Saturday, July 16, 2011

Catholic Cultural Arts Center in Kimpo, Korea

The  Inchon  Diocese is building a Cultural Arts Center in Kimpo, the first of its kind in the Catholic Church of Korea devoted exclusively to the arts,  a place where Catholic artists will be able to meet and share ideas. It will also be a sign, says the editorial in the Peace Weekly, of the Church's interest in building an infrastructure for the evangelization of the culture. The editorial mentions that although Catholics have gloried in their cultural assets and tradition, they have  little to show in its cultivation, structures, systems, or support compared to the other religious groups.

For over ten years solitary efforts have been made to work toward this day. The editorial thanks Father Paul Park Yu-jin, art director of the center, and others who have been working to realize this dream. There has been much talk about the evangelization of culture but implementing the talk has not been a prime concern.

Whenever the idea of a cultural center came up in the past, it was usually rejected by responses such as: "That is when you have a full stomach." However, culture in the world today is nearly as important as clothes, food and home; culture can change the way we think.

There is great hope for this new venture that will also serve as a research center for the arts. In an interview in the same issue of the paper, the director says, "The Cultural Art Center and research center will try to bring the spiritual values of Catholicism into our secular culture and art, and give Christian artists a spirituality that should influence their efforts."

The director, a priest, has been involved in this work since 1998 when he set up the Catholic Cultural Center to provide creative opportunities in music, dance, drama and other artistic fields. He has tried  with many different programs to celebrate and spread the inspiriting creativity of Catholic culture into  society. Affiliated with the center are the Catholic Symphony Orchestra, Liturgical Dance Team,  Theater,  Orchestra,  and  Chorus Groups. They are prepared for performances during any time of the year.

The Catholic Arts Center is a big dream and everyone who has worked to see the beginning of the project should feel great satisfaction. Ground-breaking ceremonies were held on July 3. Completion of the Center is expected next year. May the expectations of those who have worked so hard for the project see the successful completion of their work.

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