Finlandia Foundation National seeks $3 Million for heritage project
PASADENA, CA – Finlandia Foundation National (FFN) has launched a “Saving Finland in America” fundraising campaign to support its acquisition of the cultural and historical assets of the Finnish American Heritage Center (FAHC) on the campus of the now-closed Finlandia University in Hancock, Michigan.
FFN is a non-profit organization founded in 1953 to support and promote Finnish-American interests and offer related programming, scholarships and grants. In March of 2023, when Finlandia University announced its closing, the FFN board of trustees acted immediately to acquire the FAHC and its archives, artifacts and programs. These include Finlandia Art Gallery, Price of Freedom Museum, Finnish American Folk School, North Wind Books and the monthly Finnish American Reporter.
The FFN fundraising effort is the initial step in a multi-phase plan to maintain the current programs, staffing, conservation and care for the material assets. FFN is awaiting confirmation of its purchase of the FAHC building, and is working to relocate collections that had been housed in former university buildings. Priority future projects include digitization of records to make them accessible to researchers across the globe, as well as the creation of an endowment to ensure the future health of the FAHC and entities.
“These funds are urgently needed to protect and preserve the pieces of Finnish America that collectively tell the story of the people and their impact on the history of the United States,” says Anne-Mari Paster, president of the Pasadena, California-based Finlandia Foundation. “We encourage all to help us save what we call the Smithsonian of Finnish America.”
A short video about this project is at the FFN YouTube channel, youtube.com/c/FinlandiaFoundationNational. Further information is available at the FFN website, FinlandiaFoundation.org.
Foundation National, Inc.
Fiercely Finnish since 1953, we champion our culture and heritage across the United States by supporting educational opportunities and promoting diverse, relevant, and enriching programs. Finlandia Foundation National, Inc. (FFN) aims to connect, inspire and strengthen the Finnish-American community through a network of nearly 60 chapters across the United States. FFN raises funds to build its endowment and ensure the continuation of its programs, which highlight outstanding contributions and achievements of Finnish-American artists and academics. FFN awards dozens of grants and scholarships each year, and provides critical funding to maintain cultural traditions that represent the heritage of Finlandia and the diverse interests of Finnish America.