Establishment of Artica Svalbard Foundation

The Ministry of Culture, the Fritt Ord Foundation and Sparebank1 Nord-Norge’s Cultural Business Development Foundation are joining forces to establish a new foundation with a mandate to promote artistic and cultural activity on Svalbard – the Artica Svalbard Foundation.

Minister of Culture Linda Hofstad Helleland, Marit Reutz, Board chair of the Cultural Business Development Foundation and Knut Olav Åmås, Director of the Fritt Ord Foundation.
From the left: Minister of Culture Linda Hofstad Helleland, Marit Reutz, Board chair of the Cultural Business Development Foundation and Knut Olav Åmås, Director of the Fritt Ord Foundation. Credit: Ketil Frøland/Ministry of Culture

The Artica Svalbard Foundation will have several objectives:

  • To develop the arts and culture in Norway by enabling artists from all genres to create and communicate art.
  • To strengthen cultural and creative industries on Svalbard, and generally to increase interest in Svalbard as a destination.
  • To adopt an international and Arctic orientation, and to arrange public events to raise the profile of the High North and promote discussion of its importance.

“I hope that cultural workers and artists from all fields will take inspiration from Svalbard’s unique nature. Together with our co-founders from the private sector, we hope to boost international interest in Svalbard and the High North, and to support the development of the arts in Norway,” says Minister of Culture Linda Hofstad Helleland.

“Svalbard is an important focus area for the Cultural Business Development Foundation. We believe that the new foundation will stimulate vital business development and put Svalbard on the global map in entirely new fields,” says Board Chair Marit Reutz.

“The Fritt Ord Foundation looks forward to supporting exciting projects and activities on Svalbard, not only in artistic fields but also in the context of a critical, knowledge-based discussion of High North development from a broader climate and political perspective,” says Fritt Ord Foundation Director Knut Olav Åmås.

The Ministry of Culture’s budget for 2017 includes an allocation of NOK 2.5 million to secure the operation and administration of the new foundation. The co-founders – the Fritt Ord Foundation and the Cultural Business Development Foundation – will provide additional operational funding of NOK 3 million each over three years, as will the Savings Bank Foundation DNB.

The board of the Artica Svalbard Foundation will be composed of the following persons:

  • Jan-Frode Janson (board chair)
  • Anne Katrine Dolven
  • Marit Anne Hauan
  • Kjetil Trædal Thorsen
  • Moa Björnson (attending substitute board member) 

Presentation of the board members

Jan-Frode Janson (born 1969) from Trondheim is an economist, and has been CEO of SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge since 2013.

A K (Anne Katrine) Dolven (born 1953) is a multi-medium artist residing in Lofoten. Her work has been widely exhibited, and been purchased by many important institutions, including the Stormen cultural centre in Bodø.

Marit Anne Hauan (born 1955) is the director of Tromsø Museum and a researcher at the University of Tromsø. Her publications include numerous articles and a book on Svalbard’s miners. She has also edited various periodicals and the two-volume work Nordnorsk kulturhistorie (Cultural History of Northern Norway), which received the Brage Prize.

Kjetil Trædal Thorsen (born 1958) from Karmøy is an architect and co-founder of the Snøhetta architecture firm.

Moa Björnson (born 1985) works with projects and processes in the community and business sectors, focusing on cultural industry, innovation and community development in a Nordic perspective. She has been head of development in Træna Municipality, Nordland County, since 2015.