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Love for Culture and Arts Glittered More during Recession

Love for Culture and Arts Glittered More during Recession

Posted June. 29, 2005 06:01,   


“Let’s ameliorate the corporate image by sponsoring cultural and artistic activities.”

Despite the recession last year, the amount of money companies spent in order to animate cultural and artistic activities increased about 13 percent from that of the year before.

The Mecenat (The Korean Business Council for the Arts, acting chairman Kim Yong-won) announced yesterday that 157 companies sponsored 171 billion won in 2,711 projects according to its inquiry of actual sponsorship results in cultural and artistic activities conducted on the 500 largest enterprises in terms of sales.

This amount is the greatest since the Mecenat’s establishment in 1995 and is a 12.7 percent increase from the 151.7 billion won in sponsorship money in 2003.

Active Sponsorships by Large Corporations like Hyundai Heavy Industries (12.9 Billion Won)–

Classified by companies, Hyundai Heavy Industries spent 12.9 billion won on cultural activities and ranked on top. For example, it promoted various cultural projects at the Hyundai Arts Center for the local residents of Ulsan. Hyundai Heavy Industries was followed by Korea Life Insurance, SK Telecom, Posco, and Korea Water Resources Corporation.

The cultural activities of financial companies were also vivid. Among the top 20 companies, seven financial companies were included. They are: Korea, Kyobo, and Samsung life insurances companies, and Woori, Shinhan, Kwangju, and Hana banks.

Although they were not included in the top 10 companies, Woolim Construction, Asiana Airlines, Cheil Industries Inc., Daesang, Doosan, and Hanhwa sponsored the most in their corresponding fields. The Mecenat explained, “Compared with 2003, the number of companies participating in cultural activities may have decreased a little bit, but the total amount of money sponsored increased. In particular, participation was rather active with large corporations leading it.”

Except for Hyundai Heavy Industries, however, both the Mecenat and other companies were reluctant to reveal the size of sponsorship provided by the rest of them.

Top Three Cultural Foundations Are Samsung, LG, and Kumho in Order of Size-

Among the cultural activities sponsored by companies last year, large corporations provided 98.4 and 72.6 billion won through their cultural foundations and directly, respectively.

In order of size, the Samsung Cultural Foundation (Samsung) ranked on top, followed by the LG Yonam (LG), Kumho (Kumho Asiana), Daesan (Kyobo), and Gachon (Ghil Medical Foundation) cultural foundations.

On the other hand, five foreign companies including Renault Samsung Motors spent a total of 1.2 billion won in cultural activities, which was much lower than those of domestic companies.

The Mecenat said, “Thirty-two percent of the companies revealed that they sponsor cultural and artistic activities to ‘ameliorate their corporate image,’ while others had the objectives of contributing to the society (25 percent) and developing cultural circles (18 percent).”

Young-Hae Choi yhchoi65@donga.com