Seoul hosts int’l arts education meeting

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Seoul hosts int’l arts education meeting

Government ministers, cultural policy makers, education experts, artists and NGO officials will convene in Seoul to participate in the Second World Conference on Arts Education from May 25 to May 28 at COEX, Samseong-dong, Seoul. The event is hosted by the Korean branch of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The international arts education conference, called “Arts for Society, Education for Creativity,” is the first of its kind to be held in Asia. It is modeled after a similar arts education conference that was held in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2006.

The Seoul conference is expected to attract over 2,000 participants from 193 countries. Some of the distinguished international guests include Michele and Robert Root-Bernstein, co-authors of “Sparks of Genius: The Thirteen Thinking Tools of the World’s Most Creative People” and Irina Bokova, the first woman director general of Unesco.

Participants will share strategies for arts education practices in order to identify common goals for the field.

The conference offers five keynote speeches, three panel discussions and 25 workshops in the areas of the economy, environment, social integration, peace, science and society. Workshops will be presented under three themes: “Arts education in and out of school,” “Creativity in arts education” and “Digital media, popular culture and arts education.”

On May 25, there will be a collaborative performance by the New York Philharmonic Education Section and Korean children from low-income families, as an example of what music education can do.

On the last day of conference, May 28, scholars, experts and government arts education policy makers will issue a declaration on the future of arts education in Korea based on the agreements they have reached during the conference.

Lee O-young, a former culture minister and senior adviser to the JoongAng Ilbo, who currently heads the 2010 Organizing Committee of the Unesco World Conference on Arts Education, said that the conference will help raise Korea’s international profile.

“It’s hard to solve hotly-debated current issues with an educational system that has its roots in the mass production and manufacturing industry,” Lee said. “This conference will focus on finding ways to effectively draw out each person’s hidden potential in the realm of arts education.”

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By Kim Mi-ju, Park Jeong-ho []
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