From Tampere, Finland
Thursday 31 March 2016

With a PhD in Finnish history, he became Director of the Bicentennial Administration Project of the Finnish National Road in the 90’s. Then he held for several years as headmaster of the Orivesi College of Arts. He participated in many international and national conferences on cultural and heritage matters. He has a particular interest in research in the areas of social, economic and cultural history of transport in the Baltic Sea. He is the director of Cultural affairs for the City of Tampere since 2006.

Our February's Board meeting, in Sarajevo, was the opportunity to measure the change that our network is going through. It was an opportunity to assess this new energy that is being impulsed into our network, and LIKE's ambition to reposition at a well-deserved place in the European cultural landscape. All individuals' energy and good will are needed to face these upcoming challenges.

Indeed, LIKE is a collective adventure. That is why I have accepted to chair our working group on the network's new Charter of Values. We are currently trying to assemble this group, and we will soon be calling for your contribution. Our Charter cannot be anything but collaborative : please take a moment to read it carefully, and feel free to make suggestions.

Amongst other things this month, the team and the Board have been working on other topics :
  • the development of our network, with a few steps towards reinforcing our presence in Belgium ;
  • the positioning of our network in the landscape of European cultural networks. The atypical nature of our network makes it one-of-a-kind. It is a strength that we have to capitalize upon to exist and be given the voice we need to make a difference. That is why the team is about to make a few visits in April, in Brussels for Europe Culture Forum 2016 (organised by the European Commission) and in Mons for Task Force Cross-Border Culture (organised by AEBR- T4CBC) ;
  • the organisation of our next Rendez-Vous, that will be taking place in Bordeaux (France), from 8th to 10th, June (tbc). We will be discussing the new challenges artistic and cultural education is facing, and its role in developing dialogue and diversity in Europe. This Rendez-Vous is an unmistakable opportunity for all members to meet, debate and act upon local and European policy-making ;
  • the launch of our individual membership campaign. Decided on in Milan, 2015, LIKE is opening to the variety of cultural actors in Europe. Please pass the word amongst your friends and colleagues : we are looking for valuable and committed individuals to make our network grow bigger and richer. Support us !

Again, the wind of change is blowing – even in Tampere, Finland, we can feel its  breeze. The Board members, the team, I – we all hope that you remain at our sides to develop our coming projects.

Best regards,

                           Jaakko Masonen
                            LIKE Board Member
                            Director of Cultural Affairs, Tampere (Finland)