Arctic Arts Summit, held in Northern Norway in 2017, was the first summit and conference where all eight Arctic countries participate to highlight circumpolar arts and culture. The summit is as a biennale, planned to travel through the Arctic countries to facilitate new perspectives and establish ownership for the important role of arts and culture in developing the Arctic. Finland has now taken over the project from the Norwegian project team.
The main objective of the Arctic Arts Summit is to strengthen the arts and culture in the north and underline the role of circumpolar cooperation. The summit also aims to stimulate to the building of sustainable continuous collaborations within arts and creative industries and broader the international high north development.
After the success of the Arctic Arts Summit in 2017, Norway’s project group has worked to keep the policy makers and stakeholders accountable for the final statement of the Harstad Summit.
- We have travelled the Arctic to establish the idea of an Arctic collaboration towards an arctic cultural policy built upon the humans and culture of the circumpolar north as a vital part of Arctic development, says Maria Utsi, founder of the Arctic Arts Summit and director of the Arctic Arts Festival.
On October 19, the Norwegian project group of Arctic Arts Summit had the official handover to the next project for the 2019 summit in Finland. The handover took place during the Arctic Circle conference in Reykjavik, the largest network of international dialogue and cooperation on the future of the Arctic. For the first time this conference had a break-out session focusing on the arts, culture and creative industries of the Arctic, which was organized by the Arctic Arts Summit, Troms County Government and the Arctic Arts Festival.
- We wish Finland the best of luck, in their preparation for the next Arctic Arts Summit that will be held in Rovaniemi the 4th to the 5th of June 2019, says Utsi.
The Arctic Arts Festival also brought the dance company Kartellet, which performed both Friday and Saturday. On Friday they performed in the lunch to the prime minister of Iceland, H.E Katrín Jakobsdottir, in connection to the session “The role of Arts, Culture and Creative Industry in building sustainable societies in the Arctic” and they ended the day with performing at the Royal Norwegian embassy in Reykjavik’s reception. The performance was well received, and was mentioned in the report from Arctic Circle by High North News, the independent newspaper published by the High North Center at the Nord university.
- One of the coolest acts was provided by the North Norwegian dance company "The Cartel". The Arctic Arts Festival located in Harstad, Norway had brought them to Iceland as a part of the "Internationalisation of Scenic Art from the Arctic" project. At a reception organised by the Norwegian embassy in Iceland, a selection of guests got to see one of the best acts currently on offer in Northern Norway. Arne O. Holm, High North News
Photo: Cartellet and Sverre Mjøen and Øystein Strand from The ministry of Culture in Norway
Photo: Timo Jokela in Reykjavik
Final Statement of Arctic Arts Summit, Harstad, Norway 2017:
We, the participants at the first Arctic Arts Summit, held in Harstad, Norway on June 21 – 22, 2017
- Underscore the significance of culture in the discourse about and sustainable development of viable communities and regions in the circumpolar North.
- Underscore the importance of the inclusion and active participation of the peoples of the North; especially the Indigenous peoples, and children and youth, to the development of policies and programs that relate to cultural development.
- Encourage the creation of more interrelated programming between culture, tourism, and other sectors, including through the use of new technologies, in order to maximize the contributions of culture to social and economic development in local communities.
- Encourage the development of the exchange of artists and expertise through networks in the Circumpolar North and the development of cultural infrastructure in all eight countries.
- Encourage closer communication and exploration of potential collaboration amongst the arts funding organizations of all eight countries.