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Helsinki Model development grants

The Helsinki Model is a model for inclusive regional cultural work which encourages art institutions and art professionals to work outside their own organisations in different city districts in cooperation with local residents and communities.

The aim of the Helsinki Model is to balance out and diversify the artistic and cultural offerings of the Helsinki districts, as well as to boost a sense of community and positive profiling of the districts and cultural inclusion of residents. 

Starting points of the Helsinki Model

The Helsinki Model encourages art institutions and organisations to expand their operations beyond their own facilities and work in cooperation with the residents and communities of various neighbourhoods. This also allows the organisations to reach new audiences.

Culture is made more accessible by creating new operating models with the local operators and art institutions. Residents and communities are encouraged to evolve from viewers to active agents in creating art and culture.

Helsinki Model development grants for culture can be awarded for registered art and culture institutions and communities, mainly for three-year projects. The Helsinki Model project operators for the 2022−2024 season have been selected. The grant call will take place in 2024. 

Helsinki Model projects 2022–2024

For the third project period, 2022–2024, EUR 600,000 per year from the funds available for arts and culture development grants has been earmarked. The priority areas for the project period are Tapulikaupunki-Suutarila, Kontula, Malmi and Pihlajamäki-Pihlajisto. 

The Helsinki Model is strongly linked to city-level strategies such as the City of Helsinki Welfare Plan 2022–2025.

The Culture and Library Sub-committee of the City of Helsinki Culture and Leisure Committee decided on the allocation of grants for the Helsinki Model at its meeting on 29 April 2021. Grants were awarded as follows:

  • Helsinki City Theatre, Malmi (theatre)
  • Arkki School of Architecture for Children and Youth, Malmi (multidisciplinary art)
  • Sun Effects Oy, Malmi (light art)
  • Q-teatteri, Malmi (theatre)
  • Helsinki Urban Art, Tapulikaupunki-Suutarila (multidisciplinary art)
  • Finnish Baroque Orchestra, Tapulikaupunki-Suutarila (music)
  • Reality Research Center association, Kontula (theatre)
  • Voimauttavan taiteen äärellä ry association, Kontula (multidisciplinary art)
  • Zodiak Presents ry, Kontula (dance)
  • Finnish National Theatre, Pihlajanmäki-Pihlajisto (theatre)
  • Tanssiareena ry association, Pihlajanmäki-Pihlajisto (dance)
  • Osiris teatteriyhdistys ry association, Pihlajanmäki-Pihlajisto (multidisciplinary art)

See the plans for projects included in the Helsinki Model in 2022–24 (PDF, in Finnish).    

The Helsinki Model on the Helsinki channel: Watch the video

Helsinki Model project period 2025−27

For the fourth project period, 2025–2027, EUR 600,000 per year from the funds available for arts and culture development grants has been earmarked for Helsinki model development projects. The priority areas for the project period are Malmi, Kontula, Meri-Rastila ja Kannelmäki-Malminkartano. The selected areas are also pilot areas in the City of Helsinki's new, cross-administrative Suburban regeneration model. Read more about the Suburban regeneration model.

The application for the Helsinki Model development grants for 2025–2027 will begin in the spring 2024. More info will be updated on this page during spring 2024. 

In the processing of project grants in accordance with the Helsinki Model, the following special criteria are taken into account:

Artistic quality

  • Artistic vision and professional approach
  • The operator being capable of working with new target groups and developing new operating models (e.g. pedagogical and community art skills)


  • Activities in the area and with the target group being systematic and persistent The operator being capable of utilising local themes in the content of the project
  • Dialogue with residents and operators during the planning and implementation of the project
  • The project becoming part of the core activities and artistic repertoire of an art organisation and diversifying the audience base of art institutions and communities
  • The project being carried out outside the walls of art institutions and in areas outside the city centre

Production and economic quality

  • A clear action plan and schedule
  • Adequate production resources
  • A realistic budget and self-financing share

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:

The grants are discretionary. 

The application period for Helsinki Model follow-up applications came to an end on Thursday, 31 August 2023 at 16.00.

Familiarise yourself with the application instructions and obtain the necessary background information and attachments for submitting the application. You can apply for a grant in the City of Helsinki e-services. You can save your application as a draft and return to complete it later. Your application will be saved in your personal folder. 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.

Attachments required for Helsinki Model grants:

  • A project plan for the applied period
  • A budget for the applied period

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. 

Helsinki Model grants are paid in two instalments in accordance with the decision.

If the recipient owes money to the city, the city’s recoverable claim from the recipient will be deducted from the awarded grant.

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 allowance terms 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 of a grant must arrange its accounting and auditing in the manner required by law and so that the use of the grant can be monitored based on the accounts. 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.

Reports for Helsinki Model grants must be submitted using a separate reporting form at the end of the three-year period. During the project period, reporting on the activities takes place in Pokka. 

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. 

If you are planning a Helsinki Model project, please contact Special Planning Officer Tiina Laukkanen, tel. +358 40 176 9173, , or Special Planning Officer Katri Tenhola, tel. +358 9 3102 7249, .

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