The Performing Arts Centers on Campuses are Booming
The Performing Arts Centers on Campuses are Booming
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  • 승인 2010.11.11 16:12
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The Performing Arts Centers on Campuses are Booming

Arts centers on university campuses are being built continuously. These centers aim to fill a role as a cultural and artistic center not only for students and school personnel, but also local residents. It is certain that these centers can be a good way of promoting a school as well as fulfill the purpose of making a profit. Nowadays, universities in Daegu and Gyeongsan have established large arts centers on their campuses. Notable ones are the Keimyung Art Center, the Chunma Arts Center, and the Indang Art Hall. We are going to retrace their steps since their establishment and investigate what the future holds for the Chunma Arts Center.

There are three large scale arts centers in the Daegu / Gyeongsan area. The Keimyung Art Center at Keimyung University opened in October 2008. The Daegu Health College reopened the Indang Art Hall after renovation in December 2008. Following them, Yeungnam University opened the Chunma Arts Center in April 2009. In addition, Daegu University also plans to open the Changpa Convention Hall. All of these facilities hold over 1,000 seats. There are also other arts centers in other parts of the country including the Grand Peace Palace at Kyunghee University, which opened in October 1999 as well as at Yonsei University, Ewha Womans University, Chung-Ang University, and Sungkyunkwan University. These arts centers have similar terms and purposes. These auditoriums are made for local residents as well as students and school personnel. However, there are some differences as well. In the case of the Chunma Arts Center and the Indang Art Hall, they do not impose many restrictions. They allow their space to be rented freely for multipurpose performances. The Keimyung Art Center focuses on high-class performances such as musicals, operas, and ballets. The Grand Peace Palace at Kyunghee University seeks to become a cultural and arts complex performance hall. Many on-campus events are held there. Other large and small off-campus events are also hosted there such as the Daejong Film Awards. It costs a tremendous amount of money to construct large scale performance halls. In order to establish the Chunma Arts Center, Yeungnam University raised funds by targeting alumni, school personnel, and the community. Half of the working expenses for construction were raised through these sources. The Chunma Arts Center cost 38 billion won to build. The Keimyung Art Center’s total cost amounted to about 70 billion won. The Indang Art Hall cost 3 billion won, and Daegu University is now attempting to establish a fund to raise 3 billion won for construction costs. The other 15 billion won needed to complete the center will be made up within the school budget.

Special Facilities
The Chunma Arts Center is a large scale performance hall. It is comprised of two basements and a seven story building. The total number of seats is 1,889. In order to adjust the size of the stage for each performance, the stage was designed to be flexible. The structure of the seats is different from the first floor to the second floor. Chair backs on the second floor are very high. This was done to create a sense of privacy for people in these seats. The Keimyung Art Center holds 1,954 seats and consists of two basements and a three-story building. It tries to accentuate its strong points in that the College of Music and Performing Arts at Keimyung University has a strong reputation. The Keimyung Art Center is suitable for operas, musicals, and ballets as well as other performance genres such as a plays and dances. However, it does not value popular music concerts. The Indang Art Hall has been renovating its existing auditorium for six months. Since its completion, the site lines have been improved from all seats and everyone in the audience now has a clear view of the stage. They reduced the number of seats from 1,650 to 1,200. The Grand Peace Palace is the largest single auditorium in the East. It has high-tech facilities. It holds a total of 4,500 seats. It consists of two basements and a six-story building. Each floor in the three-story hall has more than 1,000 seats. It is possible to put on a wide variety of performances because it has a revolving stage which is ten meters in diameter. The stage is able to move left and right, and there is an orchestra lift, which can move up and down. Operation and ManagementThe Chunma Arts Center covers an extensive spectrum in terms of performance genres. It aims to attract multipurpose performances from classical music to popular music concerts. Judging standards are not strictly applied. Using faculty members, it will produce and supply a variety of cultural content such as performances and music. From March to July 2010, the total number of performances has been 74, and a total of 32,618 people have visited the Chunma Arts Center. Ticket sales have been 65% of capacity on average. One of the best attended events was Moon-se Lee's concert in 2009, which filled the center to nearly 90% of capacity. However, performances are mainly filled by outside visitors not students. Student participation has been relatively low. The Chunma Arts Center is planning to distribute a questionnaire to gather students' opinions regarding what performances they would like to see. The Grand Hall is used overwhelmingly for concerts. The arts center tries to provide a balance of genres. The Chamber Hall is used not only for lectures and pure art performances but also for each major's events. The major of English language and literature holds an English language play every year, and the college of music also gives a recital at the Chamber Hall. Clubs at the university have recently inquired about renting space there. The Gallery is fully rented by the school of architecture and school of art and design. The Chunma Arts Center is a suitable place for holding events on campus and lectures. It has a large number of seats, so it is in a good position to attract large scale performances. It is now engaged in launching new projects. However, financial problems obstruct pushing forward. In the case of commercial performances, discounts for students and school personnel have become much more difficult. Moreover, pure music recitals can not attract general students' attention. A greater variety of performance genres are needed.

