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
        • CHOEUN Socheata
            CHOEUN SocheataCommunications & Outreach Coordinator
          • EN Sormanak
              EN SormanakProgram Coordinator
            • SOTH Chandaly
                SOTH ChandalyProgram 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
                    • KET Senghuy
                        KET SenghuyAssistant for Culture And Arts Center & NGS Art Education Teacher
                      • KONG Vollak
                          KONG VollakPedagogical 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.


                        KNOWLEDGE, NETWORK AND POLICY

                        • SO Phina
                            SO PhinaProgram Manager

                          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

                          • PHARY Phacdey
                              PHARY PhacdeyDevelopment Coordinator
                            • ROEUN Rina
                                ROEUN RinaLogistic Coordinator
                              • Erik HYMAN
                                  Erik HYMANAssociate Director of Development—North America
                                • Danielle KHLEANG
                                    Danielle KHLEANGContent Writer & Social Media Manager

                                  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


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                                                                                                        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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