The 21st century has resulted in a dream society and has attached importance to imagination and originality following the rise of an information-based society. In this context, culture has drawn attention as a key element of imagination and creativity (Haylett 2003
). In particular, Asian countries like South Korea, Japan, China, and Taiwan implement cultural policies to improve the quality of life for individual citizens; in particular, they provide a diversity of welfare policies and programs to support social phenomena (Geyer 1998
). For instance, advanced countries pursue mental affluence, which involves self-realization beyond the economic level, in line with the characteristics of people having increasing interest in the quality of life after changing their lifestyles toward a higher level of living and economic growth (Van Oorschot 2007
In the past, welfare states guaranteed their citizens the material needs to maintain human dignity through the system of welfare, with the objective of solving the problem of poverty resulting from the development of the industrial society (Effinger 2005
). In a general situation, governments have limitations in raising the quality of life for individuals, as the focus of quality of life has shifted from material affluence to mental affluence. However, welfare for human well-being needs to pursue affluent lives at the mental and cultural levels as well as at the material level (Mora et al. 2018
). Therefore, welfare countries need to attach importance to the human realization of a community, as well as to equal opportunities. Societies also should allow their individual members to develop their potential and creativity to the utmost and to guarantee a minimum living (Yeates 2001
). In this respect, culture can be a requisite for the realization of a welfare society, and the reinforcement of cultural welfare can meet the changes in life and diverse needs of individuals for welfare while guaranteeing the quality of mental and cultural life for the whole nation on an institutional basis.
In this respect, culture and art education becomes an important tool to realize cultural welfare. Artistic experiences in childhood have mental and emotional effects even in adulthood and help to form artistic taste (Parc and Moon 2019
). Culture and art education affect cultural and artistic consumption and play a crucial role in laying the ground for spontaneous improvement in the quality of life through culture and art. In particular, the area of culture and art forms a crucial part in the leisure life of people, and the needs for the educational activity of learning and training for culture and art are reinforced and activated gradually (Kendall et al. 2006
). While it is important to produce high-level performances and cultivate experts, the activation of culture and art education to draw attention from citizens in the market environment, along with increasing needs for viewing cultural and artistic performances actively and experiencing them personally, is becoming an important issue in activating culture and art education (Cha 2006
For example, the Survey Report on Cultural Enjoyment given by the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism
) found that the rate of experiencing out-of-school culture education was 11.2% and 0.6%, up from 10.6% in 2016. Moreover, culture and art education are characterized by the gradual increase in the experience of education in such genres as “art exhibitions” or “Western music” rather than in “traditional art,” “drama,” or “musicals.” Such a higher rate of experiencing culture education demonstrates that the audience’s need for general knowledge about culture and arts to enjoy performances more actively, instead of being satisfied with appreciation, is more widely recognized, and that the necessity for an environment for pursuing the expansion of humanistic thinking through the pursuit of knowledge based on culture and art is reinforced.
To meet these social changes, the South Korean government continues to change its direction for cultural welfare policies and to provide culture and art education through the Seoul Arts Center academy, in order to improve the cultural welfare of citizens. This study aimed to analyze how the Seoul Arts Center, a cultural complex representing South Korea, has promoted and provided culture education through its academy and promoted cultural welfare to meet citizens’ concerns and needs for culture and art. It is intended to discuss the expansive topic of realizing cultural welfare and education by performing a case analysis of change management in the Seoul Arts Center academy that reflected the current environment and citizens’ needs to provide new education programs and improve educational expertise.
4. Case Analysis
4.1. Preparatory Stage: Beginning of the Education Program
In the late 1980s when the Seoul Arts Center opened, the South Korean art market was in a very poor state with very litte infrastructure and few programs that enabled one to view performances or exhibitions. Moreover, at the time of national development, citizens had poor awareness of culture and art consumption. The opening of the Seoul Arts Center in 1988 had a significant impact on cultural welfare policies in South Korea. At its initial stage characterized by concentration of various performances, the Seoul Arts Center focused on its role as a performance hall rather than as a culture and art complex, which was the goal of its establishment. For this reason, it has obtained the remarkable, general image of “music and performance hall” for Seoul citizens as the largest performance hall representing the city. However, the Seoul Arts Center is an institution for implementing culture and art policies that represent the country beyond the city of Seoul and has taken charge of culture and art education, as well as programs as the exhibition and support of expert cultivation.
The first education program, Calligraphy Academy, started in October 1988. The class opened with the goal of the national cultural welfare policies to spread the traditional cultural art of South Korea, calligraphy, across the civil society and cultivate professional calligraphers . In the 1980s, Seoul was characterized by its strong aspiration to economic and social development and by its poor awareness of cultural welfare, little knowledge or concern about culture and art consumption among citizens, and delivery of state-led types of education rather than the culture and art education required by citizens. Nevertheless, the art education programs initiated by the Seoul Arts Center were successfully run.
