Headshot of Kaisa-Leena Stucke

Kaisa-Leena Stucke

Kaisa-Leena Stucke was born in Tartu, Estonia, at 58˚ north latitude. At 58˚ north, the sun refuses to set on summer solstice and refuses to rise on winter’s darkest day. Estonia’s concepts of beauty show a deep respect for the power of nature and the soul of everything.

Kaisa’s belief in equity, social justice, free speech, and enfranchisement are rooted in her native language and culture, and in her personal experience. Kaisa spent her childhood under Soviet occupation. She shared a bedroom with her sister and grandmother in a small family apartment in a Soviet-style housing block. That said, hers was a home filled with her parents’ love and care despite the challenges of living during these times.

During this same childhood, she felt so much hope when Estonia peacefully freed itself from the USSR through the Singing Revolution. She saw the joy it gave her parents to dream and strive when freedom and opportunity opened for the first time in their lives. Today, the Estonian people’s yearning for freedom and for a nation sits deeply in her heart. Kaisa witnessed first-hand this struggle for political enfranchisement and social justice.

She also learned the strength of women through Estonian culture and her own family. For example, the Estonian language has no gender distinction; it uses the same pronoun for men and women. The language treats them as grammatical equals.

As a child, Kaisa was never told she couldn’t do something because she was a girl, a perspective embraced by Estonians (who have had both a female president and prime minister in their short history of independence). And the Estonian island of Kihnu is Europe’s last matriarchy.

Estonia’s cultural legacy of struggle, defiance, quiet strength, gender equality, and determination helped motivate her to found 1419 Art in her adopted country. She hopes others in and supporting the many important immigrant communities in the United States reach out to support 1419 Art’s mission.

As the prior paragraph admits, Kaisa immigrated to the United States. She took her Oath of Allegiance to became a free citizen under the ministry of Senator John Danforth at the Old Courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri – the very same courthouse where the infamous Dred Scott case was heard in the west wing and the last slave auction took place in 1861. She felt the weight of America’s history in that moment, along with her pride in being part of its future.

Kaisa earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania, studied art at the Tartu Lastekunstikool in Tartu, Estonia, and studied architecture at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, England. She is currently a member of the St. Louis Women in Investment Network, which promotes female participation and advancement within the investment industry.