House of New Theatre ry:n perustamiskokoukous. Kuva Outi Raatikainen.

House of New Theatre association was established

Professionals from different cultural backgrounds in Helsinki want a permanent space for performances

House of New Theatre ry, an association of theatre and performing arts professionals from different cultural backgrounds, was founded in Helsinki on March 24, 2022. The aim of the association is to establish a permanent theatre space for new Finnish performing arts and to create a sustainable platform which brings out artists´ own voices and activities promoting diversity and cultural integration. The need to bring out this content and own identity has long been recognized. Tomi Purovaara, Cultural Director of City of Kotka, was invited to become the first Chairman of the Board of the new association.

The establishment of the association is part of the development work of the New Theatre Helsinki project led by David Kozma (Post Theatre Collective) and Davide Giovanzana (Teatteri Metamorfoosi). The project will build a path to a new performance centre for new Finnish performing arts professionals and other artists.

“I think the New Theatre Helsinki project is one of the most relevant cultural projects at this moment. It builds a new bridge between people from different backgrounds and different conventions of the performing arts. House of New Theatre association supports and promotes these principles and at the same time is creating a new culture in Finland”, says Tomi Purovaara, the new Chairman of the association.

A performance centre is needed to bring the professionalism, own narratives and other content of the now marginalized artists to the forefront. Today the performances offered are coincidental, with short performance periods that don’t meet the needs of audiences or different artists groups and freelancers. The existing cultural organisations do not reach residents who do not speak the dominant languages ​​of the country. The share of this group in the population of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area is forecast to grow to almost a quarter of the population of the Helsinki region by 2035.

“The performance centre is not an ordinary theatre house in its goals, but at the same time an ‘Agora’, a platform for experiencing interesting and intercultural performing arts, encounters and social dialogue,” say Davide Giovanzana and David Kozma together. “The wider offer of cultural services enriches and expands a more diverse Finnish identity. The performance centre will serve the whole of Finland in many different ways.”

"In the association we have now established, we are convinced that the City of Helsinki and other public bodies will see this grievance and accompany us in making a courageous opening that will place Helsinki's cultural integration on the map of Europe," Purovaara believes.

Director, theatre director Davide Giovanzana, dance artist Giorgio Convertito, program director Anna Sidorova and youth worker Sabasy Ndiaye were elected to the first Board of the association together with actress Yasmin Ahsanullah and theatre pedagogue, performance artist Nóri Varga as deputy members. Tomi Purovaara, Kotka's Director of Culture, was elected Chairman of the Board.

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Photos/contact: Marjo-Sisko Lindstedt, marjo-sisko.lindstedt@newtheatrehelsinki.com

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