The Seoul Metropolitan Government will be starting the “Performance Revival Project” to support the arts and culture scene suffering from stagnation due to COVID-19. Following the support in the form of KRW 6.5 billion for 860 creative works of artists in April, the SMG will be investing additional KRW 5 billion to offer support of up to KRW 10 million for performance production costs, including personnel expenses, to about 500 art and culture groups and agencies.
The Performance Revival Project directly supports the arts and culture companies and agencies that have been struck by COVID-19 due to the cancellation of performances and closing of theaters. The funds they will receive should be spent for performance production, and over 50% of the support fund has to be executed as direct personnel expenses to create jobs for actors, actresses, and staff who lost their jobs due to performance cancellations.
Until now, the SMG has invested KRW 6.5 billion to support those working in the arts and culture world as they suffer from economic difficulties after the closing of cultural facilities and cancellation of art events and performances due to COVID-19. The SMG is pursuing practically helpful ways of support by customizing funds in each sector, including creative activities in different genres, art education, arts and culture planning, and personnel support for the arts and culture scene.
The performance and art scene is one of the domains that has been seriously struck by COVID-19. According to the Korea Performing arts box office Information System 2020, sales in the culture and art scene were at a total of KRW 40 billion in January but plummeted to KRW 3.6 billion by the end of April. According to the Survey on the Performing Arts 2019 (published by the Ministry Culture, Sports and Tourism), private art and culture agencies and companies are hiring ten workers on average, among which the number of full-time employees is only about one. This means about 90% are working part-time as freelancers and are having a hard time making a living with the drop in the sales in the arts and culture world.
The SMG will be offering support in the form of up to KRW 10 million to approximately 500 arts and culture companies and agencies to create jobs for artists and enable citizens to enjoy high-quality performances based on support for the scene facing the crises of shut down and unemployment.