Kumho Asiana Group has been expanding its cultural activities as the core of its social contribution programs, helping to foster aspiring artists and operating the country’s representative museums and art centers.
South Korea’s leading air carrier has been expanding its artistic contribution, in particular since Chairman Park Sam-koo was made the ninth chair of the Korea Mecenat Association, a nonprofit body that encourages corporate support of the arts, in February 2015.
Many of the group’s arts-related activities are carried out through the Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation established in 1977.
The group operates Kumho Art Hall, which is dedicated to chamber music, in Gwanghwamun, as well as the Kumho Museum of Art which focuses on up-and-coming artists. Through these venues, the group has invited a number of world-renowned orchestras, hosted various awards and provided financial support to music prodigies and classical musicians.
Kumho Asiana Group Chairman Park Sam-koo (second from right) poses for a photo with violinists Kim Dong-hyun (from left), Lee Soo-bin and Kim Da-mi during a ceremony delivering violins offered by the Kumho Instrument Bank on March 21, 2016. /Kumho Asiana Group
Since 1993, it has been running the Kumho Instrument Bank, which offers free leases of rare musical instruments to young musicians. The group has also contributed some 3 billion won ($2.6 million) to the Seoul Arts Center to host camps and competitions.
In 2009, it established the USquare Cultural Center in Gwangju, Jeolla Province to promote arts in the region as well as host classical music performances, plays, musicals and art exhibitions.
In 2015, it provided airfare for violinist Lim Ji-young, who won first prize at the 2015 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. In October that year, the group endowed the Kumho Art Hall Yonsei at Yonsei University in support of classical music performances.
Kumho’s outreach also extends to the movie industry, as it has hosted and organized the Asiana International Short Film Festival since 2003. It has become the country’s first and largest global competition for short films. A total of 5,237 films were submitted from 121 countries in 2016.
In recognition of such activities, Chairman Park received the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award in 2014. He was the second South Korean to do so, after his late older brother and former group Chairman Park Sung-yong received the same award in 2004.
To help promote culture, Kumho Asiana Group, in conjunction with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, hosts a musical concert at its headquarters in Gwanghwamun on the last Wednesday of every month.
The group said it will expand the promotion to offer an up to 50 percent discount on the entrance fees of the Kumho Art Hall and Kumho Museum. To help culture reach remote regions, the group has also been organizing on-site concerts, as well as field experience programs for students.