Finlandia Foundation National seeking $3M for Heritage Project

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 2:05 PM EDT
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(WLUC) - 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.

According to a press release from the FFN, the 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 the 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.”

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.

A short video about this project is available on the FFN YouTube channel, Further information is available at the FFN website,