Korea’s performing arts groups head to Jeju for networking : Haevichi Arts Festival brings together art centers and acts they can book
The 11th edition of the Haevichi Arts Festival kicked off on Monday, gathering some 2,000 people from the performing arts world. It’s called a festival, but the annual event is also a networking platform for Korea’s performing arts centers and groups organized by the Korean Cultural & Arts Centers Association, an affiliate of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. One of the main features of the festival is the Art Market, where booths are set up by performing arts groups of diverse genres, each promoting their repertoires to officials of art centers looking for acts to fill their annual calendars.
Roh Jae-cheon, CEO of the Gangdong Arts Center, said he vacationed at the Haevichi Hotel & Resort with his family in April and came back this week for the festival.
Starting this year, the Gangdong Arts Center in eastern Seoul will have a weekly gugak matinee at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays.
There are more than 1,000 performing arts groups in Korea, and among them, 180 groups set up booths at the festival, which is 30 more than last year.
“Due to space limitations, we can’t accept all groups that apply,” said Lee Jong-hyun a spokesperson for the Korean Cultural & Arts Centers Association. “It’s a first-come-first-served system. We usually open up applications in January, and this year, the spaces filled up within an hour.”
“As we are a small center located far from Seoul, it’s difficult to meet people and gather information about performing arts groups,” said an official from the Chilgok County Education and Culture Center in North Gyeongsang. “It’s good to see them face to face and hear what their work is about in person, as well as to see some great performances.”
On Tuesday, roundtable sessions were organized for different regions so that performing groups can take turns introducing themselves to art centers in regions they are interested in. Symposiums and discussion sessions on how to collaborate were also held as part of the festival.
The festival ends today, but a fringe festival will continue to be held throughout Jeju until Sunday. Visit www.jhaf.or.kr for more information.
BY YIM SEUNG-HYE [firstname.lastname@example.org]