|On Sept. 11, Cho Ki-suk, director of Ewha Creative Academy introduced the students to the Yeonnam Art Alley festival by discussing the aim and purpose of the event. Photo by Choi Kyu-min.
For the first program of the 2017 PRAME (Performance, Relations, Arts, Management, Entertainment) Ewha Creative Academy, students took part in the “I dream of becoming a festival director” project, in which they will direct the Yeonnam Alley Art Festival. With positive feedback from participants last year, the school reopened the series once more.
“PRAME Academy has numerous arts and culture programs that prepare students who wish to work in similar fields in the future,” said Park Su-min, research worker of PRAME Ewha Creative Academy. “‘I dream of becoming a festival director’ is also a program that will link field work and theory to provide hands-on experience to the participants.”
Teaching the fundamentals of planning a festival, the program is open to all university students with a passion for festival coordination and working in the entertainment industry.
“I’m interested in arts management and was looking for related extracurricular activities,” said Hwang Sharon, a Ewha student majoring in Business. “When I read about the program on the school website, I thought it would be perfect for me, and signed up.”
From Sept. 11 to 15, students sat in on lectures by professors, directors of well-known festivals, and producers, who shared knowledge on directing a festival. Topics discussed in the program include the basics of festival planning, the current status of domestic and foreign festivals, art festivals, and a briefing on the Yeonnam Alley Art Festival. The students also received safety education so they could organize not only an enjoyable event, but also ensure the safety of every participant and passerby.
“On the first day, we were introduced to what a festival is,” Hwang said. “Even though festivals take place in our everyday lives, they have to be enjoyable events that are distinct from the ordinary to attract passerbys to participate. As for me, I love knowing that I can create something that sparks up a person’s ordinary day.”
The program also encouraged students to step outside and be active around the Yeonnam area, located northwest to Hongik University.
On Sept. 12, they gathered near the Yeonnam Community Center to see where the festival will take place and visualized specific plans. During the five-day education period, the participants helped to plan various programs such as busking, street dance performances, plays, mimes, musicals, photography exhibits and film screenings that will take place during the festival.
“I want to plan an event that effectively promotes the festival,” Hwang said. “The festival takes place in the comparably less visited areas of Yeonnam. Thus, attracting people is very important for the success of the festival. Right now, I’m thinking of different ways to advertise the festival beforehand.”
With students enthusiastically preparing for the upcoming festival on Sept. 22, the school encourages students to seize this opportunity to gain professional knowledge.
“Compared to other university programs, students have the chance to work hands-on,” Park said. “I hope that our program will serve as a valuable learning experience for students to grow up as professionals that have both practical training and theoretical knowledge about planning and operation of different festivals.”