Company"s Support of Culture Decreases SharplyCompanies' financial support for culture has decreased rapidly since the IMF bailout. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MOCT) revealed, October 26, at the National Assembly's audit of government operations that Korean companies' support to the cultural sector dropped by 10% to 64.3 billion won in the first half of 1998.
In the music sector, support in the first half of this year was just 1.9 billion won whereas that in the whole year of 1997 was 23.5 billion won. The support for fine arts was 7.5 billion won compared to 31.9 billion won in 1997. Cuts in financial support have been severe in the movie world as well. There was 23.7 billion won worth of support in 1997 but no aid was offered yet this year.
Sponsorship for the arts have taken a back seat to business concerns. Companies are concentrating on their internal problems including restructuring moves. They have little room to maneuver due to overwhelming debt and as a result their last concern is to promote cultural events. As a result, the number of performances including operas dropped largely and all kinds of cultural activities were either dropped or in a state of limbo.