From 2010 to 2012, the Korean Arts Management Service (KAMS) and Dance Info Finland (DIF) undertook a pioneering initiative - the Korea-Finland Connection. Its focal point was the belief that international artistic collaborations arise best from intensive preliminary research, through meeting potential partners, gaining a deeper understanding of professional and cultural contexts and the markets for their work.
A belief that an ‘incubation period’ was essential for the development of genuine and enduring international collaboration projects was at the heart of the programme’s structure. The Korea-Finland Connection proposed that institutional partnerships (between national arts councils or cultural agencies) can provide a supportive framework of opportunities for this research, learning and mutual understanding to develop.
The three year programme took place in parallel with international performing arts markets that facilitate buying, selling and touring. It worked alongside international performing arts networks that provide multilateral information, knowledge, contacts and skill transfers. It also built links with regional showcases and other contexts for networking and developing international connections.
The Korea-Finland Connection was the first in what has become a prolific series of international partnerships between KAMS and other countries, to date involving six countries for the performing arts and recently launched with three countries in the visual arts. In Finland, it followed a three year dance residency and exchange programme with Japan and has influenced the development of a new dance partnership programme between Finland with Australia.