The national arts councils award annual state prizes for distinguished artists, working groups and art communities.
Arts Promotion Centre Finland awarded ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival with its second-ever State Prize for the Social Impact of Art. The value of the prize is 50,000 euros.
– As employees of the ANTI Festival, we consider art to hold value in itself and want to create an art event for the sake of art. We hope that art will not be reduced to a vehicle for making statements. But when I was given an opportunity to have my voice heard in this event, there were only two words in my mind: “ceasefire now”. We demand that the Government of Finland takes immediate action to ensure a ceasefire in Gaza, open humanitarian corridors to the area and protect the release of hostages, Elisa Itkonen, Managing Director and Lead Curator of ANTI Festival opened the speech she held at the event.
State prizes are awarded in recognition of outstanding artistic work within the past three years, a long meritorious artistic career, or a contribution to the industry. In the early years of ANTI Festival’s activities in 2006, the festival’s artistic directors, Johanna Tuukkanen and Erkki Soininen, were awarded the state prize.
Arts Promotion Centre Finland on their choice:
Organised in Kuopio since 2002, ANTI is a multidisciplinary contemporary art festival focusing on the performing arts that has embedded itself in its community exceptionally well. The artistically ambitious festival has demonstrated how art can address challenging and complex social phenomena and make them visible to large audiences through the means of art.
The ANTI festival works completely within its own framework and has an artistic impact both locally and internationally. The internationally profiled festival of site-specific contemporary art produces high-quality works of art in the heart of North Savo and is accessible to all residents. Widely visible in the city centre, the festival is proof of how curated presentations of live art can shake up our understanding of the world and leave lasting traces on the way we work together as humans and as part of the planetary whole.