“The calligraphy class run by the academy for ten years between 1988 and 1998 gained greater popularity than expected, though it was an education program based on the national cultural welfare policy package. It gave chances to identify the needs for culture and art education among citizens and played a crucial role as a ground for the Seoul Arts Center academy to run various art education programs in addition to calligraphy.”
Seong Hyo-gyeong, Dept. of Academy Programs
From its beginning, the Calligraphy Academy was composed of theoretical and practical programs so that individuals in every bracket, including professionals and the people in general, could enjoy it. Moreover, as master calligraphers representing South Korea were invited as instructors, it was recognized as the only institution offering a calligraphy course in South Korea, which was also developed steadily. Both goals of increasing the population of calligraphers and cultivating experts were achieved until it was established as the most typical course in charge of traditional art education in South Korea while there was no other calligraphy education center. In 1998, it grew to have 643 students in a total of 31 classes and provided more systematic education by operating various major classes on calligraphy, which involved such topics as the Korean alphabet and ancient, semi-cursive, and printed style of writing, and the Four Gracious Plants and seal engraving, in basic, intermediate, and advanced courses. Another effort has been made to expand service by permitting free exhibition viewing and by holding artwork-evaluating exhibitions together with the Seoul Calligraphy Art Museum (see Figure 1
On the basis of the success in the calligraphy academy, the Art Academy opened in 1991. The Art Academy aimed to “improve the fundamental environment for improving and sustaining knowledge among art lovers” in pursuit of the increase in art enjoyment among citizens in general rather than of expert cultivation. Diverse programs, including art history and art appreciation, as well as art practice, were provided to get education according to concerns. In particular, the practical education program received fervent responses that 60 classes accommodated 2401 persons in 1998.
Citizens’ participation and its sustained growth have expanded the Art Academy into the course targeting adolescents and children, as well as adults, since the 2000s. In particular, diverse programs were given for the purpose of cultivating art students and widening the base of art education for children; of these, the program of Kim Heung-su’s Gifted Art Class gained great popularity, and the Seoul Arts Center Art Academy has played a crucial role in improving art exhibition viewing and artistic grounding, as well as in addressing concerns about art education for children in the entire society of Seoul.
4.2. Booster Stage: Expanding of the Education
The Seoul Arts Center academy, which had grown around a certain area of visual art education, received an opportunity for full-fledged growth as the Seoul Arts Center went through an organizational shift from being a foundation to a corporation and assuming a special status in 2000. The shift to a corporation obtaining a special status has enabled its independent and autonomous operation and expanded the education programs desired by the citizens in Seoul. It has developed various styles and types of education to meet the artistic tastes, emotions, and needs of the citizens in addition to culture and art education based on the national welfare policy package.
As the first attempt to develop a potential group of customers, it expanded culture and art education programs for children and adolescents. Since its opening in 1999, the Music Gifted Academy has made the subjects of sight-singing and ear-training necessary for musical basis, as well as major lessons to about 160 elementary school children selected through an open audition on an annual basis. Because sight-singing and ear-training were limited by the education chance affected by school education or personal lesson, the Music Gifted Academy has provided the education course for elementary school children to cultivate their musical capabilities and find out gifted ones. It has given chances to make the importance of music education known to many school institutions and parents, contributing to the expansion of art and culture cultivation through music appreciation and the young students’ experiences onstage (see Figure 2
In 2002, a music appreciation course for adults opened. A long-term curriculum was composed of two semesters over a year to make up for the weaknesses of the existing short-term curriculums based on the delivery of fragmentary knowledge or episode-centered special lectures. The subjects varied by days of the week, providing diverse genres, such as Western music history, operas and ballet, and world music; in particular, composite lectures were given by means of up-to-date audio and video systems that allow them to appreciate the good images and sounds most necessary for the course of appreciation and to listen to an expert’s explanation. The music appreciation education in the Seoul Arts Center has been recognized as the highest-level curriculum that represents South Korea and has gained popularity among the citizens.
“While we maintained the existing program, the academy was widely known to the outside, attracting more trainees. Even then, general people thought that the Seoul Arts Center only gave performances and exhibitions. They expected that they could view concerts and exhibitions but could not do any other activity in the Seoul Arts Center. So we gave PRs earnestly, explained performances and exhibitions, and could give customers the needs for learning necessary to enjoy desired art while having fundamental study.”
