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Basic arts education grants

Basic arts education is progressive and goal-oriented instruction in various forms of art, mainly intended for children and young people, which provides the students with skills to express themselves and apply for vocational or higher education in a specific arts discipline.

Throughout the grant period, an entity receiving a basic arts education grant must submit annual grant applications with the required enclosures via the City of Helsinki e-services. 

A uniform set of assessment criteria is used when evaluating applications. Read through the criteria carefully before submitting your application and consider your activities in relation to the criteria. Applicants do not need to meet all the assessment criteria to be eligible for a grant, but awarding the grant and the amount of the grant will be assessed based on the criteria. In addition to the assessment of individual applications, the applications will be compared with each other, and the overall assessment will take into account matters such as the available appropriations. The grants are discretionary.

Artistic basis and content, in the case of which the assessment considers the following:

  • The artistic goals and the strength of the idea, and how these are reflected in the planned activities
  • How clearly the application expresses the activity’s artistic starting points (e.g. the uniqueness of the activity)
  • How professional, ambitious and interesting the activity is, and how significant it is within its field
  • How the activity will increase the versatility and diversity of the content on offer in the field of arts and culture in the city
  • The activity’s potential to create something new and to allow artistic development to take place

Operational basis and implementation, in the case of which the assessment considers the following:

  • How professional and credible the activity is
  • The activity’s impact, partnerships and scope
  • How feasible and realistic the activity described in the application is, and how uniform a whole the goals, the plan and its implementation form
  • How diverse the resources are, and what financial risks are involved in the activity
  • How necessary the grant is for the realisation of the activity
  • The development of the activity and how the development will be achieved
  • The organisation’s ability to evaluate its own activities
  • How equality and equity will be taken into account when arranging the activity
  • How ecological aspects will be taken into account when arranging the activity

Diversity, accessibility and participation, in the case of which the assessment considers the following:

  •  How the activity will add to the diversity reflected by the artistic and cultural operators and offering in Helsinki
  • How the activity will be made socially, district-wise, culturally, language-wise, financially, age-group-wise, physically or otherwise more accessible to the audience and participants
  • How the target groups have been defined and what measures will be used to reach different groups
  • How the activity will expand the spectator and participant base in experiencing and creating art and culture, and how it will encourage people to engage in a more extensive dialogue about art
  • How the activity will build community spirit in the city and improve the opportunities of residents to participate in and realise activities themselves
  • How the activity will utilise and strengthen operating methods that are based on networks and communities

Grants cannot be awarded for activities for which full funding is requested by means of said grant.

The evaluation of applications also considers the general rules and strategies of the City of Helsinki and the following instructions:

It is possible to apply for a basic arts education grant once a year for the following year. There has been a continuation for the application period for 2024. The new deadline is on Friday, 29 September 2023 by 16:00. The decisions are made at a meeting of the Culture and Library Sub-committee in November 2023.

New teaching permits for basic arts education or changes to the permits for 2024 should be submitted by 1 February 2024 at 16.00. New permits and the possible changes are decided at a meeting of the Culture and Library Sub-committee in April 2024 at the latest.

Familiarise yourself with the application instructions and obtain the necessary background information and attachments for submitting the application. You can apply for a grant through the City of Helsinki e-services. Start by logging in to the e-service. When you are logged in to the e-service, a link to the application form is available on the left-hand side of the page. You can log into the service by clicking the icon in the upper right corner of the page.

You can save your application as a draft and return to complete it later. Your application will be saved in your personal folder in the City of Helsinki e-services. Submit your application by 16:00 on the application period closing date. Grants will not be awarded for applications submitted after the deadline. We recommend that you submit your application before the closing date of the application period, as the service may experience high traffic.

If an application is incomplete, we will ask you to complete it. If the incomplete application is not completed by the deadline given by City of Helsinki, the application will be processed based on the information provided and rejected if the conditions for awarding the application are not met.

