Free culture for people on low income – Kaikukortti introduced as a permanent service in Espoo
Since the beginning of 2016, Kaikukortti has been a permanent service in the City of Espoo. Espoo was the first municipality that tried Kaikukortti last year.
With the Kaikukortti card, residents who are financially hard-pressed can get free tickets to cultural venues in Espoo. The Kaikukortti activities involve 23 cultural actors in Espoo from April Jazz to WeeGee’s museums as well as local theatres and cultural centres.
Kaikukortti is meant for clients of the social and healthcare organisations in the Kaikukortti network who feel that they are too hard-pressed financially to consume culture. Cardholders can also use the card to get free tickets for their children. The Kaikukortti network involves the city’s own social and healthcare organisations as well as third-sector operators, such as housing units, immigrant services and mental health organisations.
Espoo’s Kaikukortti users have provided good feedback on the service. People have found that culture is highly important to their mental wellbeing and mood. For example, the opportunity to get tickets for the family’s children has been appreciated. According to Tapio Nieminen, Director of Adult Social Services at the City of Espoo, Kaikukortti supports the goals of social rehabilitation as required by the Social Welfare Act and encourages residents to take part in leisure services. Helena Sarjakoski, Specialist at the Cultural Unit, considers Kaikukortti a good way to improve the accessibility of culture and equality of residents.
Last year’s Kaikukortti trial was part of the Cultural Passport pilot, which ended in December. This year, the card is also being tried in Kainuu. The goal is to spread the activities throughout Finland. The national development work and the Kaikukortti trial in Kainuu are coordinated by the national Culture for All Service and funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Association Yhdenvertaisen kulttuurin puolesta ry (Culture for All Service) and the Regional Council of Kainuu.
For more information about Espoo’s Kaikukortti activities, please contact:
Tapio Nieminen, Regional Director of Adult Social Services
tel. +358 50 328 6764
Helena Sarjakoski, Specialist, Cultural Unit
tel. +358 50 381 4033
For more information about national Kaikukortti activities, please contact:
Aura Linnapuomi, Project Leader, Cultural Passport follow-up project, Culture for All Service
tel. +358 40 931 0576