Park Hye-suk, Head of the Dept. of Academy Programs
The new curriculums received fervent responses that they had attracted 44% of all the trainees since 2006. From then on, they recorded an annual earning rate of about 112% with the opening of such courses as “humanities” and “performance appreciation.” This successful result and implementations of Seoul Arts Center academy has introduced as a cultural education management model based on the art activities to many public art centers in South Korea.
Ultimately, this success has suggested the need to provide education necessitated by citizens and develop new education programs that meet the trend for the purpose of art education programs. In particular the academy developed a customer service team to provide the high-quality education contents and sensory and emotional education environment.
“I think the trend has exerted the strongest impact on the academy. What was important was to continuously consider how trend changed, what programs needed to be built to meet the trend, and what trainees needed.”
Hwang Bok-hi, Department Manager of Academy Programs
In particular, as performing arts in addition to music had gained popularity within the cultural industry since 2010, the academy also established the Performance Planning Academy. As a total of 29 courses opened, starting with “performance appreciation,” nearly 1700 citizens took a course; subsequently, professional programs with a mix of theoretical and practical courses, which involved on-site practice in performance-making, performance management laws, celebrities’ special lectures, and performance planning marketing, began to be provided on the basis of performance by reflecting trainees’ needs and the socio-cultural trend. With the national growth of South Korea, especially with the development of Seoul, and the citizens’ higher level of knowledge and cultural and artistic grounding, the curriculums provided by the Seoul Arts Center academy also gave chances to improve contents and expertise.
4.3. Settlement Stage: Developing the Education System
With the stable growth of the education programs in the Seoul Arts Center academy since 2012, the culture and art education programs have served as the refining ground for knowledge, experience, and creativity among citizens and for rendering culture and art prevalent in the entire society by reflecting customer service beyond the level of cultural welfare. The Seoul Arts Center has been set up as a symbol of art education as well as a space for experience and healing, not as an existing image of a music and performance hall.
Seemingly reflecting such accomplishment, the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism and the Ministry of Employment and Labor have entrusted the operation of the Culture and Art Expert Academy, an education program based on national expenditure, to the Seoul Arts Center. According to a request by Seoul City to expand the humanities courses, the independent Humanities Academy was established to provide participation-centered education programs, such as field trips and actual performance viewing. The independent Art Academy for Adults was built with a subdivision of art education for adults in several types of occupation, as well as for the employed by establishing nighttime courses to meet the needs for participation and to cater to about 1445 persons in approximately 74 classes currently providing the courses. Moreover, the art academy started to provide personal working space through the Artist Studio and associate with the program of cultivating artists while also operating programs for children, including offering an Art Course for Children, Art Gifted Course, and Courses for Multicultural Children. In particular, the Calligraphy Academy that started the Seoul Arts Center academy included a new class of calligraphy with applied courses of the Korean alphabet, which can be used in real life, in order to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its opening.
To reflect the socio-cultural trend emphasizing the need for character education in adolescence, it also opened the Art Healing Academy for adolescents and provided culture and art curriculums to cultivate a character grounding, as well as psychological counseling through healing program experts, in such fields as music, art, drama, and dance. As shown in Figure 3
, it added the Acting Course to the existing class based on appreciation, practice, and lecture so that people could have the necessary healing. Further, it opened the Good Parent Academy in pursuit of culture and art education closely related to living. To cover every genre of culture and art in pursuit of higher quality of life for all the generations, the Seoul Arts Center academy has been instituted as a cultural complex that represents Seoul, taking charge of culture and art education for the citizens.
In addition, it provides innovative education service in terms of content and develops academy customer service in pursuit of customer satisfaction on a steady basis. For example, it operates individual academy programs in an integrative way and provides convergent educational service to meet the greater needs of citizens for culture and art consumption, which involves music, art, performance, and exhibitions. It also gives PRs or events to attract more positive participation and interest in educational programs and pursues active communication so that citizens can share a great deal of information about culture, art education, and art experiences. To do this, it expands its online marketing channels, including blogs and SNSs to meet the changes in the current environment, and it makes mobile-based teaching materials, developing instruction tools based on up-to-date technology that meets the customers’ needs steadily.
“When the class ends in each term, we conduct a survey on satisfaction with the program. We continue to improve programs on the basis of the details, including the contents of the class, instructor assessment, and evaluation of those in charge, which trainees feel. The programs that have long maintained the best quality and the good subsidiary facilities of the Seoul Arts Center make trainees very satisfied. The academy, whose consumption brackets are subdivided with time and that develops an education program with differentiated goals for customers, is making more efforts to render culture and art education routine and substantial and to provide customized education with the goal of ‘providing a customized education program by life cycle.’”
Hwang Bok-hi, department manager of Academy Programs
Ultimately, it is evaluated that through a special culture and art education institution, the academy is able to provide high-level culture and art classes to citizens in Seoul and is particularly viewed by them as a representative institution that provides invaluable lessons to various age groups and generations, ranging from young children and senior citizens and across different segments of society, using culture and art education.
