A new year has begun and the FFSC board has been hard at work planning events for 2014. It had been our intent to meet with local Finnish organizations at the end of 2013 to map out major events each group was planning for 2014 in order to avoid overlapping events and to identify areas where we could combine our efforts. Alas, the meeting didn’t happen, mainly due to a very busy holiday time, but I am still hoping that such a meeting will take place this year.

While preparing for the meeting I wrote down all the Finnish community events I could remember, and was reminded of the variety of activities we have throughout the year and the number of groups that are involved in setting these up. Although many of you are quite familiar with the events, I’d like to highlight some of them to show you how much activity we really have.

  • Kalevala Day celebration at the beginning of March, which the Finnish Choral Society is organizing this year for the 38th time.
  • Mostly Nordic concert at the Nordic Heritage Museum’s series in May, which includes a concert of Finnish music. This year we will get to hear Jussi Makkonen and Ruusamari Teppo.
  • Finlandia Summer Festival/Finnish American Folk Festival in Naselle. These festivals are held during alternating summers and this year it is Naselle’s turn to host the event.
  • Finnish Lutheran Church auction and dinner in October.
  • Finnish community Bazaar at the Nordic Heritage Museum in November.
  • Independence Day Dinner and Dance in December.
  • Musical events at the Finnish church in Seattle, such as the ”Kauneimmat joululaulut” sing-along and the Finnish Choral Society’s Christmas concert and dinner.
  • Films from Finland nearly every month of the year by FFSC in partnership with the Swedish Club.

In addition to regularly occurring events we

  • Host Finlandia Foundation Performer of the Year and Lecturer of the year as well as other musical performers, such as Jussi Makkonen and Ruusamari Teppo last fall at the Finnish church.
  • Organize book readings for authors with a Finnish background or whose books have a Finnish connection.

There are also events that most of us probably aren’t involved in, such as the Iittala glass bird exhibition at the Tacoma Museum of Glass, the Nordic Lights film festival and the concert by the Cappella Romana ensemble in January, that feature Finnish art.

The list is by no means complete and is missing, for example, events held by Suomi Koulu, but it does illustrate the richness of activity we – the Finnish community – have. The mission of FFSC includes promoting and supporting activities for developing appreciation of Finnish literature, history, art and music. I urge you to contact FFSC if you think there are activities or events that are missing or if you think there’s something we could do better. I also ask you to be involved in the community either through FFSC or other organizations so that we can continue to enjoy all the events that are listed in the event calendar of this newsletter as well as new ones.

Wishing you a happy and successful 2014!

Mikko Männistö
FFSC President

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