A multistage hearing of the cultural field as a part of the Municipal Cultural Activities Act

The Ministry of Education and Culture executed a multistage hearing of the cultural field as a part of the Municipal Cultural Activities Act. The two-phased inclusive process was implemented through the end of 2018 to the spring of 2019. “We have received positive feedback on this law. It has been found very important and the feedback from the cultural field has been excellent”, comments the Counsellor of Cultural Affairs, Kirsi Kaunisharju.

The objective in Fountain Park’s Virtual Brainstorming was to probe what culture services do the municipalities need and how those should be arranged in the future. The project also involved the execution of the cultural law. The participants’ ideas on the law’s development task were an important part of the process.

“This dialogical way of working gave the participants new insights on how the municipalities ideas can be collected. Some of the municipalities asked to use the project materials in their internal development work. That increased the influence of the project”, Kaunisharju says.

The vast online dialogue worked as a foundation for the development work

The first step was to collect the viewpoints of the municipalities culture providers and residents through an online dialogue. The topic was found highly interesting and there were over 1000 participations. The material collected from the cultural field was rich and versatile.

We got the field’s visions in a delightfully tight schedule; we were able to use the material in about a week from the beginning of the project. We could focus our thinking to match the needs and understanding of the field, tells Kaunisharju.

The regional events deepened the process and carried on the message

The cooperation continued in March 2019 when the material produced in the vast common dialogue was used for regional discussions in Helsinki, Kuopio, Oulu and Tampere. The discussions involved nearly 300 participants. The evens were streamed for those who could not participate on the spot.

The participants were sent a preliminary assignment before each regional event. This was a basis for workshops and development sessions. The participants used a plan conducted by Fountain Park and a group of experts and Fountain Park’s online platform in the events.

“This way of working gives the remote participants a better chance to participate and join the discussions. Now the remote participants could follow along through the stream.”

Fountain Park’s expert analyzed the materials and created a report on each of the regional events. The report was diversified, and the understanding of the field’s situation increased throughout the series of the regional events.

The dialogical way of working created results

“We could use a method like this in the future. The awareness of the law increased, we were able to collect the municipalities opinions flexibly and bring the ideas out visibly”, Kaunisharju estimates.

All in all, nearly 2000 people contributed in the development of the Municipal Cultural Activities Act.

The contacts of the project are Kirsi Kaunisharju and Esa Pirnes from the Ministry of Education and Culture.