The Sejong Center for the Performing Arts plans to become an artistic landmark of Seoul in 2019 by improving the center’s environment and offering diverse quality performances.
The arts center, affiliated with the Seoul Metropolitan Government, presented its plan for 2019 at a press event held at the center in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul, on Wednesday.
The Sejong Center for the Performing Arts CEO Kim Sung-kyu speaks during a press conference at the center in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul, Wednesday. (The Sejong Center for the Performing Arts)
“The arts center is a symbolic cultural space of Korea. For the past 40 years, the center has been playing a central role in the arts industry. We thought about how to maintain and develop the center’s role,” the center’s CEO Kim Sung-kyu, who was appointed last September, said at the event.
According to Kim’s announcement, the art center aims to become a “querencia” for the people of Seoul. The Spanish word, which translates into “a safe place” in English, indicates that the center hopes to be a place where people can rest.
Explaining the goal, Kim mentioned the policy of “emotional safety” -- to be a psychologically safe harbor for the people. In line with the policy, a task force will make the venue a barrier-free zone for people with disabilities by 2020.
Kim also stressed the importance of financial independence. As of now, the center’s financial self-reliability is 37 percent. To strengthen its financial independence, the center will hire experts while integrating the funding system.
“At the moment, the funding for performances is carried out separately, receiving sponsorship from firms for each project. It has not been systemized,” Kim said. “The amount of money is not important. What matters is that someone after me can use the system to achieve big results.”
During the event, the center also went into details of the 2019 Sejong Season, sharing its performance schedule for this year. From 2016, the center has adopted the season system, scheduling the whole year’s program from March this year to February next year.
The system allows visitors to make yearlong plans and efficiently choose which performances to attend. As for the center, related departments can plan programs in advance and be well-prepared. According to the center, around 5,400 package tickets were sold last year, recording a growth rate of 10 percent.
In addition, the center, located at the heart of Seoul, will create more rest spaces, inviting people to visit even when performances are not on. The third and fourth floors of the Grand Theater will be accessible to the public in the day, transforming into a rest area. The Green Room, a rest space for the public, artists, organizers and the center’s employees, will be created, too.
For more information on the program schedule of the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts this year, visit the center’s English website at www.sejongpac.or.kr/eng.
By Im Eun-byel (email@example.com