Arts Education News | May 2014 - International
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Government extends culture, arts education for all

Korea’s Orchestra of Dreams performing with the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra of Caracas

By Yoon Sojung, Staff Writer
Feb 28, 2014

KOREA – The government of South Korea has announced plans to expand the range of culture and arts education across all age groups, from toddlers to the elderly. More opportunities to access the arts will also be offered to groups which have less access to culture and art experiences, including people with disabilities, multicultural families, North Korean defectors and active military personnel. Finally, the government will also increase the number of centers where Korea’s Orchestra of Dreams performs, increasing them to 50 by 2017. The Orchestra of Dreams is similar to Venezuela’s El Sistema; it’s a musical movement to help at-risk youth.

Director General of the Arts Policy Bureau Kim TaehoonThe Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) announced its long-term development plans for culture and arts education in February. The plan contains three main strategies to make culture and the arts part of people’s daily routine. It aims at enriching the cultural content of people’s lives in order to help them enjoy more communication, sympathy and share happiness. The plan also sets forth eight core tasks and detailed action items for each of them. These action items include supporting arts education according to one’s age, setting up regional-based programs and fostering specialized art education-focused human resources in order to revitalize culture and the arts.

The government also plans to expand the number of local centers where Korea’s Orchestra of Dreams performs. There were 19 centers in 2012 and the ministry hopes to increase that to 50 by 2017. The culture ministry will also foster small-sized local orchestras so that youth in smaller cities will have more access to culture and the arts.

The ministry will also send an increased number of arts education teachers to seniors' centers across the country. By 2017, it will provide an arts education to 40 organizations that participate in culture and arts festivals for the elderly, dubbed Cheongchunje.

Furthermore, under the plan, a weekend “culture school,” the Kkumdarak Saturday Cultural School (unofficial translation), will be launched at 1,000 cultural facilities across the country. By 2017, the ministry will also make available the “Art flower seed school” (unofficial translation) arts education program at up to 100 elementary schools in farming and fishing villages.

Under the plan, unused school buildings or industrial facilities in rural areas will become culture and arts education venues. By 2017, the ministry will transform ten shut-down schools or factory buildings into art experience camps, to be used on weekends or vacations and targeted at children and youth. It will also run art education centers for children at local community centers so that grass-roots art education can take place, emulating the Annantalo Arts Centers found in Finland.

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