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Rookie artists to receive funds for artworks

A performing artist fixes makeup at Myungbo Art Cinema in Seoul on Jan. 27. (Yonhap)
A performing artist fixes makeup at Myungbo Art Cinema in Seoul on Jan. 27. (Yonhap)
Artists with less than two years of experience will be eligible to receive “art creation funds” from March, to help carry on their initial art productions with financial stability. Unfair practices that have lingered over the nation’s arts scene, such as overdue wages, are also to be addressed.

The Korea Artists Welfare Foundation, under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, announced its 2021 business plan on Jan. 27. On the agenda are the establishment of the New Artists Support Project, introduction of employment insurance for artists and expanding efforts to build a fair market system for the arts.

The foundation will operate a special system for proving new artists’ activities starting in March, to distribute 2 million won ($1,780) in art creation funds to each of some 3,000 burgeoning artists. Artists who have less than two years of professional performance and who have not yet applied for any proof of art activities in the past are invited to apply.

Active support will also be continued to better solve the problem of existing artists’ unpaid wages, issuing small allowances that have been given out since last year. Since March 2020, some 70 artists with wages in arrears have benefited from the allowances, amounting to some 170 million won in total.

The foundation is also working for the stable settlement of an employment insurance system for artists, which has been in effect since Dec. 10, last year.

By freshly operating an information center both online and offline, artists can conveniently make frequent visits to discuss wage matters and be informed of employment insurance services and plans throughout the year.

As one of the schemes thought out to improve unfair practices remaining in the art world, establishing a culture of signing a written contract appears to be crucial. To help this matter, the foundation will expand financial support for electronic contract services for artist employees, as well as conduct a series of education seminars for artists’ rights protection. The education program that had initially been solely for artists is now also available to industry managers and operators.

“We will continue to strive in protecting artists’ rights and expand their rights even further through new artists’ welfare projects,” Chung Hee-seop, head of the Korea Artists Welfare Foundation, announced in the group’s resolutions for 2021 during a press briefing.

More information related to funds for art productions and other related artist programs can be found on the Korea Artists Welfare Foundation’s website ( or the Culture Ministry’s website (

By Kim Hae-yeon (