Committee sets out plans for cultural expansion

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Committee sets out plans for cultural expansion

The government pledged yesterday to increase support for culture and the arts, with plans to introduce discounts on admission to galleries, museums and musical performances, while also expanding liberal arts programs in schools.

The Presidential Committee for Cultural Enrichment announced the pledges after a second round of meetings between the committee’s chairman, Kim Dong ho, President Park Geun-hye and Culture Minister Yoo Jin-ryong, among others.

The government hopes to enrich Koreans’ lives through culture and the arts by improving access to museums, galleries and musical performances. It also plans to redefine Hallyu, or the Korean Wave, a term used to describe the rise in popularity of K-pop and Korean soap operas abroad.

The committee said it set eight tasks that “reflect [the committee’s] conviction to realize the enrichment of culture through policies that go from bottom to up, and are close to people’s lives,” the Blue House said in a statement.

Kim explained that a “bottom up” approach would be central to the plans, as the government wants Koreans at every level in society to have improved access to culture and the arts.

The committee, launched in July by President Park, is tasked with setting up culture-related policies. The group has been gathering opinions about its plans, and yesterday’s meeting marked the first briefing to the president since its inception.

The government will also strengthen music, arts, drama and dance curriculums at schools and take steps to create more jobs for the artists.

The committee said in order to bring culture - traditional or otherwise - closer to people’s everyday lives, it plans to designate every last Friday of the month “Culture Day,” where the public can gain admission to palaces, museums and galleries free of charge.

Kim said that the committee was also interested in redefining the concept behind Hallyu. “I don’t like the concept, Hallyu, [or wave] because a wave is something that declines in the end,” he said. “We will form a special committee and try to figure out [what Korean values really are].”

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