Emilie Gardberg has started her four-year term as the director of the Finnish Institute in London. Gardberg has a wide experience in leadership at the cultural sector. “Due to Brexit, bilateral cooperation between Brits and Finns is now crucial. On the other hand, Institute also operates Ireland, which will remain in the EU, so possibilities to work within several networks continue and strengthen. My four-year term will be a time of new interesting openings”, says Gardberg.
Emilie Gardberg (born 1976), MA, has previously worked as a director of Turku Music Festival and as an intendant of Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. She spent the autumn 2017 as a scholar in Washington DC, at Wilson Center, which is one of the world’s leading think tanks. Gardberg graduated with Master of Arts from Columbia University in New York in 2008 and also hold a music pedagogue degree from Arts Academy of Turku University of Applied Sciences. She teaches arts management and leadership as a visiting lecturer at several universities.
Gardberg is especially interested in social impact of the arts. At her previous jobs she explored arts from the perspective of equality, environment and peace work. She is currently in process writing a book about the social impact of classical music. “Emilie brings a solid knowledge of leadership at the cultural sector, combined with the desire to make the world a better place. While working in Turku, she has proven to be full of ideas and skilful at building cooperation. Now, when Britain is redefining it´s position in Europe, it is valuable to have the ability to build cross-cultural relationships”, says Tommi Laitio, the Chairman of the Board of the Finnish Institute in London.
During her four-year term the former director Pauliina Ståhlberg, focused strongly on promoting equality, contemporary art and circus. Last year Britain became the main export market for Finnish contemporary circus. The institute has also supported aspiring artists at the beginning of their career. “A little support, and introductions to right people at the right moment can open up huge opportunities. Finnish courage, madness and high-quality work attract attention in Britain. As the UK market is so big, there is audience and plenty of opportunities for collaboration even for art forms that are considered marginal”, says Ståhlberg.
Text: Finnish Institute in London