Kiasma’s activities comprise exhibitions, collections and performance art. Kiasma is much more than just a museum, however. Its programme provokes social debate and offers an opportunity for audiences to engage in dialogue. An active social media presence enables interactive public relations. For example, a “tweetup” – a gathering of people that use Twitter – organised in connection with the Alfredo Jaar exhibition at Kiasma in 2014 reached approximately 157,000 people.
Kiasma collects contemporary art mainly from Finland and neighbouring countries. It also augments the State Art Collection by commissioning new works of art that it then introduces to audiences. Kiasma’s collections policy strengthens its role as a relevant operator in the field of contemporary art. In 2014 the “Kiasma Hits” exhibition presented highlights from the museum’s collections.
Kiasma exists for different audiences. In 2014 Kiasma and the Helsinki City Department of Early Education and Care began a three-year joint project to bring art education to daycare centres and to include it in the city’s early education plan. Local second-graders and their teachers were invited on an art excursion to the Helsinki Music Centre and Kiasma on 22 August 2014. Almost 4,000 children participated in the event, which was organised by Kiasma together with the Helsinki Festival, the Helsinki City Education Department, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture.
Other joint projects included an exhibition of Ars Fennica nominees with the Ars Fennica Art Foundation, the “Kimpassa/Together” exhibition with Marimekko, and the “Vapauden kauhu/Terror of Freedom” project at the Kiasma Theatre with the Touring Stage unit of the Finnish National Theatre.
During the eight months that the museum was open in 2014 before the renovation, Kiasma attracted 147,768 visitors, and its workshops were attended by 10,584 participants, including 6,571 children. Almost 600 children participated in the workshops arranged at local daycare centres in the autumn. Kiasma also attracted 551 media hits in magazines and newspapers, as well as on television and radio. At the end of the year Kiasma had 20,197 followers on Facebook, 6,644 followers on Twitter and 711 followers on Instagram.