For more information about grants for basic art education, please contact Special Planning Officer Nina Gran, tel. +358 9 3103 7006,

Attachments required for basic arts education grants:

  • An action plan for the following year
  • A budget for the following year
  • Financial statements for the previous year (the financial statements must indicate at least the result and balance sheet of the association, and must also include a copy of a signed audit or performance audit report)
  • Annual report for the previous year
  • The association’s rules (in the case of a new applicant, or if the rules have changed since the previous application)
  • A bank statement or similar document indicating the account holder’s name and the account number (for new applicants, or if the bank details have changed)

Submit the necessary attachments via the e-services. Registered associations/entities, private persons and registered representatives of working groups are required to attach a bank statement or a corresponding report by the bank on the account holder (for new applicants, or if the bank details have changed), which must include both the account holder and the account number. If you attach a bank statement to the application, you may hide the transactions if you wish. An awarded grant cannot be paid in the absence of such a document.

The application will be processed by the City of Helsinki Culture and Leisure Division Cultural Services and Support partner unit. The length of the processing time depends on the applied grant. Decisions on grants are made by the Culture and Library Sub-committee of the Culture and Leisure Committee . Applicants will be informed of the decision once the committee has made its decision. Applicants will be notified by post.

Read the latest decision (in Finnish).

Basic arts education grants are paid as follows:

  • Grants of less than EUR 20,000 will be paid in a single instalment on 13 January 2023.
  • Grants of EUR 20,000–50,000 will be paid in two instalments on 13 January and 7 April 2023.
  • Grants of more than EUR 50,000 will be paid in three instalments on 13 January, 7 April and 7 September 2023.

Grants will be paid into a bank account in the name of the recipient. If the recipient does not have a bank account, they must open one. To verify the bank details, a bank statement (for new applicants, or if the bank details have changed) or a corresponding document indicating the name of the account holder and the account number must be attached to the application. If said statement is not submitted, the grant will not be paid.

For more information about payment matters, please contact administrative secretary Minna Leino, tel. +358 9 3108 9044,

Conditions for the use of the grant

All cultural grants are governed by the general grant allocation guidelines of the City of Helsinki.

The grant can only be used for the purpose stated in the grant decision. If the grant decision does not specify the purpose, the grant must be used for the purpose stated in the application. The city has the right to reclaim the grant in part or in full in accordance with the terms and conditions. 

The recipient is not allowed to use the grant for fundraising or for business and investment expenditure, or to increase its financial assets or any other long-term investments.

The recipient must arrange an audit in the manner stipulated by the Auditing Act. The recipient must arrange the audit even if this is not required by the Auditing Act. In such a case, the audit may also be performed by a lay auditor. An audit report must be submitted for an audit performed by a lay auditor, referred to as a ‘performance audit report’.

The recipient must provide the City of Helsinki with the information the city deems necessary for processing the grant application, awarding the grant and monitoring its use, free of charge. The party awarding the grant has the right to audit the accounts and administration of the applicant/recipient and perform other audits regarding its activities as necessary.

The recipient must notify the City of Helsinki without delay of any significant changes affecting the use of the grant.

The recipient undertakes to investigate the background of all suppliers used in the activities and to purchase services only from responsible operators who meet their social obligations.

Reporting on the use of the grant

Reports must be submitted on the use of all grants awarded by the city. Reporting on operational grants will primarily take place when applying for the next year’s grant, i.e. by attaching the previous year’s financial statements and annual report to the application.

Using the Helsinki logo 

Whenever possible, grant recipients must include the City of Helsinki logo in their information and marketing materials. There is a Finnish and Swedish version, as well as a bilingual version of the logo. In any case, the recipient must mention the City of Helsinki as a sponsor of the event.

Download the logo of the City of Helsinki. 

See the general instructions in the Guidance and support section and contact the grant coordinators as necessary. 

For more information on grants for basic art education, please contact Special Planning Officer Nina Gran, tel. +358 9 3103 7006,

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