International Exchange of Theatre for Children and Young People

Republic of Korea
International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People(ASSITEJ KOREA)
This measure was reported by civil society.
Describe the main features of the measure/initiative: 
Founded in 1982, ASSITEJ Korea is one of 87 member countries of the ASSITEJ International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (founded in Paris in 1965). In Korea, the organization strives to develop and spread the performing arts for infants and toddlers, children, and adolescents. ASSITEJ contributes to active exchanges between members (groups and individuals) and international exchanges. About 200 domestic performance groups specializing in children and youth, playwrights, critics, planners, and researchers work together to create a social environment where art and culture can be developed and opportunities for a wide range of high-quality art experiences for children and youth are given. The representative projects of ASSITEJ Korea include the 'ASSITEJ International Summer Festival (hereinafter referred to as the Summer Festival)' and the 'Seoul ASSITEJ Winter Festival (hereinafter referred to as the Winter Festival)'. The festivals offer opportunities to meet excellent domestic and international performing arts for children and young people in one place. They also discover and provide performing arts that meet development levels of infants and toddlers, children, adolescents, and families. Started as ‘Seoul Children Theater Festival’ in 1993, the Summer Festival has been inviting children and youth plays from abroad since 1995 as an international performing art festival. In 1997, the name changed to ‘Seoul International Children Performing Art Festival’, and to ‘Seoul Children and Young Performing Art Festival’ in 2001. After ‘The 17th ASSITEJ Summer Festival’ in 2009, the Summer Festival has renamed itself as ‘ASSITEJ International Summer Festival’ for its 21st festival in 2013 to increase participation from abroad. Every year, the Summer Festival runs for ten days from the 3rd week of July. It invites domestic and international children and adolescent in performing arts. For the past 30 years, 170 works from 40 countries have been invited. In addition to the performances, there are workshops and conferences to promote exchanges among the domestic and international artists. The Winter Festival that started in 2005 is a performing arts festival that runs for ten days in the 1st week of January every year. It aims to establish a market that continues to develop and provide high quality performing artworks from children and youth. The Winter Festival serves as a platform where domestic and international artists can work on their creative works. To this end, not only does it present the best domestic performances of the year, the Winter Festival runs a separate section called K-PAP (Korea Performing Arts Platform for children and youth) in which domestic and international artists share their creative methods for exchange and collaboration. Through this platform, all the performances at the Winter Festival are introduced to domestic and international promoters, resulting in expanding into overseas markets.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the measure/initiative?: 
The ASSITEJ International Summer Festival celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2022. Over the past 30 years, it has invited 170 artworks from 40 countries and met more than 300,000 domestic children and youth audience. Since 2014, the Summer Festival has been conducting one or two overseas works as regional performances to provide opportunities for local children and youth to enjoy art. In 2021, it created a partnership with four regions (Gwangju, Daegu, Incheon, Gimhae) to conduct performances and special programs with leading children and youth. In 2022, the increase in oil and gas prices due to the war in Ukraine and frequent changes in the quarantine situation have impacted the initial plan from five performances to two in Namyangju (Jeong Yak-Yong Library) and Gwangju (ACC). However, ASSITEJ was able to identify the regions with interest in accepting the works in the future, and planning to increase the number of regions for the performance in 2023. The ASSITEJ International Winter Festival celebrated its 18th anniversary in 2022. The ‘Seoul ASSITEJ Winter Festival Awards’ is held after the Winter Festival. It started as a ‘Seoul Children’s Theater Award’, which was the only children’s play award in Korea established in 1992. In 2022, the ASSITEJ Korea announced the winning works through its 30th Awards. The awards ceremony has greatly contributed to the qualitative growth of creative performances for children and youth in Korea. The winning works not only attract attention in Korea but also from the global market, receving invitations to festivals around the world. K-PAP, the only children's and youth art market and platform business in Korea, is held during the Winter Festival. K-PAP has had 46 promoters from 29 countries for two years before the COVID-19 pandemic, selling three performance works to the global market, with 12 in the process (as of 2019).
Goal(s) of UNESCO's 2005 Convention
Cultural Domain(s)
Performing Arts
Transversal Priority(ies)