The opening of the new Arts and Culture Centre Kalevan Navetta was celebrated in Seinäjoki on 11 March 2020, shortly before the country was put to halt due to the corona virus pandemic. The opening events were supposed to continue for a week, but only a half week was to suffice. Yet, during these few days hundreds of interested people visited the new arts and culture centre participating guided walks and house tours.
The activities that are run in the Kalevan Navetta build on a Multiple-Stakeholder-Partnership, an arrangement that is presented as a Good Practise in the FINCH project. The art and culture centre’s operators consist of private and public parties that have joined their efforts in cross-border co-operation. Once the doors are opened again, the success of this unique constellation will be proved, as all the facilities in the Kalevan Navetta are ready for action.
The facilities of the old red-brick building are designed to meet the very different needs of its operators. The woodwork room of the Seinäjoki Adult Education Centre houses a surface planing machine while in the second floor a much more delicate instrument is played, the grand piano. Petri Pihlajaniemi, owner of the building and initiator of the refurbishing confirms that the renovation process has been challenging, not least due to soundproofing and ventilation requirements. Only things left from the old building are the exterior walls, the sheet metal roof and the spirit of the old building.
The Kalevan Navetta is home to public and private cultural and artistic professionals, whose members benefit from each other and work closely together. The regional Taito craft organisation welcomes visitors in the ground floor where it runs the Taito craft shop that also sells tickets to Kunsthalle Seinäjoki, the art hall that resides in the upper floors. Leena Kråknäs, Cultural director of Seinäjoki City, believes that Seinäjoki will become famous of art exhibitions and the number of visitors of Kunsthalle Seinäjoki will increase. The Seinäjoki City is the largest lessee of the building with 70 per cent of the premises in its use, but the city also sublets some rooms, for example, that of new Hugo Hall, which is dedicated to music concerts and other events.
The joint process preceding the opening of the Kalevan Navetta was led by a shared principle, to get better and functional working space for actors of the art and culture sector. The proprietor Pihlajaniemi was driven by the same will to secure valuable use for the old building. He emphasizes that “the Kalevan Navetta has been renovated for life and use, not to only remain a monument”.
The Arts and Culture Centre ‘Kalevan Navetta’ is a good practice identified by the Finnish partner of FINCH project and it was reviewed, accepted and published in the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform good practice database on 3 February 2020.
Policymakers around Europe are now able to consult Kalevan Navetta Good Practice online and get inspiration for their regional heritage developing work.