Celebrating the 140th Anniversary of the Opening of Jemulpo Port and the Establishment of the Overseas Korean Administration Joint Performance of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage WEPAF
The World Ethnic Culture & Arts Promotion Institute (WECAPI) is happy to host the first Incheon World Ethnic Performing Arts Festival (WEPAF).
Enjoy Culture Together
We are inviting numerous world-class performance troupes to stage their art, including those listed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Additional international troupes will also be participating. And Korean national intangible cultural heritage performance troupes will round out the roster.
In total, we will have four days of entertaining displays of world cultural heritage through performing arts.
Duration November 2-5, 2023 (4 days)
Venue Cheongra Outdoor Music Hall
Organizers:  Culture Masters & ICPSC
Sponsors Foreign Embassies in Korea (Sponsoring the performing groups), Bplus Pictures
Collaborators UNESCO-IICAS; UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Museums, AnatU, India; European Association of Folklore Festivals; Folkland, India; Quebec Council for Living Heritage, Canada; Center for Intangible Culture Studies, Korea; Institute of World Ethnic Dance of the Korea National University of Arts; Research Institute for Asia Dance and Culture, Korea; Cultural Heritage Creative Lab; International E-Sports Committee, Korea; International Cultural Property Strategy Center; Korea Federation of Multicultural Communities
This year, marking the 140th anniversary of opening Jemulpo Port, is a significant milestone in Korea’s transition from a closed society to a more open one. Now, Incheon is for many people their first encounter with Korea and its culture, whether as a layover or their first point of entry for their travels in Korea. The city now aims to enhance cultural exchanges with global ethnic artists and foster cultural diplomacy through co-hosting the 2023 WE PAF with Culture Masters, Inc. By promoting Incheon as an international cultural hub, it will instill a sense of pride among not just the citizens of Incheon but also throughout Korea and the world.


  • Provide opportunities to experience high-quality traditional cultural arts through the performances of the world’s best ethnic art groups
  • Encourage understanding of global culture and art and enhance cultural diversity through UNESCO designated living heritage performances
  • Promote Incheon’s inclusiveness and contribute to exchanging traditional cultures worldwide
  • Contribute to safeguarding and promoting UNESCO living heritage
  • Offer a global platform to exchange ideas and cooperate with performing arts troupes


Hosting WE PAF 2023 in Incheon offers a platform for both local and international art enthusiasts to experience ethnic performing arts from diverse cultures. This global performance festival will not only serve as a stepping stone for future international projects in Incheon but also pave the way for permanent performance venues and programs, which will boost cultural exchanges and cultural collaborations through cultural arts and performances. Furthermore, by promoting cultural infrastructure and content based on traditional cultural arts facilities and workshops, WE PAF 2023 will establish Incheon as a global city for cultural artisans and communities. The festival will also contribute to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals while showcasing the capabilities of global cultural communities.

Key Events:

Opening Ceremony
November 2, 2023, 17:00
Closing Ceremony
November 5, 2023, 21:00
Special Events
  • Incheon International Forum: “World Ethnic Arts and Sustainable Urban Development”
  • Incheon International Exhibition: Living Heritage Performing Arts: Aesthetics of Diversity
  • Next Generation Masters Selection Competition and other award ceremonies
Side Events
  • UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Performance Team Press Conference
  • Incheon Citizens’ YouTube Video Contest
  • Operation of Incheon Citizens’ SNS Promotion Team
  • Foreigner Visit Program: Incheon Cultural Heritage Sites, Incheon Cultural Contents Lab, and other cultural facilities
  • Other events

Participation criteria:

We are looking for performing arts groups that meet the following criteria:
Excellence in Performance: We seek a group that demonstrates exceptional skill, artistry, and professionalism in their chosen field of performing arts, be it dance, music, theater, or any other related discipline.
International Experience: While not mandatory, a performing arts group with previous experience performing abroad would be advantageous, as they would be familiar with the challenges and requirements of international performances.
Availability and Flexibility: The group should be available during the festival dates (November 2–5, 2023) and be willing to travel overseas for the duration of the festival.
We encourage performing groups from around the world to apply.

The Secretariat will cover expenses for accommodations, food, and local transportation for the performing group and provide compensation for the performance (USD 200 per performance). Airfare for the performing troupe will not be included. Selected troupes will receive additional details, so arrangements can be made.

We would like to promote your communities by dedicating pages to tell people about what you are doing in relation to your cultural endeavors. For us to do that, please fill out the form and attach text as a .docs file and images in a separate email; most file forms for images are accepted.

For all images, include captions and any relevant copyright information. Also if you have video footage on YouTube, include links so we can embed for you.


IMPORTANT: WEPAF 2023 inviting performing groups directly related to ICH elements inscribed on the 2003 Convention.

Using web-semantics and graphic visualization, ‘Dive into Intangible Cultural Heritage’ proposes a broader conceptual and visual navigation through close to 600 elements inscribed on UNESCO’s Lists of the 2003 Convention. It explores the various elements across domains, themes, geography and ecosystems and makes it possible to visualize deep inter-connections among them.

The visualisations are constantly evolving as new elements get inscribed and the indexing is refined.

You can find the UNESCO list by elements and countries from ICH UNESCO - https://ich.unesco.org/en/dive&display=domain#tabs


Please indicate in the Application form to which of the listed UNESCO elements your performance relates to.


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