© 2019 FinnFest USA ®
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Opening Convocation: Thursday, 7:00-8:30 PM at the Farmington Civic Theater. It will feature special guests and a unique tribute to the connections between Finland and the United States. Price includes shuttle from the hotel’s free parking. Järnefelt Trio & Tallari will be the featured performers.
Reception: Following the convocation, join us in the Chesapeake Room at the Sheraton Detroit Novi Hotel. With your ticket, you can enjoy sweet and salty treats buffet plus a cash bar!
Time: Thursday, 8:30-4:00
Location: Sheraton Conference Center in A.M., Chartered bus, P.M.
Cranbrook and America’s Monumental Art will be explored in the context of
Finnish America. Detroit, the home of the renowned Cranbrook Art Museum,
formed a link between Finland and the USA beginning in the mid-1920’s. In
preparation for FinnFest USA 2019’s exclusive September 22 nd Sunday afternoon
at Cranbrook, this seminar will explore what it meant to have Eliel and Loja
Saarinen, together with their children, become part of the Cranbrook Academy of
Art. This seminar will also explore the topic of “monumental” art and the concept
of how seemingly non-Finnish artwork can be considered as Finnish American.
The afternoon tour into Detroit will provide opportunities to pursue this topic in
the context of two significant expressions of art in Detroit: “Transcending” the
monument to workers in downtown Detroit and the Diego Rivera murals at the
Detroit Institute of Art. Max Stevenson, Director of Exhibitions and Programming,
Norway House, Minneapolis, is chairing this seminar. Speakers TBD
Time: Thursday, 8:30-3:30
Location: Finn Camp, Wixom, Michigan
If you’re 18 years or older and want to learn, relearn, or improve your Finnish, as
well as have fun participating in Finnish cultural activities at Detroit’s beautiful
Finn Camp, join us for a day-long experience. Finn Camp, a local Finnish American
institution on the shores of Loon Lake, has been hosting Finnish-related events
since 1925. For FinnFest USA 2019, Finn Camp is providing space, food and plenty
of coffee for this day of immersion with the Finnish language. Our experienced
instructor will de-mystify Finnish’s uniqueness as well as help you improve your
pronunciation, expand your vocabulary, and learn new conversational skills. A
great way to broaden your knowledge of Finnish culture! Tulkaa oppimaan!
(Come and learn!)
Time: Thursday, 9-11:30 OR 1:00-3:30
Location: Finnish Center, Farmington Hills
Finnish food that looks as good as it tastes. Hyvä ruoka halu. Enjoy your meal.
Learn Finnish food preparation techniques from renowned chef Soile Anderson.
Known for her passion, creativeness and attention to detail, Soile founded Deco
Catering (serving President Obama and the Dalai Lama), the Taste of Scandinavia
Bakeries and the Finnish Bistro restaurant. Her career included creating a
Scandinavian Mid-Summer party for the Martha Stewart Living magazine and
talking about Smorgasbord with Alton Brown on the Food Network. In this class,
Soile will teach how to make Finnish rye bread and piirakka (Karelian pies) and
illustrate the art of food presentation as she makes open-faced sandwiches.
Hands-on experience with the cooking techniques and tastings of the final
products will make this a “not-to-be-missed” experience. Eleanor Ostman, former
food editor for the St. Paul Pioneer Dispatch, and co-author, with Soile, of
Celebrations to Remember, will interview and assist.
All attendees receive a copy of Celebrations to Remember (a $20 value). The class
will be taught on Thursday morning 9:00-11:30 and repeated 2:00-3:30. Each class
is limited to 20 persons.
Time: Thursday, 8:30-4:00
Location: Sheraton Conference Center
What can I learn about my family tree if I look at it from the perspective of
Finland? This year’s Genealogy workshop brings four specialists from Finland to
share new research into the history of ordinary Finnish families and migration.
They will present social and economic history that will go a long way to explain
the “how and the why” of your Finnish family tree. In addition, the new e-service
finding aid, Omat Juuret (my own roots) will be introduced. The day will end with
an opportunity to hear these researchers talk about current Finnish perspectives
on Finnish DNA testing and their results. This seminar should be of interest to
both beginning and advanced students of genealogy.
Presenters will include: Prof. Antti Häkkinen, University of Helsinki; Dr. Tuomas
Martikainen, Migration Institute, Executive Director; Dr. Miika Tenhunen,
Researcher, Migration Institute; TBD, Genealogical Society of Finland.
Location: Sheraton Conference Center in A.M, chartered bus, P.M.
Detroit is known as the center of the US automobile industry. Less known is the
fact that the Detroit metro region forms the second largest Finnish American
population in the US, largely because of the automobile industry. People speak of
the Finnish immigrants working in the mines and the woods, on the docks and in
the quarries, in the steel wire and the textile factories. Little or nothing is said
about the automobile industry and the Finntown that rivaled few others in size,
complexity, and national influence. This seminar will begin to correct that neglect.
The morning will introduce Detroit’s labor history story and consider the Finnish
experience within it. The afternoon will feature a bus tour of Detroit’s factory
locations and labor protest sites, a drive through Finntown, and two stops to
study artworks created in response to labor narratives: the Diego Rivera labor
history murals at the Detroit Institute of Art and “Transcending,” Detroit’s tribute
to labor history.
Presenters will include: Prof. John Beck, Human Resources and labor relations,
Michigan State University, Dave Elsila, Editor, retired, Solidarity, the UAW
monthly, Kae Halonen, Seattle-born, raised in a Finnish American progressive
family, Detroit-area teacher and automobile workers’ wife. Others TBD
Detroit, the home of the renowned Cranbrook Art Museum, formed a link
between Finland and the USA beginning in the mid-1920’s. This year, during
FinnFest USA 2019, the Cranbrook Art Museum is opening their doors on
Sunday, September 22 nd for an exclusive FinnFest USA afternoon at Cranbrook.
The Center will cancel its regular public Sunday tours of Saarinen House and
open the house exclusively to Finn Fest USA participants, using an “Open House”
format. Rather than small guided tours at set times , this format will allow people
to arrive at the house at any time from 1 to 5pm where they would be welcomed
by Center staff who will offer impromptu tours and answer questions as visitors
explore the house.
The Center also will have the Archives Reading Room (which is located within the
Art Museum’s Collections Wing) open and staffed with Finnish archival material
on display. The Art Museum will open its galleries and offer Vault tours (again,
within the Collections Wing) focusing on Finnish-American artists. They will
show the Eero Saarinen PBS film in deSalle Auditorium, two or three times that
This special opportunity will be open to FinnFest USA registrants only. A fee, a
donation to the Art Museum and Center Collections and Archives, will be charged
for this special opportunity.
This will be a“tasting menu” of Finnish food specialties, many featured in “Celebrations to Remember,” a book written by master chef Soile Anderson and food editor Eleanor Ostman. Finland-born Soile will instruct and supervise the caterers to prepare a buffet that proves why she became the leading Minnesota caterer, feeding kings and presidents. Both seatings on September 21 will include a copy of Soile’s book.