It is the first of May so I may as well get a little more political here. I am living in Finland and the next bigger city to where I live is Tampere.
The Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) has decided to cancel their degree programme in fine art, due to budget cuts. The universities administration stated, that they have to decide which degree programmes are important, and the fine art programme is not among those.
The school’s art programme is well established and considered as one of the top schools for art education in Finland. The art department and its students and graduates are a very active cultural force, not only in the city of Tampere. The school’s final exhibitions attract many visitors each year. Artists who graduated from TAMK are among the most known Finnish contemporary artists. All of this will lose its foundation and left will be a vacuum.
Maybe art education cannot be directly translated into financial benefits for a community - which form of education can? - but its absence is a sure loss of cultural identity.
I would be very happy if you follow this link, and sign the petition against the cancellation of the fine art degree programme at TAMK. The text is in English and it does not matter where you are from. If you are Finnish-speaking you may follow this link to read about the issue in Finnish. You may also sign anonymously. At this moment more than 1500 people have signed the petition.