The Finnish Cultural Foundation's nationwide youth project Myrsky (Finnish for Storm) is blowing joy and vitality into the lives of young people. Storm challenges the public sector, organizations and companies to join forces to benefit young people. The aim is to spread and establish new types of arts activities for young people throughout Finland.

Every young person needs friends, approval and a secure means of experiencing life that makes sense. The Finnish Cultural Foundation's Storm youth project is targeted especially at young people aged 13-17 who are unable to experience the arts because they live in remote localities, because they lack support from their family or for other reasons. Positive projects beneficial to society funded within Storm support their social and spiritual maturing by means of the arts. The arts offer a new approach to facing the future and encourage young people to express themselves. At its best, Storm provides the enjoyment of working together and feeling successful.

The projects can use all means of arts expression, from hip hop to composing. How best to reach to young people will become apparent as Storm projects progress.

The Finnish Cultural Foundation has committed itself to the Storm project from 2008 to 2011. Prerequisites for funding are a youth focus, quality, networking and a plan for continuing project operations. A total of about three million euros of grant will be awarded on the basis of applications.

"In 2009 the Finnish Cultural Foundation celebrates its 70th anniversary. The basic capital for the charter was collected by schoolchildren. Through Storm we are repaying some of our debt of gratitude to young people," says Project Manager Raisa Kiesi, the Finnish Cultural Foundation's lawyer responsible for legal affairs.

Young people have leading roles in Storm. Adults expert in educational and artistic matters who are committed to the project support them with their expertise.

"It is essential to have charismatic leadership for local projects - an artist, art teacher or group of artists with the skills, drive and ability to familiarize the young people involved in the project with the skills required, and inspire them to act on their own terms. The young people should come up with ideas, then plan and carry out their projects from start to finish. We would like to relate Storm as closely as possible to young people and their everyday lives," Kiesi emphasizes.

Storm has its own website (only in Finnish)