Esa is the producer of SISU is in the Heart: A Play for Lapua and cultural director of Vanha Paukku Cultural Centre. He is also the person responsible for making the production possible in Finland!
I was intially introduced to Esa through Antti Ojala, whose artwork is part of the permenant collection at the Lapua Art Museum. Esa agreed to set up the first story circles in Lapua with a groups of local teenagers and older adults and quickly thereafter offered to come on board as the producer and for the Cultural Centre to act as the lead community partner for the project.
Last October, Esa travled to Fairport Harbor, Ohio to attend the U.S. premiere and to observe the production process in anticipation of bringing the production to Lapua, and to establish a connection with the Finnish Heritage Museum. He even lent a hand with props and made an authentic vihta (a bough of birch leaves used to stimulate the skin) to use in the sauna scene that started Act Two.
I have already learned so much from Esa and I am looking forward to the work we have together in the next couple of weeks. Please take a moment to read a little more below.
I know there are relatives from my mother´s side in the US because we have photos of them in our family photo book. Unfortunately, I don´t know anything about them. Though I´d like to.
What is your favorite family tradition?
My favorite tradition is at Christmas time when the family gathers together. We perform an old children's play called the Wolf's Circle with my sons and grandaughters.
What does SISU mean to you?
It is like the last drop of Maxwell House coffee!
During the years he has made initiatives for art venues and projects, produced and organized art exhibitions and events of all kind. 10 years Esa has been music producer for Vanha Paukku Music Festival. He has created networks regionally and internationally especially with Co.Louth, Ireland as well as with Strangford Loch area in Nortnern Ireland. He has been responsible for several cultural projects financed by Europen Union Leader Programme. SISU is in the Heart will be the last production he is involved due his retirement in Autumn 2016.
About VanHa Paukku Cultural Centre
Read more at: http://www.vanhapaukku.fi/etusivu
History - From a Cartridge Factory into a Cultural Centre
The State Cartridge Factory was established in 1923 in order to ensure the national security of the newly-independent country. Not long after that the factory was put to a real test: during World War II, it played a significant role in the Finnish military operations as it made sure Finnish soldiers were never short of rifle cartridges. Tragedy struck in the morning of the 13th of April 1976 when an explosion in the loading department took the lives of 40 factory employees. After this national tragedy the factory operations were gradually moved away from the town centre. Today, Vanha Paukku is a versatile cultural centre that serves as a lounge area for locals and an enticing attraction for tourists. The events, businesses and boutiques at the cultural centre all come together and create a truly magnificent combination of culture, arts and crafts, experiences and – life.