Art School Maa’s Students Statement 11.4.2024

We, the Students of the Art School Maa, oppose Kela's decision to cease student grants for new students and the annual cut in Taike's funding of our school.

Our school is an important grassroots actor in the Finnish art-field, the diversity of which is being suppressed by the government's current cut policy. Art enriches and enlivens society in countless ways, and small institutions like Maa show this in practice. Our school makes art on its own terms, organizes art exhibitions open to the public, art-sales and other events both in Suomenlinna and on the mainland in Helsinki.

Our school creates an environment freer than larger institutions through its curriculum, where practice, theory and community meet without commercial pressures. The teachers' professional skills, experience and ability to engage with students enables them to create and teach art while respecting students' individual needs. This enables the students of Maa to grow as artists in an environment where progressive values are part of our everyday life.

Cuts to education are political choices that diminish the vitality of the arts. Art School Maa is one of its kind in the field of art education in Finland. For us it is a beloved community and a place to create. That is what it should continue to be for all new students, regardless of socio-economic background. A diverse art-field is a richness we cannot afford to lose.

The students of Art School Maa,

Sofia Nieminen, Verna Toivonen, Emilia Värelä, Anna Hallikainen, Tuuli Kudjoi, Vilma Tietäväinen, Anni-Anett Liik, Krasimir Jovanovič Hyvärinen, Panu Räisänen, Sara Tammi, Peik Ranko, Nooa Paukkunen, Tesla Sumén, Anna Kuorikoski, Ulriika Hyry, Oskar Liljeblad, Lassi Nieminen, Elsa Tölli, Vili Järvinen, Ben Vale, Ilmi Penkkala, Luukas Pollari, Teemu Ruissalo, Miska Jounila, Lukas Kallonen, Jenny Sivén, Tuulia Kivistö, Alli Suosalo, Vilja Salmi, Lucas Toljamo, Tuulikki Toppari, Kaarina Koistinen, Elias Lindblad, Ida Haukka, Pihla Törrönen