The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Woo Yeon
Ms. Woo Yeon
Born 1971. After entering the Korean Literature Dept. of Sookmyung Women's University, Ms. Woo encountered the performing arts through the theater club and writing plays. After graduation she became involved in private-sector company management for ChangMu dance company, Modl Theatre company and so on before starting a production company for festival planning for ASSITEJI International Festival, the ChangMu International Arts Festival and other international festivals. Until 2005 she was director of the planning dept. of the SIDance program of the CID-UNESCO Korea Chapter, where she was involved in the planning and programming numerous international dance festivals such as the “2005 Korea-Japan Butoh Festival & Contemporary Dance Festival,” the “Digital Dance Festival” and the “British Council Forward Motion Korea Exhibition.” In 2006, working as a producer at the public Seoul Performing Arts Company she learned about management of public arts companies while planning productions of musicals and total theater and promoting overseas performance tours. Since 2007, Ms. Woo has headed the International Exchange Dept. of the Korean Arts Management Service (KAMS), a branch organization of South Korea’s Ministry of Culture Sports and Tourism. There she is active as representative in charge of programs for expanding the activities of Koran artists into overseas markets though the Performing Arts Market in Seoul (PAMS) and other programs and strategic international exchange programs.

Korea Arts Management Service (KAMS)
Arts Organization of the Month
See also “Art Organization of the Month” (Korean Arts Management Service)
Presenter Interview
Serving as the “control tower” for the international outflow of Korean culture, Korea Arts Management Service (KAMS) 
Serving as the “control tower” for the international outflow of Korean culture, Korea Arts Management Service (KAMS) 
Established in January 2006, the Korea Arts Management Service (KAMS) is now in its fifth year since being established as a branch organization of South Korea’s Ministry of Culture Sports and Tourism for support of arts management. With national policy now focusing on the development and nurturing of arts/culture contents and overseas expansion of activities by Korean artist groups, KAMS is playing an increasingly important role in these efforts. KAMS’s International Exchange Dept. serves as a “control tower” for this international expansion of Korean performing arts. We spoke with this department’s director, Ms. Woo Yeon, about the results of these past five years and the outlook for the future.
(Interview: Noriko Kimura)

We had the opportunity to talk with the previous KAMS’ director, Mr. Lee Gyu-Seog, shortly after the Center began operations. At that time we got the impression that international exchange and overseas expansion of activities for Korean artists through PAMS (Performing Arts Market in Seoul) was the Center’s main function. In the five year since, it appears that the Center’s organization and scope of activities has grown considerably to the point where you are now major organization in this field of engagement overseas.
I began working in KAMS’ International Exchange Dept. from 2007, but since 2005, working through PAMS to increase recognition of our Center among overseas professionals in the performing arts world and promoting Korean performing arts, both inbound and outbound, was a major aim of the International Exchange Dept. After that, in addition to PAMS, we launched two projects in 2006, a research project for the management of Gwangju Han City of Asian Culture and a project to support participation at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Then, in 2007 we launched a program for supporting overseas expansion by Korean artists. In 2008 we began developing overseas bases for our activities and worked to encourage expansion into foreign markets for Korean traditional performance arts, and commemorating the Beijing Olympics, we launched a Korea-China Cultural Exchange program. In 2009 we established a Support for Korean Traditional Performing Arts’ Overseas Expansion program and began a new program to develop an international exchange information database. In these ways, we have been expanding our activities with broad-ranging perspectives.
 Looking at KAMS as a whole, compared to the full-time staff of eight that we began with, we now have 40 fulltime staff and our budget from the national government has tripled. So, you can see that both the volume and scope of our activities has expanded greatly in just five years.

I would like to go on to ask you some basic facts about your organization. What is the official role of KAMS and what is its positioning within the nation’s government agencies?
I believe that KAMS is and organization that always stands as a bridge between government and the creators, between the creators and the distribution network and market and between the distribution network and market and the audience. By providing organic connections between the various dimensions of the performing arts world, we are trying to activate the management of the various arts organizations and increase their capacity for sustainable growth. In order to do this, we are pursuing programs and support activities in the four main areas of International Exchange, Human Resources, Evaluation and R&D, and Education & Consulting.
 Organizationally, we are a branch organization of the Ministry of Culture Sports and Tourism. Since 2000, fostering the development of arts and culture contents and their expansion into foreign markers has been an important pillar of South Korea’s culture policy, which gives KAMS an important role and places high expectations on us.