Views Concerning Performances
There are several views from people concerned with performances regarding the Chunma Arts Center. Due to the steep seat structure of the second floor, there are risks involved in guiding late arriving audience members. There has been concern expressed over possible accidents. Facilities for the comfort of audiences are greatly lacking, so it is inconvenient for them. Many people who have visited the venue have commented that it would be better if directional signs were set up from the main entrance. Some documents were not published during the rental process, which is an inconvenience. Substitute documents are needed. Poor access is the worst problem. As for those who would like to attend events who do not own a car, they hesitate to attend a show if they cannot be convinced of the degree of completion of the work. Public transportation is not available during those hours. It is necessary to operate a shuttle bus from the subway station for event ticket holders. It takes more time and risk to install and take down stages compared with rental fees. If event holders go over the allotted removal time, an extra rental fee is tacked on. There have also been positive aspects identified. There are no auditoriums to speak of near the Gyeongsan and Siji areas. Thus, the Chunma Arts Center will easily attract nearby audiences if traffic inconveniences are improved. Until just recently, the level of awareness was low due to accessibility. However, it has improved, so bookings by various entertainment agencies have increased.
Looking at the example set by the Keimyung Art Center, we can find some ways to improve. Because they mainly book high-quality performances, they possess specialized and distinct characteristics. The center averages 76.61% of capacity per each event. Nearly 200,000 people have visited since its opening in October, 2008. This figure is six times the report "Operation of performing art halls 2008" which was announced by the Korean Cutural & Arts Centers Association. An average of 500 people got there per day. The art center operates at 82.1% capacity. If the days needed for preparation are included, the center operates for more than 300 days per year. It is a considerably high rate considering the average rate of operation of other arts centers. According to the Korean Cutural & Arts Centers Association, other arts centers operate at 40.8% capacity on average. Some of the major performances held at the Keimyung Art Center have been Mamma Mia, Notre Dame de Paris, Chicago, and Jack the Ripper. Starting on October 21, the musical The Phantom of the Opera will be performed there until the end of the year. It is the biggest musical in the world, which can be seen in only four theaters worldwide. The Keimyung Art Center is one of four exclusive performance centers, and it is the first local tour performance.
The Indang Art Hall hosted the Mr. YMCA Contest (body building contest), Gag Show, Yu-Jin Park Concert, and the 2010 International Guitar Concert were held. The Grand Peace Palace is very good about taking students in consideration. Cultural subject lectures are being offered such as yoga and Tai Chi. Lectures for leadership are being held there as well. It is also used as a multipurpose room of the Center for Continuing Education at Kyunghee University. As for outside events, the Korea International Wind Band Festival and Daejong Film Awards are held there annually.

Future Plans
The Chunma Arts Center is planning on establishing a cultural center and starting a concert series which will be held every Wednesday. These projects aim to develop performing culture. Because student attendance is low, the Chunma Arts Center will expand to include more contemporary shows and events. The Keimyung Art Center has planned and performed "Sharing Hope Series" since 2009. By offering high quality performances to culturally neglected classes of people, they are able to appreciate high quality performances. There is a support system in place at the Keimyung Art Center. They recruit new members once a year. Only the students in the school are eligible to join. They receive benefits such as priority invitation tickets and ticket discounts. Most performances are especially promoted for students. Moreover, the art center is planning the International University Music Festival project.

Campus arts centers are now being continually established. Not only events on-campus but also various culture and arts events are finding a home. Therefore, local residents as well as students and school personnel are able to enjoy cultural benefits. Each school offers performances and supports their own purposes. They have to include new performances and projects from now on in order to attract outside audiences as well as those on campus. We hope that art centers on campus with their own specialty will contribute to vitalize culture and art performances. Taking this opportunity, the Chunma Arts Center should address future directions in depth.

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