Cambodian Living Arts is happy to announce the launch of a new five-year strategy that will create new opportunities in the arts and culture scene in Cambodia. This is the third stage of the organisation’s evolution; founded in 1998 by musician and Khmer Rouge survivor Arn Chord-Pond, it was originally a grassroots NGO working to preserve traditional performing arts in danger of disappearing. As the Cambodian arts scene developed, Cambodian Living Arts began to focus on the needs of an emerging generation of artists, offering scholarships, fellowships, and training; creating performance and other employment opportunities; and helping to develop national and regional networks for the sector.
Looking forward, as the arts sector becomes more established, Cambodian Living Arts’s role has changed again; becoming more of a catalyst for the sector. Or in other words, working to create the conditions in which artists and cultural leaders are more able to create work that expresses something of themselves and their society, and contribute to sustainable development through the arts. to make sure that artists’ voices are always at the heart of all our programs, Cambodian Living Arts has created a new committee of four Associate Artists to oversee implementation of the strategy.
H.E. VENG Sereyvuth, Chair of the Board at Pannasastra University and Cambodian Living Arts Board Member, said:
“I truly believe in the strength of the young generation, and the potential they have to become leaders – the future of Cambodia is in their hands. I’m very happy to see how much Cambodian Living Arts is investing in them by creating such access to culture and the arts though these new strategic goals”
Highlights from the strategic plan include:
- The launch of a five-year pilot program seeking to integrate culture and arts education into Cambodia’s public schools
- More scholarships, trainings and grants for artists, researchers and other practitioners in the arts
- More festivals and performances in Phnom Penh, including a multidisciplinary festival around women and the arts, planned for November this year
- Increasing connections and networks with Asia.
Arn Chorn-Pond, founder of Cambodian Living Arts, said:
“Part of my dream was always to help the young people to realize their dreams. Now we are on our way, young people are doing new things by themselves, and are encouraging others to dream bigger through arts and culture.”
Cambodian Living Arts has created a new advisory committee to fully engage artists’ voices into their development. The committee’s four “Associate Artists” are all innovators and creators in their field, practicing independently of Cambodian Living Arts. They are: dancer and choreographer CHUMVAN Sodhachivy (Belle); filmmaker and founder of KlapYaHandz label SOK Visal; Yike Opera teacher UY Latavan; and Siem Reap-based visual artist YIM Maline. These artists, chosen to represent a range of different art forms and experiences in the sector, will make sure that projects, strategies and activities always serve the needs of artists and the arts community. The launch of this committee is a strong signal of Cambodian Living Arts’s commitment to working with and for the community and putting artists’ needs at the heart of its activities.
Associate Artist YIM Maline said,
“I am collaborating with Cambodian Living Arts because they are working for the sustainability of the arts, and they have a strong connection with artists – this kind of organisation is what Cambodia needs. For me personally, it is an opportunity to share my skills and knowledge as a contemporary visual artist to others. This collaboration I think will benefit artists, the arts sector, and help people to know more about our culture”.