Performer of the Year

Through August 31, 2018 – Pirjo Polari-Khan

Children ages seven and up are the key audience for Finlandia Foundation National’s Performer of the Year (POY), Pirjo Polari-Kahn of San Jose, California. She is an entertaining storyteller who will share her poetry, songs and humor with the young and young at heart at FFN chapters across the U.S.

Her program is based on Etiquette Village—Book of Manners, Wisdom, and Poetry for Children. This soon-to-be-published book, written and illustrated by Pirjo, introduces children to characters who entertain as they provide lessons in life.

Recalling the “campfire” atmosphere of villagers gathering together, Pirjo will talk briefly about the Kalevala and the importance of poetry then and now.

Pirjo, a native of Seinäjoki, Finland, weaves themes of Finnish culture, history and richness of the language into her presentation. She hopes to encourage Finnish and Finnish-American audiences toward greater interest in their heritage and culture. During Finland 100, she will engage children in what it means to live in an independent country.


Since the POY program’s founding in 1996 the artists selected—with the exception of one comedic lecturer—have been musicians. This is the first time FFN has chosen a POY program designed to engage children.

POY appearances may be scheduled between September 1, 2017 and August 31, 2018, with travel expenses supported by FFN. Local transportation and lodging arrangements and POY honorarium are the responsibility of the host chapter.

Click here for the Pirjo Polari-Khan POY brochure.

Contact POY Coordinator Betsey Norgard at norgard @ with questions and for booking information.


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