We were founded in 1998 by genocide survivor and musician Arn CHORN-POND. For a decade, we focused on endangered performing art forms and rituals. As 90% of Cambodia’s artists did not survive the Khmer Rouge regime, Cambodia’s artistic heritage was in danger of being lost forever.

Over the last 20 years, both Cambodia and the arts scene have developed rapidly and we have evolved our work to match.  We have focused on helping talented people to build and develop careers in the arts, through scholarships, fellowships, and support to troupes and individuals.

Looking forwards, we aim to promote creativity and innovation in the arts sector, and to build links with our neighbors in the Greater Mekong region and further afield in Asia. We are also working to get more arts and culture education into Cambodian public schools, and to increase performance opportunities for Cambodian artists.


We believe arts are at the heart of a vital society.


We envision the arts and cultural expression as essential to a thriving future for Cambodia.


Cambodian Living Arts’ mission is to be a catalyst in a vibrant arts sector, inspiring new generations.


20th Anniversary Annual Report


Arn CHORN-POND, our founder

Arn is a musician, human rights activist, and survivor of the Khmer Rouge period. He was born into a family of artists, but in 1975 was sent to a children’s labor camp. Under the instruction of a Master Artist, he survived by playing propaganda music. He escaped, spending time at a refugee camp in Thailand, before aid worker Peter POND adopted him in 1980. He was educated in the US, and started up several community projects in his new country. In the 1990s, Arn returned to Cambodia to find his former teacher and to rebuild the artistic legacy of his family. After seeing the desperate conditions faced by Cambodia’s remaining Masters, Arn was moved to help. In 1998, along with a group of dedicated people from the US, he created the Cambodian Masters Performers Program, which grew into Cambodian Living Arts.

Learn more about Arn …




  • Phloeun PRIM
      Phloeun PRIMExecutive Director
    • Frances RUDGARD
        Frances RUDGARDManaging Director


      Arts Development

      • YON Sokhorn
          YON SokhornHead of Program
        • EN Sormanak
            EN SormanakProgram Coordinator

          Our arts development program has been at the heart of CLA’s work since we began in 1998. We support artists, troupes, teachers, and communities to sustain their work in the arts and to earn a living. We do this by providing training in both artistic and non-artistic skills, giving financial, administrative, and logistical support, and creating opportunities for collaboration and exchange.



          • THORN Seyma
              THORN SeymaArtistic Production Manager & Co-Founder


            Arts Education

            • Marie CHRISTINE
                Marie CHRISTINEArts Education Consultant
              • KONG Vollak
                  KONG VollakPedagogical Coordinator
                • SONG Seng
                    SONG SengCulture and Arts Education Coordinator

                  This program aims to better integrate culture and arts education into Cambodia’s education system. We are working with the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports, and with the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and UNESCO as partners.



                  • SO Phina
                      SO PhinaProgram Manager
                    • PO Sakun
                        PO SakunProgram Coordinator, Knowledge Network and Policy

                      We support research and dialogue into the role of arts in society, and strengthening connections with our neighbors in the Greater Mekong region and elsewhere in Asia.

                      We collaborate with government, civil society, grassroots organizations and regional institutions, and contribute to cultural policy discussions both in Cambodia and internationally. We also run a Fellowship program for artists and cultural workers who are driving the sector forwards.

                      Support teams


                      • CHOEUN Socheata
                          CHOEUN SocheataCommunications & Outreach Coordinator
                        • PHARY Phacdey
                            PHARY PhacdeyMarketing and Fundraising Manager
                          • THON Dika
                              THON DikaVideographer and Editor
                            • SUOL Nary
                                SUOL NaryCommunication Coordinator

                              Support teams


                              • KUON Manith
                                  KUON ManithHead of Finance
                                • KONG Chanmanina
                                    KONG ChanmaninaLAI-Finance Coordinator

                                  Support teams


                                  • SO Maly
                                      SO MalyCleaner
                                    • LIM Chanboth
                                        LIM ChanbothGuard
                                      • PICH Panha
                                          PICH PanhaOffice Assistant
                                        • HOUR Phaktra
                                            HOUR PhaktraFinance and Operation Coordinator

                                          OUR BOARD

                                          • Dr. Richard C. HELFER
                                              Dr. Richard C. HELFERChair of the Board

                                              Founding Chairman and CEO, Raffles International
                                              Chairman, Creo Lifestyle International Pte Ltd & RCH International Pte Ltd

                                            • Barbara BARRON
                                                Barbara BARRON

                                                Independent Advancement Consultant
                                                San Rafael, CA USA

