A natural meeting place

In 2017, when Helgeland Museum decided to move its headquarters and main collections from the Old Museum Building in the town centre of Mo i Rana, numerous creative souls were inspired to repurpose the building for the region’s thriving cultural life. Commercial interests had a competing vision: they wanted to demolish the building and build condominiums. Many cultural organisations in Mo i Rana instead proposed putting the building to good use, just the way it was.

The Old Museum is an iconic building, an architectural gem that stands in the heart of Mo i Rana. Cultural organisations envisioned joining forces and nurturing a symbiosis that would also create new jobs within the cultural sector. There was a firm belief in the potential of a regional, national and international network. Those pushing this idea included Skrova Lighthouse in Lofoten), The Artic Hideaway, Myken Distillery, Oslo Media House, Nordic Food (NOFO), and the international Valrygg Architects, which had offices in Copenhagen, Berlin and New York. Their inspired vision was not linked just to the building itself, but was driven by a strong desire to create more jobs within the cultural sector, as well as jobs in teaching, consulting and tourism.

Although Northern Norway has relatively few people with specialised educations, we have many highly skilled people in just about every industry. Because some of these groups are relatively small – be it within music, the theatre and visual arts, design, consulting and marketing, education and other culturally related sectors – it is vital that we find strength by joining forces.

We have shared values: courage and a can-do attitude, as well as pride in our heritage and a deep appreciation for the beauty of our region. What could be more natural than to foster art, music and other cultural expressions rooted in this?

Through creative exchange and close cooperation, we believe new ideas and concepts can be inspired, and that new jobs and new companies will be created.

To achieve this, it is imperative that our arena be attractive to young people, to entrepreneurs and to start-ups.

The creative interaction that is ongoing will enable us to realize our vision:

“PARK 22 shall be an attractive destination for culture, creative industries and tourism.”