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Future Forward – Davey Yarborough

In Helsinki, Davey Yarborough found himself opened to a “whole culture with emphasis on education and the facilitation of education.” Says Yarborough, “In Finland, music education is facilitated, all the way from elementary school to college. Here the mandate of having instrumental music programs in the elementary level and secondary level was relaxed quite a few years ago. We’ve been trying to recover ever since.” Seeing what he calls ‘an example of what the possibilities are when things are right,” Yarborough, despite budget cuts, finds himself newly inspired as a driving force for the move back toward that kind of level of music accessibility for all students. (more…)

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Journal of Ayodamola Okunseinde on April 22

Spent the day at the Arabianranta, entertaining meetings and interviews at University of Arts and Design Helsinki (www.taik.fi/en). Like the Cable Factory this complex is expansive. The building house design studios, ceramics / metal / wood workshops, an advance media lab, photography studios, painting studios and film / video studios. Taik allows for maximum interdisciplinary integration of these art forms. (more…)

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Journal of Ayodamola Okunseinde on April 22

Had breakfast with Finland’s Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb. I had done some research before my meeting , and thus was able to pose a wide range of questions from Russia policy to his love/hate relationship with the media. (more…)

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Journal of Ayodamola Okunseinde on April 22

Visited the Pixelache festival of electronic art at the Kiasma museum (www.pixelache.ac). Met with Minna Piirainen, producer of the festival and Natalie Aubry, the Helsinki producer. (more…)

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Journal of Patrick Dowd on April 18

THE HOYA: “Dowd Makes Global Connections”
By Tomi Maxted, Staff Writer | Mar 23 2009

Georgetown University Student Association President Pat Dowd (SFS ‘09) never thought he would spend his senior spring break in a Finnish sauna, meeting Finland’s president or jumping into a frozen lake – but that is just what he ended up doing.

(more…)

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Journal of Blake Zeff on April 18

Sadly, today is our last in Helsinki. We began the morning with a great breakfast – I have been eating herring with alarming regularity this last week – and then took the advice of many and planned a day trip to Tallinn, the largest and capital city in Estonia. After hopping on an enormous ferry – replete with cafes, casinos, supermarkets, and the like – Patty and I arrived at Tallinn and walked around this at once modern and medieval town. We traversed streets, ate in a restaurant that looked like a white cave from the 1800’s, and visited a fort.

When we got back in the late afternoon, Patty and I began the unhappy chore of packing, and grabbed a bite to eat in the hotel bar. Mikko came by to present us with a six-pack of Koff beer (a local favorite), some books, and t-shirts. It’s hard to believe that this city I knew so little about just a week or two ago, now feels like home. But it’s true. I am really going to miss it and wish we could stay another week, at least.

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Guests from Washington D.C.

In 2009 Helsinki, Finland launched Invitation to Helsinki, an innovative ongoing program focused on building lasting relationships between the national capitals of Washington, DC and Helsinki, Finland. During March and April 2009, 12 talented Washingtonians responded to an open invitation to Helsinki, traveling on separate journeys. Hosted by their Helsinki counterparts, they experienced the city on both professional and personal levels, documenting their ongoing discoveries in travel journals featured on this web site and in MyHelsinki.

During May, twelve themed days of programming hosted by the Embassy of Finland in Washington, DC spotlighted each of the participants’ fields and their flowering Helsinki relationships against the backdrop of MyHelsinki, the popular exhibition showcasing the Invitation to Helsinki program participants’ Helsinki discoveries and impressions. Finnish hosts joined their new Washington colleagues and their local networks to engage in a series of dynamic and thought-provoking seminars and meetings. The exchange fostered opportunities for expanded networking while fueling continued exchange between the two cities’ leading experts.

As these virtuoso thinkers evolve their Helsinki relationships, they open a world of transformative cross-cultural collaborations that builds upon their initial Helsinki experience, bringing benefit to the two communities and beyond.

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