The coronavirus is impacting also the residencies
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Finnish Cultural Foundation has been forced to postpone almost all confirmed 2020 residencies and it is still uncertain when a part of these will be realized. Therefore, the situation will also affect the implementation of residencies in 2021.
– It has been challenging to plan international residencies amid the uncertainties of recent months, to say the least, and it is still impossible to predict any timetable for when residencies might start accepting artists, explains Senior Advisor Johanna Ruohonen, who is in charge of the Foundation's residency programme.
The residencies opening for applications in 2021 can only be confirmed at the beginning of August, but the application period, in its adjusted scope, will open as usual on 10 August 2020. At the moment, the residencies opening for applications will include at least Filba in Buenos Aires, aimed for writers, the Sydney Artspace for visual artists, and the Tokyo Arts and Space for artists in creative fields. The Tokyo-based AIT residency will exceptionally feature a two-month residency period, and successful applicants will be encouraged to travel by land and/or sea.
As for New York Triangle and Seoul SeMA Nanji, the residencies postponed from 2020 will fill up the quota of the Foundation in 2021, so these locations will not be open for applications this year. Instead, in July, the Triangle, in cooperation with the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York, will open for application the residency periods postponed from fall 2020 for Finnish artists residing in North America - who are not under travel restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
– The situation is difficult for artists, whose timetables the coronavirus has played havoc on, as well as for our residency programme partners, whose facilities have become empty and all activities would be preferred to be postponed to 2021. This will also lead to financial difficulties, especially for the smaller institutions. The Foundation aims to carry out all residencies already agreed upon, and new residencies will open according to the receiving capacities of our partner institutions, Ruohonen says.
Slow travel by train or by ship
The Finnish Cultural Foundation encourages artists leaving for their residencies to travel in as climate-friendly way as possible. Artists travelling to destinations reachable by rail and ferry traffic are awarded raised travel grants if they agree to travel to their destination without flying. In these cases, the grants for destinations in Asia are EUR 5,000, which compensates both the higher ticket prices as well as time spent on travelling as working time (2 weeks/direction).
A working grant in the Foundation residencies is EUR 7,000 for a period of three months. Additional information on the residencies can be found on the Cultural Foundation's homepage under the individual locations. The residencies to be included in the August round of applications will be listed on the Foundation's homepages in the first week of August.