3.4.4 Direct professional co-operation
Professional cultural co-operation has at least four different levels:
The "indirect" government-mediated, and often also government financed co-operation, is described in chapters 3.4.1 to 3.4.3. The membership of the municipalities to European associations and the links of the main cities to European city networks were also indicated in chapter 3.4.2. Also of interest here is the extensive cross-country project activities carried out by regional councils, municipalities and voluntary associations within the framework of the EU INTERREG-Programmes. For example the Vyborg-centre project was originally financed within the framework of INTERREG III A, South-East Finland-Russia Programme. The organisation responsible for the project was Karjalanliitto (Karelia Association), which aims at reviving the relations with the part of Finland acceded to the Soviet Union in the Paris Peace Treaty. Together with the City of Vyborg (Finnish: Viipuri), the Karelia Association established and still maintains an information, cultural and development centre in Vyborg to preserve the city's Finnish heritage and to serve cultural tourists from Finland and other EU countries.
All Finnish national cultural and art associations have their own "cultural diplomacy", that is, co-operative relations either bi-laterally with other national associations or international umbrella organisations. Thus, the Finnish library associations (the Finnish Library Association, the Finnish Research Library Association and the Finnish-Swedish Library Association) have close professional co-operation with the library associations in the Nordic Countries and the other countries of the Baltic Sea Region and all are also members of IFLA, the International Library Federation. Another example is the Arts Council of Finland, with similar transnational neighbourhood relations and membership of IFACCA, the International Federation of Arts Councils and Cultural Agencies and Ars Baltica-network.
All Finnish national cultural and art institutions have well-established transnational relations with corresponding institutions abroad. Instead of traditional touring abroad, these relations are increasingly oriented to more practical joint production projects and "swapping" of production resources.
Informal networks of international relations are important for the careers of artists and cultural professionals. They can, however, also be based around "schools", generations or movements, which extend across national borders. One example is the Finnish "Korvat auki"- ("Open Ears"-) generation, whose members were students at the Sibelius-Academy and have, since 1977, revived Finnish music and established an extensive international network. Well-known members of this generation are Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kaija Saariaho and Magnus Lindberg. Another is example is The Helsinki School of photographers, whose members have studied or are studying photographic arts at the University of Art and Design (from 2010 onwards Aalto University, School of Art and Design)..