Arts flourish in schools
Some elementary, middle and high schools, especially smaller ones, have seen a blossoming of the arts all across the country thanks to the government's recent Seed Schools With Artistic Flowers project (??? ????).
This government-led project hopes to provide funding for up to four years to smaller schools that have an enrollment of fewer than 400 students. These schools have traditionally had less access to cultural or artistic activities. The project will allow them to run classes that give students a chance to study acting, dance, singing and music.
Since the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism launched the project in 2008, a total of 87 schools nationwide have so far benefited from this campaign. This year alone, 50 schools are part of the project, offering their students an opportunity to enjoy the music, theater and dance, both modern and traditional. Under this project, students can develop their artistic talent through musical performances, orchestras or dancing, in class or as after-school activities.
On Oct. 31, students from six schools that have grown "artistic flowers" through the program gathered at the Taekwondowon in Muju, Jeollabuk-do Province, to showcase their singing, dancing and acting skills that they have been developing over the past few years. The participating students came from Bukchon Elementary School on Jeju Island, Hamwoul Elementary School in Ulsan and Oson Elementary School in Chungcheongbuk-do Province, three schools that have been taking part in the campaign since 2013. There were also students from the Gyeongbuk Aviation High School in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, Kunsan Nam High School in Jeollabuk-do Province and Seongpo Middle School in Gyeongsangnam-do Province, and all three joined the government-led program in 2014.
The choir of young performers sang a song from the well-known musical "Les Miserables," played wind instruments and put on their own rendition of a musical based on a folk tale from Jeju Island.
"This program has helped schools on the brink of closure to attract more students with a variety of artistic and musical activities. It has also helped students develop their own abilities to express themselves, their creativity and their spirit of cooperation," said an official from the culture ministry. "This project has really resulted in a positive outcome for all respective communities."