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
            • THON Dika
                THON DikaCommunications and Outreach Officer


              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

                        INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT

                        • CHOEUN Socheata
                            CHOEUN SocheataCommunications & Outreach Coordinator
                          • PHARY Phacdey
                              PHARY PhacdeyMarketing and Fundraising 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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