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 SokhornProgram Manager
        • 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, NETWORKS AND POLICY

                        • SO Phina
                            SO PhinaProgram Manager
                          • KEAT Sokim
                              KEAT SokimProgram Coordinator

                            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.


                            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.


                              EXPERIENCE CLA

                                SUPPORT TEAMS


                                • SUN Sithika
                                    SUN SithikaOperation Coordinator
                                  • PICH Panha
                                      PICH PanhaOffice Assistant
                                    • SO Maly
                                        SO MalyCleaner

                                      SUPPORT TEAMS

                                      INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT

                                      • Erik HYMAN
                                          Erik HYMANAssociate Director of Development - North America
                                        • PHARY Phacdey
                                            PHARY PhacdeyDevelopment Coordinator
                                          • PROSETH Vochinea
                                              PROSETH VochineaMarketing Manager
                                            • ROEUN Rina
                                                ROEUN RinaSenior Production Coordinator

                                              SUPPORT TEAMS


                                              • KUON Manith
                                                  KUON ManithHead of Finance
                                                • HOUR Phaktra
                                                    HOUR PhaktraECLA-Finance Coordinator
                                                  • KONG Chanmanina
                                                      KONG ChanmaninaLAI-Finance Coordinator

                                                    OUR BOARD

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

                                                        Founding Chairman Raffles Hotels & Resorts, Chairman CREO Lifestyle International Pte Ltd & RCH International Pte Ltd

                                                      • Barbara BARRON
                                                          Barbara BARRONHead, Institutional Advancement Committee

                                                          Advancement Consultant
                                                          San Rafael, CA, USA

                                                        • John BURT
                                                            John BURTCo-Founder

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

                                                          • Rachel COOPER
                                                              Rachel COOPER

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

                                                            • Melissa IM
                                                                Melissa IM

                                                                Advisor, The Juhi Center
                                                                New York, NY, USA

                                                              • Alfred MUNZER
                                                                  Alfred MUNZERHead, Nominations Committee

                                                                  Retired physician, former president American Lung Association
                                                                  Washington DC, USA

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

                                                                    Vice President (Academic) & Provost, LASALLE College of the Arts

                                                                  • Mary K. READ
                                                                      Mary K. READ

                                                                      Company Director
                                                                      Sydney, Australia

                                                                    • H.E. VENG Sereyvuth
                                                                        H.E. VENG Sereyvuth

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

                                                                      • Eric WONG
                                                                          Eric WONGTreasurer and Head, Finance Committee

                                                                          Blue Ridge Capital
                                                                          New York, NY USA

                                                                        ADDITIONAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS

                                                                        • Dana B. WHITE
                                                                            Dana B. WHITEFinance Committee

                                                                          ADVISORY COUNCIL 2017-2019

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

                                                                              Vice President (Academic) & 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, New York 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

                                                                                                    Our Partners


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