5. Discussion and Conclusions
Cultural welfare is characterized by cultural policies centered on those enjoying it to improve people’s quality of life. Cultural welfare policies aim to induce social integration and to train citizens by allowing the whole nation, as well as the socially underprivileged bracket, to experience cultural enjoyment and participation by cultivating cultural emotionality and creativity. In various aspects, including support of culture and art programs, the establishment of cultural welfare delivery systems, the cultivation of professional manpower, and the creation of the cultural environment and culture and art education for general citizens are crucial because they can improve awareness of culture and art across society, and allow citizens to cultivate their cultural consciousness (Gardner 1988
). In this respect, the case of the Seoul Arts Center academy is significant in that it shows a successful case of citizen-centered cultural welfare policies that induce healthy leisure culture, character education, and community harmony for citizens on the basis of cultural welfare policies in South Korea. Through the case of the Seoul Arts Center academy, the implications can be reviewed in three aspects: first, the Seoul Arts Center academy is significant in that it started providing civil culture and art education when there were few cultural and artistic welfare activities; second, it has become the hub of public education centers representing South Korea; and third, it allowed the expansion of culture and art education all over the country beyond Seoul. Civil culture and art education can positively affect citizens’ life and social activity through artistic activity (Baldock 1999
) and create immense contributions to social and cultural improvement and the growth of human resources (Garcia 2004
). In this respect, it is confirmed that the activities of the academy contribute to social development, as well as to the development of cultural and artistic welfare policies in Seoul; therefore, culture and art education can be positively used to promote community and civil activities.
Second, the Seoul Arts Center academy shows the need of citizen-led education management. As the paradigm of the social welfare policies has shifted, cultural welfare also needs to reflect civil needs that provide a type of education desired by citizens instead of policy-based and administrative positions that simply provide education (Gohari et al. 2019
). To do this, the Seoul Arts Center academy has listened civil opinions steadily and designed new education programs by reflecting them. On such a basis, it was able to develop innovative programs, including convergent or participatory education programs based on the combination of several fields, and to be recognized as an institution providing professional, high-level culture, and art education. It is ultimately necessary to operate citizen-centered policies for cultural welfare as well. To do this, it is necessary to create a practical plan, taking into such aspects as account lifestyle, association with communities, and cultural diversity.
Third, it is implied that culture and art education play a crucial role in the expansion of cultural welfare and consumption. The Seoul Arts Center academy has tried to provide education through the combination of culture and art on the basis of many different social problems, including suicide in adolescence, cultural approach in the underprivileged bracket, and solution to family problems, consequently contributing to a social culture of healing and harmony (Kim 2017
). Moreover, it has provided every type of education to every civil class in every generation and confirmed the importance of culture and art for social integration. Cultural consumption needs to be popular out of the past paradigm that provided it exclusively for the upper class pursuing high culture. An approach can be made to solutions through culture and art in the aspect of social problems caused by social fluctuation, as well as the underprivileged bracket (Kim 2018
). In this respect, the development of culture education on the arts can be considered as education and as part of the strategy for reinforcing social welfare.
Lastly, it is necessary to change teaching styles to reconcile the changes in culture and art with the changes of the times. Most of all, the Seoul Arts Center academy has been aware of the importance of education based on active experience, not simply on information delivery, with the higher level of knowledge among citizens, accepted the education positively, and expanded experiential classes. It has used the advanced educational environment and tools, including stereophonic sound and laser drawing, in order to resolve the shift to digital culture and art and the drastic improvement necessitated in the technical environment. In this respect, consideration should be given to the design and strategy for education based on citizens’ personal experiences, as well as for education based on the characteristics of culture and art that is sensitive to the changes in the environment of the times.
Nevertheless, this case study has a limitation: the contents of case analysis aimed at improving cultural welfare cannot be generalized into the roles of culture and art education institutions. It is necessary to present a common strategy and action plan for culture and art education to promote cultural welfare through the comparative analysis of some cases related to international culture education institutions and cultural welfare of many countries. Because the Seoul Arts Center academy was analyzed in terms of organizational activity according to Lewin’s three-stage course of change management, this study has failed to contain every detail of culture and art in the analysis contents during this process. It is necessary to analyze the educational characteristics of the academy on the basis of the theoretical background for culture and art and welfare policies. In addition, because the case analysis focused on the academy in terms of activity, this study gave no consideration to any phenomenon in the user’s position while experiencing academy education. It is therefore necessary to conduct empirical research on the effectiveness of cultural welfare policies and the effects of culture and art education on the basis of citizens’ educational experiences.