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Culture Ministry commits W115b to employ 2,000 workers in performing arts

Culture Minister Hwang Hee visits the Seoul Arts Center in southern Seoul for a safety inspection July 18. (Yonhap)
Culture Minister Hwang Hee visits the Seoul Arts Center in southern Seoul for a safety inspection July 18. (Yonhap)
To support workers in the performing arts sector, including performing artists who are experiencing hardship as a result of the lingering pandemic, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will spend 115 billion won ($100.6 million) in the form of an extra budget to employ some 2,000 individuals, the ministry announced Friday.

It is the second supplementary budget this year that the ministry has allotted for employment in the performing arts.

The ministry approved extra budget expenditures to benefit some 3,000 people working in the performing arts last year, amounting to 28.8 billion won, then spent 33.6 billion won earlier this year to support 3,500 artists.

The total number of beneficiaries has nearly doubled over the past year, with 5,500 people receiving subsidies as of August compared with 3,000 people last year.

Organizations and individuals can apply for subsidies this year, and each artist can receive up to 1.8 million won for three months.

To handle the distribution process, the Culture Ministry will join hands with the National Theater Association of Korea, the Korea Musical Theatre Association, the Music Association of Korea, the Korea Dance Association and the Korean Traditional Performing Arts Foundation.

The Culture Ministry said it hoped the funding would mitigate employment shock in the performing arts sector and alleviate the burden of employment expenses for relevant organizations and arts companies.

Meanwhile, audiences at concerts and other arts performances are limited to 5,000 under the distancing measures in place now, which range from Level 2 to Level 4, according to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters.

At Level 4, currently in place in Greater Seoul, performances are banned after 10 p.m. and cannot take place at unregistered stadiums or parks.

By Kim Hae-yeon (hykim@heraldcorp.com)
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