The Artist Development program goes back to where Cambodian Living Arts began; supporting community arts teaching. This includes supporting community leaders to sustain the practice of arts teaching in their communities by improving the quality of teaching; helping them to create and implement self-sustaining business plans; and sourcing communities and institutions that help support arts teaching. However, we now also encourage artists to generate income by running their own cultural-based enterprises. We work to help them develop their enterprise’s concept and to plan their activities, and support them to ensure their enterprise’s viability.
We help teachers to create formal lesson plans, as well as helping them to organize and promote their business. We provide support and advice to arts communities and institutions, and provide start-up financial and administrative support to community leaders interested in starting up classes. We also hold arts demonstrations, where we visit schools and other organizations and introduce young people to traditional performing arts. These include folk dance and Sbaek Thom (large shadow puppets).
This program helps artists to support themselves by developing sustainable social enterprises. We do this by first carrying out a feasibility study of a troupe’s enterprise concept, before helping them to agree on their goals, define their target market, and create operational and financial plans. We provide leadership and management training, and help them to develop their marketing and promotional materials, with the intention that they become a viable and self-sustaining enterprise.
Meet The Dondrey Mongkol Troupe: this troupe had its origins before the Khmer Rouge years with Master Mao Poeung, a life-long musician and teacher for the Classical Royal Ballet Dance Troupe. He was rediscovered by our founder, Arn Chorn Pond, and brought to Phnom Penh to begin teaching a younger generation of artists.
After Mao Poeung’s death, Sour Vanna, one of his top students, took over. However, the troupe faced numerous difficulties, with no fixed teaching space and changing student numbers. CLA was able to provide administrative and financial support and help Vanna to find a permanent rehearsal space. He has now formed one of the best Pin Peat orchestras in Cambodia, leads the troupe of 18 members, and teaches music and other arts, including dance, at the Royal University of Fine Arts.
With the support of the Artist Development team, the troupe now performs regularly at the Prek Reussey Pagoda during Buddhist ceremonies, and its members are able to successfully earn a living. Following a troupe evaluation process with our Artist Development team, they have recently undergone a marketing re-branding process, with our support. We are excited to see how their new look resonates with their target audience and how it increases their performance opportunities.