It is clear that the scope of KAMS’ activities is broad. What is the organizational structure of KAMS and what are the roles of the various departments?
Structurally, KAMS has a Board of Directors, under which is the President (permanent director) and three departments. One is the Planning & Administration Dept., which is in charge of the administrative aspects, including human resources, education and accounting. Another department is the R&D, Consulting Dept. Its main functions are running an evaluation center for arts organizations and arts companies, providing consulting services in the field of arts organization management, including practical areas such as taxes and accounting, human resources development in the areas of production and management (Culture & Arts Planning/Management Academy), researching and archiving information in the areas of arts markets and management and making that information available (publishing an Arts Management journal “weekly@Arts Management”), researching actual performing and visual arts and operating a database, evaluating nationally funded performing and visual arts programs and operating and evaluating the Korean Cultural Society.
 Particularly important is the fact that South Korea still has a lack of professionals in the arts management field and developing human resources in this field is a pressing issue. To answer this need, we provide an educational program involving the training of about 100 people interested in becoming arts management professionals, including arts management majors, people with over one year’s experience in the field or interns, and we place them at public and private sector theaters, festival organizers, production companies and performing arts companies with a stipend to pay their salaries for three years. The stipend actually pays the employer 80 percent of the trainee’s salary for the first year, 60 percent for the second year and 40 percent for the third year. This tiered system assists the organizations and companies in hiring the production professionals they need gradually over this period. From the trainee’s standpoint, this system allows them to learn on the job about the basics of the performing arts and the demands of the profession. At the same time we provide them with the online and offline interactive information exchange and consulting through the arts management organization CoP (Community of Practice) that we support. At appropriate times we also hold workshops to boost skill levels.
 We have also opened our Arts Management Academy. The Academy offers three programs, an annual curriculum aimed at strengthening the knowledge and skills necessary for success in production and management (27 lectures in the four areas of skills, leadership, self-management, and arts knowledge), a Regional Academy Onsite program for HR development in different areas of the country and an educational program aimed at strengthening skills at arts organizations and companies (marketing, finance and personnel management, leadership, systems operation).
 Let me explain a bit about the program for arts organizations and companies. Since 2000, South Korea has had a “Specialized Arts Organization and Company Certification System” that was established under the Culture & Arts Promotion Act for the purpose of supporting and nurturing arts organizations and companies. This system enables the national or regional governments to certify organizations commissioned to run national and public arts companies and theaters or private sector arts companies as “specialized arts organizations or companies” and provide support for them through favorable tax classification as well as system benefits and professional management consulting services. As of 2009, some 320 organizations and companies have been certified under this system. Expanding the number of these certified arts organizations and helping to activate them is another job of KAMS. Toward this purpose, we are engaged in research and development projects in the field of arts management that include website operation, surveys and analysis, publishing reports and formulating mid- and long-term legislation proposals, holding workshops for civil servants and creating databases.
 The third department in KAMS is the International Exchange Dept. that I work in. Presently we have a staff of 12 in this department engaged in international exchange and helping Korean performing artists enter overseas markets. Our activities include organizing and running PAMS (Performing Arts Market in Seoul) on the inbound side, while on the outbound side we are supporting the overseas activities of Korean artists, building regional networks, developing markets and operating a information website (The Apro).
 There are platforms for international exchange. It can be the exchange of actual contents through performances. It can be exchange through publicity, advertising and marketing, and it can be intellectual exchange of information and knowledge. Our major aim is to create systems for sustainable international exchange and support of overseas activities by Korean artists by making full use of these three platforms in developing overseas networks and creating organic relationships for the exchange of actual culture and arts as well as information, creating a reciprocating structure for the export of performing art works and strengthening the global potential of arts companies.
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