Folk Art Centre and Kalliopaviljonki (cliff pavilion)

Jyväskyläntie 3 Kaustinen


The Folk Art Centre from 1997 is a cultural, concert and meeting house where folk music and folk art are presented in a variety of ways. The centre provides premises for a folk music research, education and information organisation called the Folk Music Institute and for Pro Kaustinen ry, which organises the Folk Music Festival. The collections of the Museum of Traditional Folk Instruments (Suomen kansansoitinmuseo) feature about 1,000 instruments, and the permanent exhibition presents the living music tradition of Kaustinen and Perhonjoki river valley. On the ground floor, you will find the Dallmeier collection of Central European folk art and the world’s biggest (about seven metres long) kantele built by Kimmo Sarja. The Folk Art Centre’s shop offers, for example, a uniquely large selection of folk music recordings and sheet music. The yard of the building features works of outsider art and environmental art.


The Kaustinen Hall in the Folk Art Centre is built inside a rock. It seats 350 people and provides concerts, films and other cultural events as well as meetings. The building comprises a total of 3,600 square metres.


The Folk Art Centre as such is a significant architectural destination that combines stone, wood and great design in a fascinating way. It was designed by the architect Rainer Mahlamäki, who has also designed other well-known and recognised buildings, including the Finnish Forest Museum Lusto in Punkaharju, the Finnish Nature Centre Haltia in Espoo, Maritime Centre Vellamo in Kotka, and the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.


In the early 1900s, the cliffs in Kaustinen were still places where young people used to gather in the summer for circle dancing and burning Midsummer bonfires. The Kaustinen Youth Association purchased a plot on the Finninkallio cliff and built the first pavilion there in 1954, using the logs from an old drying barn at the Puhkio farm. After a couple of years, this pavilion received walls and a roof and was given the name Kalliopaviljonki. For the first Kaustinen Folk Music Festival, an auditorium wing was added to the pavilion. The old cliff pavilion was replaced by a new one designed by the architect Tilus, and it was inaugurated in 1970. The building has thereafter been refurbished in various ways. The century-old circle dance tradition on the cliffs continues – today the building serves as a dance hall where the Kaustinen Youth Association’s Ottoset folk dance groups have their rehearsals. For example, the potpourri dance, an essential part of the music tradition of Kaustinen, is rehearsed here. Different events ranging from dances to family occasions are also organised at the Kalliopaviljonki.