jere Pöyhönen, is known for his chartreuse green bolero-type shirt and wildly popular song "Cha Cha Cha." He narrowly lost the top honor, but came in first in the public vote on Saturday, May 13. And, "Cha Cha Cha" is trending on Spotify. Click here to listen

Hopes for his Eurovision success were so high that the iconic "Stone Men" statues guarding the Helsinki Central Railway Station were dressed in a bright green fashion tribute to the artist. Click here to see


According to YLE news, "Käärijä was born 29 years ago in Helsinki, released his debut album Fantastista in 2020 and is known for his wild, campy live shows. He released his first single, 'Urheilujätkä,' in 2016 and has since continued to combine genres like rap, metal and electronic elements in his music."

Click here to view the

"Cha Cha Cha" music video.


I like to think that our founders would be proud.

In January of 1953, nine Finnish-American visionaries---Yrjö and Leonora Paloheimo, Dr. Vaino Hoover, Otto Collanus, Rev. Omar Halme, Dr. Bennett Kantola, Suomi Rauhanheimo-Owen, Jaakko Tae and Rev. Everett Torkko---met in Pasadena to establish the Finlandia Foundation as a network of Finnish- Americans and friends of Finland across the United States.

Their purpose was to keep alive the heritage and connection to Finland.

We have upheld that mission and have grown in our programs and reach.

Now, our 70th year brings our greatest challenge. Since we learned in March that Finlandia University would be closing, we have been working every day to ensure the security of the largest collection of Finnish-American materials, and the programs that tell the story of Finland in the U.S.

At the same time, we are maintaining our regular operations including our grants, scholarships and live and virtual programming.

We are able to accomplish all of this due to your generous gifts. With your ongoing support, we look forward to continuing to fulfill our common goals for Finnish America. Thank you.

Anne-Mari Paster


[email protected]


Finlandia Foundation National's effort to secure the cultural assets of Finlandia University continues, with much behind-the-scenes activity.

The FFN task force dedicated to this project has been working with parties at FinnU as well as architectural and engineering consultants to understand the state of the physical structures that currently house the collections.

FFN President Anne-Mari Paster and Trustees Michel Wendell and Tim Nurvala have visited Hancock, Michigan and toured the Finnish American Heritage Center and other pertinent campus locations.

FFN continues to support, in the amount of $30,000 per month, the operation of the FAHC, The Finnish American Reporter, archives and other resources.

Stay tuned to FFN social media, website and e-news for updates as the work progresses on this important mission of saving "the Smithsonian of Finnish America."

For background on the situation click below:

Saving Finland in America


June 20: "Aalto in Brooklyn: Lessons from a Forgotten Facade,” a virtual program with Sofia Singer at 3 p.m. (Eastern); registration details to come

July 26-30: FinnFest USA 2023 in Duluth; click here

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

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

Music, Books, Food, Discussions & More


Finnposium is Finlandia Foundation National's virtual symposium featuring a variety of online interviews, webinars, author talks and cooking, musical and other presentations related to Finland and Finnish culture in the U.S. National Sauna Week programming from 2022 and 2023 is also available.


Find the entertaining and informative programs at the FFN YouTube channel.

Grants Spotlight: The Forgotten Finns

Your Gifts Make It Possible

Frank Eld, an expert on Finnish log construction, received a 2023 FFN grant to document log building in Finland, and highlight the contributions of the first Finns in America. He will also research the Forest Finn culture and buildings in Sweden and Norway. He explains:

The Forest Finns, America's first Finns, migrated to the New Sweden colony (1638-1655, DE, NJ, PA area) and brought with them log cabin construction. They lived in savutupas (smoke cabins) and introduced the savusauna (smoke sauna) to the new world.

The research will concentrate on the oldest Finnish and Forest Finns' log structures, focusing on the sauna, with its spiritual and healing culture. Most of this information has not been recorded or included in the Finnish/American historical narrative.

Many assume that Finnish history started with the "great migration," from 1860s to the 1920s. Finnish involvement in the founding of America is largely unknown or unrecognized.

The goal of this research is to elucidate the forgotten "First Finns in America," and will be shared with the Finnish/American community through my upcoming book and in lectures, beginning with a presentation on the History of the Sauna in America at FinnFest.

FFN relies on your generous gifts to make possible the grant awards and important work like Frank's. Your contribution 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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