We promote the culture, knowledge, and history of Finland.
The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter seeks to promote Finnish culture and traditions for anyone interested in Finland or Finnish-American heritage. We sponsor several cultural programs each year including appearances by the Finlandia Foundation’s Performer of the Year and Lecturer of the Year; concerts by visiting Finns or Finnish-Americans; symphony performances when a Finnish artist is featured; an annual picnic get together; and Pikkujoulu, a traditional Finnish pre-Christmas celebration with Santa Lucia processional and arrival of Joulupukki (Santa Claus). The venue for most events is the First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto Fellowship Hall. Join us for upcoming programs listed in the Events section.
Our Chapter publishes a periodic newsletter mailed or emailed to members. We invite you to become a member and help support our goals of keeping strong the cultural ties between the United States and Finland. Explore these pages and join us at our events. Contact us regarding membership. We are a tax-exempt 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Membership and donations to the Chapter are tax-exempt.
Whether you are someone who has moved to this country only recently, or whether it was your great grandmother who immigrated to the United States, our mission is to keep Finnish-Americans connected to their Finnishness and to each other and to inform the larger American community about Finland, its culture, its history and traditions. We also want to shine a light on what Finland contributes to the world today through its contemporary culture, its innovations in business, education and technology. And, we want to enable our members to get together, socialize, network, speak the language, and have fun!
We are one of 50 national chapters under our umbrella organization, the Finlandia Foundation National based in Pasadena, California. Founded originally as the Palo Alto-Stanford Chapter and closely associated with the university and its faculty at the time of its founding in 1956, we are one of the oldest chapters in the country. A few years ago, our chapter changed its name to reflect its broader Bay Area reach.
Chapter Board of Directors
Hertta Bethell, Co-President • Paula Salomaa, Co-President • Sirpa Aggarwal • Hanna Artman • Johanna Holopainen • Katja Kotala • Heidi Saario • Thuong Tan • Anu Vaalas • Salla Vaerma-Jadlos • Anu Valtanen