Taidepiste: Equal access to the arts

Why should everyone have equal access to the arts, and what kinds of groups are currently being left out?

What kinds of people seek the field of arts and arts education, and why doesn’t everyone do so? What can be done to increase equality and accessibility in the arts? And why should everyone have equal access to the arts in the first place?

The topic will be discussed at Taidepiste by actor and director Jussi Lehtonen, arts education researcher Tuulikki Laes and curator of public programmes at Amos Rex Laura Porola. The discussion will be led by choreographer and artistic director of UrbanApa Sonya Lindfors.

In addition to the panel discussion, the event features a set of monologues and music by Porttiteatteri. Porttiteatteri is a community theatre, led by professionals, with members who are about to finish or who have recently finished their prison sentence.

The event will take place in the Main Foyer of the Helsinki Music Centre, and it will be live streamed on Uniarts Helsinki’s YouTube channel. High-quality recordings of the Taidepiste events are also available for later viewing on YouTube.

Taidepiste is Uniarts Helsinki’s event series, which explores social phenomena through multidisciplinary discussions and art experiences that are free and open to the public. Taidepiste events are organised once a month in the Main Foyer of the Helsinki Music Centre and live streamed on Uniarts Helsinki’s YouTube channel. The event series is sponsored by the Louise and Göran Ehrnrooth Foundation. Read more about the Taidepiste event series.

More information about the guests

Tuulikki Laes is an activist-researcher and an academic entrepreneur, who believes that music and the arts have the potential to tackle some of the challenges of society. Her areas of expertise and interests include phenomena connected to inequality in music and arts education, including ageism and ableism, new forms of critical pedagogy, as well as applied system thinking.

Jussi Lehtonen is the artistic designer for the Touring Stage of the Finnish National Theatre, as well as an actor and a director. The Touring Stage brings theatre performances to care institutions and correctional facilities and creates socially inclusive documentary theatre. His previous directorial ventures include Other Home (2017) and Undocumented Love (2020), where he worked with artists who had a refugee background. Lehtonen worked as an artist and postdoctoral researcher in the ArtsEqual research project in 2015—2021.

Sonya Lindfors is a Helsinki-based artist that works with choreography, facilitating, community organising and education. She is the founding member and artistic director of UrbanApa, an inter-disciplinary and counter hegemonic arts community. Lindfors is interested in creating and facilitating anti-racist and feminist platforms, where a festival, a performance, a publication, or a workshop can operate as the site of radical collective dreaming. Lindfors has been awarded several prizes, the latest of which being the ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art in 2018. During season 2017–2018, Lindfors was the house choreographer of Zodiak – center for new dance.  

Laura Porola is a curator of public programmes at Amos Rex and an art educator. She has worked as a guide, workshop instructor, producer and educational curator in the field of arts. She was one of the founders of the Unknown Cargo gallery and an association based around the idea of Visual Thinking Strategies. She is also a member of the work group for the Festival of Political Photography. In the art scene, Porola is especially interested in doing things together, emotional openness and accessible art experiences.

Porttiteatteri is a community theatre, led by professionals, with members who are about to finish or who have recently finished their prison sentence. The theatre operates at Cable Factory and produces performances in collaboration with various Helsinki-based theatres. The goal of the theatre is to encourage people who traditionally have not had access to cultural services to engage with the arts sector. Letting go of the identity of a criminal, finding new strengths, and developing a community are some of the core themes of the theatre’s activities. Porttiteatteri’s performances can be regarded as social commentary where the world is viewed through the eyes of an individual who is being released from prison.


15.11.2021 at 17:30 – 19:00


Helsinki Music Centre’s Main Foyer

Mannerheimintie 13a

00100 Helsinki


The Taidepiste events are free to attend and open to everyone.

Further information


You are welcome to listen to the discussion either in the Main Foyer of the Helsinki Music Centre or online on the Youtube channel of the University of the Arts.



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