OUR WORK: Living Arts Fellows

PROGRAM: Knowledge, Networks, and Policy
AIMED AT: Artists and arts managers

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The Living Arts Fellows Program is a professional development program for artists and arts managers. We select creative and dedicated individuals who are already leaders in their particular field, and help them to nurture their vision and values.

Throughout the year, our Fellows meet artists and cultural leaders from around the region, building a network of some of the most innovative people working in the arts and culture sector today. They explore topics relevant to their work in the arts, and develop their personal, professional and cultural perspectives.

Senior leaders in the arts community helped us to develop the program. It emphasizes research and analysis, exposes Fellows to global practices and case studies, and encourages debate, presenting conflicting ideas and opinions.

In 2019, CLA commissioned an independent review of the program, which found it to be “remarkably effective”. To read the review and hear more stories from the fellows, click here.

Meet the 2020 Fellows

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BORNNOEM Milya

Milya is an event organizer currently working for the Japan Foundation Asia Center, Phnom Penh Liaison office. She has been involved with Arts and Cultural Exchange in a variety of genres such as Performance Arts, Visual Arts, Film/Moving Image, Music, Sport, Grassroots and Intellectual Exchange which connect her to Artists from different backgrounds. She is also a representative for Mekong Cultural Hub, the sister organization of CLA, where she builds networks with artists and the arts community. She believes that the arts have the power to change the world.

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MANG Valy

Valy is the Chief of the Heritage Division, Kompong Thom Provincial Department of Culture and Fine Arts. From 2015-2017, he joined the Sambor Prei Kuk Conversation Project under the collaboration of Waseda University. Since 2015, he has lectured on “Culture and Heritage” under the Heritage Education Project. He has also worked with the Director of Culture and Fine Arts in Kompong Thom Province to establish 8 voluntary arts groups (2 from ethnic minority communities) to promote cultural awareness and moral education through dance and theater. He is an Advisor for the Foundation of Smiles, in charge of Khmer culture and arts activities. MANG Valy graduated with a bachelor’s degree in archaeology from the Royal University of Fine Arts.

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CHUMVAN Sodhachivy (Belle)

Sodhachivy (Belle) is a contemporary dancer, choreographer, and lecture​r in Classical Dance at the Faculty of Choreography of Royal University of Fine Arts. Belle has been a featured dancer in works led by Emmanuèle Phuon, Peter Chin, Arco Renz, Peter Sellars, and other renowned choreographers. Belle joined the production of The Bangsokol – A Requiem for Cambodia as both a Performer and Assistant Stage Director for its premieres in Melbourne, New York, and Boston. Belle also performed in See You Yesterday, a contemporary piece mixing circus, comedy, and dance, created in collaboration with Phare Ponleu Selpak Association and Global Arts Corps, a U.S.-based NGO advocating arts to heal the wounds and trauma of war. Belle is a founder of SilverBell Dance Group of Performing Artists. Belle graduated from the Secondary School of Fine Arts in 2003 and 2007 from the Royal University of Fine Arts.

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PO Sakun

Sakun has worked with “Epic Arts” for eight years. Being an inclusive arts course leader, he believes in the power of the arts to change people’s perceptions and the impact on individuals’ lives. He is driven by the idea of showing people the advantages of inclusive art, creating new opportunities for creativity and collaboration in dance and theatre. As a dancer and advocate for inclusive arts, Sakun travels locally and internationally to perform, teach and show the maximum potential of individuals with different abilities. He was a project officer and translator for international dance production ‘Buffalo Boy’ in 2018; delivering dance workshops and performances in “Art for All” in Thailand. In 2019, he attended ‘Social Inclusion’ training in  Sweden.  

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KEO Sreypheak

Sreypheak is an independent artist, gallery manager, and art festival organizer trained in contemporary arts. In 2018, she worked as a manager at Sangker Gallery, the only gallery in Battambang where artists are given space to exhibit their works together freely.  She envisions Battambang as the artistic center of Cambodia. She will soon start an internship as project manager and young artists development at Sa Sa Art Projects. Pheak also researches and contributes to environmental education on plastic recycling, and conducts workshops for public schools and organizations on arts and environment.

