The first visit we had regarding integration through cultural education was to the Kassandra Institute (Interkult Kassandra), where we talked to Catia S. Pedrosa, the executive director, and Venla Martikainen, the financial and administrative director. The young engaging and inspiring women informed us on Kassandra’s work promoting integration and diversity, and also providing workshops for the youth in Finland.
Interkult Kassanrda was founded in the year 2000, and works mostly on promoting integration through arts and culture. The organization was founded by theater director Ritva Siikala, whose goal was on building bridges among cultures, and supporting the further development of multiculturality. At first, it was aimed mostly on acting as a form of communication between cultures. Also, it was not only for “newcomers” but also for young Finns who wanted to meet new people as well as enjoyed theater.
Due to various changes, both politically and financially, Kassandra has developed and changed in how they work. First, the organization originally was supporting strongly feminism, which is why most of those who worked there were women. Nowadays, it is not only women who run the institute. Men are more active participants as well. Secondly, Kassandra provides more than theater and acting. For instance, it arranges various workshops for children and youngsters, where both the participants and the volunteering instructors learn from each other in a safe and fun environment. However, Kassandra has maintained one passion in their workshops, namely art!
Kassandra Institute organizes a special INTERKULTfest, a festival dedicated to performing arts for young adults. Performers, both professional and amateur, are invited from all corners of the world promoting diversity as much as possible. The festival is organized once a year and cooperates with different schools from Finland in forms of workshops.
For more information visit: kassandra.fi