Oulu Urban Culture ry executed the EU-funded Urban Boost project from September 1, 2019, to December 31, 2021. The project innovatively promoted the employment and participation of young adults, as well as the possibilities for urban culture production in the Oulu region. The European Social Fund (ESF) project was funded by the North Ostrobothnia Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, the City of Oulu, and the North Ostrobothnia Cultural Fund.
The Urban Boost project enhanced the study and project skills of Oulu residents aged 18–29 interested in creative fields, preparing them for self-initiated artistic and cultural activities. Participants were given opportunities to concretely influence the urban culture of their place of residence.
The main activities of the project included cultural workshop activities and the development of a low-threshold cultural space, Kulttuurilaboratorio, designed specifically for young people to use. In total, four urban producer training sessions and open workshops were organized. The training provided participants with an overview of cultural production and of the local cultural scene, as well as the opportunity to pilot and implement their own visions of Oulu's urban culture.
You can read the final report of the project here (pdf). Note that the report is only available in Finnish.
Urban Boost -hanketiimi:
Heikki Myllylahti, Project Manager
Krista Rekilä, Project Worker
Elina Hänninen, Communications Coordinator
What happened after the project?
The producer training within the Urban Boost project gave rise to numerous cultural projects, some of which have continued to exist as independent events and associations.
The idea of a floating event platform, Kelluva Lava (Floating Stage in English), emerged in the cultural workshop. Initially, Kelluva Lava events were carried out under Oulu Urban Culture ry, but in 2022, the team continued its operations as an independent working group and later as its own association, Kelluva ry.
The multidisciplinary event Offroad Artfest and the Pahan mielen runoilta took place for the first time in 2021 as part of our coaching activities. These events have since become integrated into Oulu's urban culture as independent projects by their creators.
The project's open workshops also trained new DJ talents, many of whom now perform in Oulu and elsewhere in Finland. The cultural space, Kulttuurilaboratorio, is still active in Pikisaari.