The Sejong Cultural Society strives to advance awareness and understanding of Korea's cultural heritage amongst people in the United States by reaching out to the younger generations through contemporary creative and fine arts.
It is our hope that, through this, the rich culture behind Korea's colorful history will be accessible to people of any ethnicity and nationality while being a unique part of the larger, more familiar Western culture, and that such harmonizing of the two cultures will create a better understanding between them.
Current program include Sejong Writing Competition (essay and Sijo poetry category), Sejong Music Competition (piano and violin category), and Sejong Prize for composers (international music composition competition).
As an extension of our Writing Competition’s Sijo category, the Sejong Cultural Society hosts Sijo workshops for pre-college educators and seminars open to the public. Through this, we hope young creative writers will be introduced to a unique style of poetry in a more accessible and mainstream environment. For the Writing Competition, we work with Harvard University's Korea Institute and Literature Translation Institute of Korea.
We have additionally created a host of materials aimed at educators, including lesson plans and video recordings of various high school English classes being taught about Sijo. These materials were created in collaboration with numerous high school and college-level educators.
In collaboration with Elephant Rebellion, a Chicago-based community-oriented artists’ collective, the Sejong Cultural Society has also begun to tie the Sijo to mainstream pop culture in the U.S. Featuring the music of hip-hop artists from Elephant Rebellion, both contemporary and classic Sijo are being given life through hip-hop music.
(Performers after the 2014 Sunday Salon Concert "Windows to Culture" at Chicago Cultural Center's Preston Bradley Hall, January 2014)
(Yi Munyol's visit: Conversation with Yi Munyol, most popular and respected Korean author), Glenview, IL, March 2013)
(Sijo workshop for pre-college educators in April 2016)
(Elephant Rebellion performing Sijo Hiphop at our An Enchanted Evening with Korean Sijo Poetry, Art, and Wine event in October 2015)
(Students working on their Sejong Writing Competition entries)