                                              • John BURT
                                                  John BURTCo-Founder

                                                  President, John Burt Productions
                                                  Chair, Season of Cambodia 2013
                                                  New York, NY USA

                                                • Rachel COOPER
                                                    Rachel COOPER

                                                    Director, Global Performing Arts and Special Cultural Initiatives, Asia Society
                                                    New York, NY USA

                                                  • Nico DASWANI
                                                      Nico DASWANI

                                                      Head of Arts and Culture, World Economic Forum
                                                      Geneva, Switzerland

                                                    • Sarah GARDNER
                                                        Sarah GARDNER

                                                        Freelance Consultant
                                                        Founding Executive Director, International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA)
                                                        Sydney, Australia

                                                      • Melissa IM
                                                          Melissa IM

                                                          Advisor, The Juhi Center
                                                          San Francisco, CA USA

                                                        • Carolyn MALCOLM
                                                            Carolyn MALCOLM

                                                            Partner, NKSFB, LLC
                                                            New York, NY USA

                                                          • Alfred MUNZER
                                                              Alfred MUNZER

                                                              Retired Physician
                                                              Former President, American Lung Association
                                                              Washington, DC USA

                                                            • Philippe PEYCAM
                                                                Philippe PEYCAM

                                                                Director, International Institute for Asian Studies
                                                                Leiden, The Netherlands

                                                              • Dr. Venka PURUSHOTHAMAN
                                                                  Dr. Venka PURUSHOTHAMANChair, Advisory Council

                                                                  Deputy President and Provost, LASALLE College of the Arts

                                                                • Mary K. READ
                                                                    Mary K. READ

                                                                    Company Director, Reads of Woollahra
                                                                    Sydney, Australia

                                                                  • H.E. Veng SEREYVUTH
                                                                      H.E. Veng SEREYVUTH

                                                                      Chairman, Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia
                                                                      Former Minister of Culture and Minister of Tourism
                                                                      Phnom Penh, Cambodia

                                                                    • Eric WONG
                                                                        Eric WONGTreasurer

                                                                        New York, NY USA

                                                                      ADVISORY COUNCIL


                                                                      • Dr. Venka PURUSHOTHAMAN
                                                                          Dr. Venka PURUSHOTHAMANChair, Advisory Council

                                                                          Deputy President and Provost, LASALLE College of the Arts

                                                                        • Connie BAHER
                                                                            Connie BAHER

                                                                            President, U.S. Business Communications, USA

                                                                          • Carol BECKER
                                                                              Carol BECKER

                                                                              Dean of Faculty, Columbia University School of the Arts, USA

                                                                            • John BURT
                                                                                John BURTCo-Founder

                                                                                President, John Burt Productions
                                                                                Chair, Season of Cambodia 2013
                                                                                New York, NY USA

                                                                              • Marjorie CHU
                                                                                  Marjorie CHU

                                                                                  Curator, gallery owner, author and lecturer, Singapore

                                                                                • Joyce CLARK
                                                                                    Joyce CLARK

                                                                                    Board Chair, Heritage Watch International, USA

                                                                                  • Marie LE SOURD
                                                                                      Marie LE SOURD

                                                                                      Secretary General, On the Move, Belgium

                                                                                    • Rithy PANH
                                                                                        Rithy PANH

                                                                                        Founder, Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center, Cambodia

                                                                                      • Cynthia SCHNEIDER
                                                                                          Cynthia SCHNEIDER

                                                                                          Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy, Georgetown University, USA

                                                                                        • Clare SHINE
                                                                                            Clare SHINE

                                                                                            Vice President & Chief Program Officer, Salzburg Global Seminar, Austria

                                                                                          • Mike VAN GRAAN
                                                                                              Mike VAN GRAAN

                                                                                              Executive Director, African Arts Institute, South Africa

                                                                                            • Anmol VELLANI
                                                                                                Anmol VELLANI

                                                                                                Founder, India Foundation for the Arts, India

                                                                                              • Katelijn VERSTRAETE
                                                                                                  Katelijn VERSTRAETE

                                                                                                  Director Arts and Creative Industries East Asia, British Council, Singapore

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                                                                                                EXPERIENCE CLA

                                                                                                  ADDITIONAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS

                                                                                                  • Dana B. WHITE
                                                                                                      Dana B. WHITEFinance Committee

                                                                                                    Our Partners


                                                                                                      SUPPORTERS/ DONORS


                                                                                                    HERITAGE HUB

                                                                                                      We aim to support the continuity and preservation of Cambodia’s artistic and cultural heritage. This is a theme which runs throughout all of our programs.

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