Kuhmo is a geographically wide city in Eastern Finland, on the Russian border. The most important economic activity of the city is the forest industry. Kuhmo companies produce wood products for the world, and has pioneered using renewable energy in wood construction.
The base of Kuhmo culture life comes from the folk tradition that was born in this region. Knowledge of the national epic The Kalevala is now overseen by the Juminkeko Foundation.
Kuhmo Chamber Music celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019. It brings the world's top musicians and thousands of the people here yearly. Events include the Folk Music Festival Sommelo and the Joutsentanssi dance festival, which take place in the Kuhmo Arts Center, one of Finland's most active cultural houses.
The literary culture of Kuhmo is strong. The Finnish Library Institute is one of the best in the world, while the Kuhmo City Library offers diverse activities including a number of reading groups and a writer circuit.
Juminkeko is a unique Cultural Center in the field of literature in Finland. Juminkeko also maintains Artist Residence Sinisukka. The Kuhmo Arts Center organizes annual writer visits and literary events.
The Runosong Academy organizes research activities and seminars based on the runosong tradition of The Kalevala.
As a Creative City of Literature, Kuhmo envisages:
– actively engaging all generations into literature by widening the availability of city library
– actively developing literature tourism in Kainuu cities and in Finland in cooperation with other UNESCO Cities of Literature
– initiating a program of introducing school children to the Finnish national epic The Kalevala
– popularizing The Kalevala through visual arts, handicraft, cinema and media from the city's street to the digital world
– enhancing peace in the Middle East by bringing the epic of peace—The Kalevala—to Israel and Palestine.