Hiljaisuus ry (The Artists’ Association Silence)

The Artists’ Association Silence promotes opportunities for making art in Lapland by organising performance activities, art events, networking and providing a framework for artistic work and the creation of new multidisciplinary partnerships.

During our residency, we will work intensively to develop the Silence community and our art organisation, to put sustainable and ecological operating models into practice and to increase the well-being of our community.

We want to develop new kinds of operating models, new organisational thinking and sustainable models for action that promote well-being. Every artist, designer, producer and other art professional in the Silence community has a huge amount of expertise based on their education and experience, and we want to leverage it in our development work. In addition, we have invited three external experts specialising in the operation and development of art organisations to join our working group so that they can guide us through the development process.

We feel it’s important to withdraw from everyday life (which working at a residence offers) and to focus on listening, discussing and working together to develop the Silence community into a player that reflects our values and expectations and enables our artistic work. We work all over Finland, relying on remote access, which is why genuine presence is of paramount importance to us. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have also been learning about presence and intensive teamwork via remote access, and we believe that we will be able to utilise what we have learned in the aftermath of the pandemic, which is currently preventing the entire working group from gathering at Saari Residence.

We want to create a new kind of organisational thinking that takes artistic thinking into account in our operating procedures and organisational structures. We want to participate in developing the idea of platform-based agency in the art sector and we intend to explore what kinds of enabling structures an artist needs in order to be able to focus on making art. In addition, we want to find sustainable and ecological practices that could be put into practice in the everyday operations of our art organisation.

The period of work at Saari Residence is part of the year of organisational development for the Silence Association. During 2020, we have worked ambitiously and intensively to develop the Silence Association into an art organisation that serves people who make art, the village of Kaukonen and the Silence community in the best possible way. The association’s employees, Board members and invited experts have participated in this development work, each with their own area of expertise within the activities and development of the art organisation.

We hope that the development process of the Silence Association will create a new kind of organisational thinking in the field of art and also help other art communities in their development work. We plan to share information about the process and its results in late 2020.

The Artists’ Association Silence promotes opportunities for making art in Lapland by organising performance activities, art events, networking and providing a framework for artistic work and the creation of new multidisciplinary partnerships. The Artists’ Association Silence was founded in 2012 and currently serves year-round as a regionally and nationally significant platform for artistic work, events and projects. In less than ten years, the association has evolved from a background organisation for the Silence Festival into a wide-ranging and diverse production and development platform for the arts and artistic work.

The association’s activities focus on the annual multi-disciplinary Silence Festival held at the beginning of June, the Silence residence that supports the implementation of new works of performing arts and year-round performance and concert activities, whose main event concept is Seasons of Silence in Särestöniemi, Kittilä. In addition, the association acts as a regionally important art expert in Lapland, as the voice of art actors in Finland outside the Helsinki metropolitan area in decision-making that concerns the arts and cultural policy, and as an expert in networking both regionally, nationally and internationally. The Silence Festival was awarded the State Prize for Circus Art in 2017.

A total of 15 people will participate in the work on site at the Saari Residence, as well as via a remote connection: Silence Association’s artistic directors, producers, Board members and invited experts specialising in the operations and development of art organisations.

Artistic directors:

Taija Helminen is a playwright and dramaturge. Taija wrote and directed Unia Ounasjoen mutkasta, a multidisciplinary trilogy arising from the history and stories of the Kaukonen village for the Silence Festival’s programme in 2019. Now Taija is a member of the working group that is planning the programme for the 2021 Silence Festival.

Henna Kaikula is a circus artist, performer and designer of concepts. Henna acted as the artistic director of the Silence Festival from 2017 to 2019, developed also other activities within the Silence Association and created several multi-disciplinary performances specific to the performance space in the Kaukonen village. She has been the junior artistic director of the Seasons of Silence events since 2018.

Mikko Perkola is a viola da gamba player and performer. Mikko started working for the Silence Festival in 2019 as junior artistic director and as a designer of other Silence activities. He is a member of the working group that is planning the programme for the 2021 Silence Festival.

Lauri Sallinen is a clarinettist and a versatile performer. Lauri has performed at the Silence Festival and the Seasons of Silence events over the past years. He has been the junior artistic director of the Seasons of Silence events since 2018.

Riikka Vuorenmaa is a scenographer and lighting and space designer. Riikka has held various positions within the Silence Festival and the Silence Association, such as technical officer and chairman of the Board. Now Riikka is primarily working as the artistic director for the 2021 Silence Festival as part of its planning team, specifically taking care of curating and planning the spaces.


Jonna Leppänen has been the producer of the Silence Festival and the Silence Association since 2017. She works as the executive director’s work partner, being responsible for all the operations and daily office duties of the Silence Association. In addition, Jonna is responsible for the operations of the Northern Network for Performing Arts, which is coordinated by Silence, as well as for other international projects.

Joonas Martikainen is one of the founders of the association and the Silence Festival and has been the producer and executive director of Silence for more than ten years. He creates multidisciplinary networks and is responsible for the organisation’s activities, the festival and the Seasons of Silence event concept together with other Silence employees.

Members of the Board:

Tuija Alariesto is a cultural association activist and a museum professional who has held several different positions in the sector. Tuija has observed Silence’s activities from the point of view of a partner when she was the museum director of the Särestöniemi Museum from 2018 to 2019. Tuija brings versatile expertise in the management of art and cultural organisations and the Lapland cultural sector to the Silence Board.

Konsta Huusko is an artist and a skilled woodworker. Konsta has worked for many years as a volunteer and a team leader at the Silence Festival and has been an invaluable help in the renovation of the Kaukonen people’s hall.  He brings the voice of a Lapland artist and experienced Silence volunteer to the Board of Silence.

Katariina Imporanta is an expert in marketing and branding. Katariina worked in communications, marketing and production positions within the Silence organisation in 2019 and started the development of the Silence organisation at the beginning of 2020. She brings brand expertise, extensive tourism and marketing networks, cultural tourism expertise and knowledge of the Silence organisation to the Board of Silence.

Anu Niiranen is a graphic designer and marketing expert. Anu has worked as the designer of the Silence brand and its visual look, as well as a festival volunteer from time to time over several years. She brings brand and communication expertise and a business-world perspective to the organisation’s development work.

Salla Santanen is a circus artist, dancer and dance teacher. Salla has worked at the Silence Festival as a leading volunteer for several years and knows the anatomy of the festival well. She brings the perspective of circus art and artist to the Board of Silence.

Invited experts:

Tuuja Jänicke is a theatre director, gestalt therapist and work advisor. Tuuja has worked at Silence and with the employees of Silence during 2020, laying the foundations for abandoning burdensome work methods, creating a work community that supports health and well-being and ensuring the professional development of Silence employees.

Esa Kylmälä is the expert of the art organisation’s administration, production and finances and an experienced leader. Esa works especially with the Silence Board to develop the Board’s activities and helps board members to create board and administrative practices that match its new operating culture and organisational model.

Antti Majava is an artist and founding member of the Mustarinda Association. Antti is distinguished at consolidating research and the arts and promotes multi-perspective thinking in the arts and society. He brings ecological thinking to the Silence development process and challenges Silence’s operating models from the perspectives of a sustainable future, ecology and resource wisdom.

Kati Sirén is a community theatre director and facilitator. In 2020, she has led the development of the Silence organisation through workshops. Kati creates the optimal working environment for the development of Silence and walks the people at Silence through this development process, creating an opportunity for new kind of development of organisational thinking and putting consistent decision-making and implementation of decisions into practice.