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KHUT Sokhoeun

Sokhoeun is a writer and publisher. His short story, ‘Under the Same Sky,’ was awarded by the Sleuk Rith Institution. He is a keen volunteer with other writers to promote reading, writing, and publishing in Cambodia. He co-founded the Mun Teuk Khmao Writer Group and published three short stories as chief of the group from 2018 to 2019. Currently, he is a co-founder of CREATOR Publishing and Distribution House, which focuses on book sales, publishing and consultations. Sokhoeun graduated with a Master of Arts in Development Studies at RUPP in 2011. He also has a Bachelor of Education in TEFL from Build Bright University (2005) and graduated from Prey Veng Regional Teacher Training Center in Pedagogy in 2000.

 

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KIM Ann Arun

Arun has worked as principal writer and script supervisor at Khmer Mekong Films since 2006. Before that she worked for BBC Trust as a script supervisor for the successful educational TV drama ‘Taste of Life’. She has also written a children’s book and a short story for the anthology ‘Crush Collection’. She joined the Asia Foundation’ ‘Let’s Read’ program to promote an E-book for children. Inspired by people living with disabilities, Arun has dedicated her time to learn Cambodian sign language from Deaf Development Programme, as she believes that knowing this language will help her to communicate more effectively with other people and give her practical ideas for script writing.

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NANG Yanna

Yanna represents Artsolute-Cambodia in the “ASEAN Puppetry Exchange Program” (APEX), a collaboration between Sovannaphum Art Association, Artsolute-Singapore, ASEAN Foundation and Japanese Solidarity Fund. Through this program, he connects Cambodian artists with trainings, workshops and performance opportunities. Working with Sovannaphum Art Association, Yanna created a program with APEX in 2015 on the topic of Fire, called “APEX-Fire”. This aimed to raise awareness about discrimination, jealousy, and misunderstanding, using puppetry to build peace and understanding. Yanna is pursuing a degree in Communication, Media, and Arts at PUC.

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SREY Bandaul

Bandaulis a visual artist, arts teacher, and co-founder of Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPSA), a community-based visual and performing arts school that also provides general education and social support, based in Battambang. Bandaul has exhibited his works extensively both locally and internationally including in Norway, the Philippines, Thailand, Australia, Singapore, New York, London, Istanbul, and Myanmar.  He has also published two books: Looking at Angkor and The Land of the Elephants. Bandaul is currently working on a memoir based on his life as a child refugee.

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THORN Seyma

Seyma is co-founder and artistic director of The Khmer Magic Music Bus, which has made trips around Cambodia since 2013 to bring traditional music to rural parts of the country. Previously a singer, she was invited by Arn CHORN-POND to join Waterek Productions, a CD production company. Later, Seyma and Arn co-founded The Khmer Magic Music Bus (The KMMB), and called on musicians from different provinces to form a group. Seyma strongly believes that less well-known traditional musicians deserve the opportunity to perform and show their talents and should be able to transfer their skills to the next generation. The KMMB has recently become a program of Cambodian Living Arts.

 

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YIM Sotheary

Sotheary is an independent arts therapist and a clinical psychologist with 12 years of experience working in the social development sector in Cambodia. Throughout her career, she has advocated for psychology as a necessary human right in Cambodian society. She was instrumental in producing a comprehensive handbook called “Understanding Trauma in Cambodia”. Sotheary has extensive professional experience with survivors of trauma from the Khmer Rouge era, and uses arts and culture as tools in her work. Recently, her work has focused specifically on gender-basedviolence, and has written the book “Past and the Present of Forced Marriage Survivors; Experience toward Healing”. Sotheary received her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and Counselling in 2010 from Royal University of Phnom Penh.

What the Fellows have said about the program:

“The conclusion is I am a cultural leader. I didn’t think that before. Now I feel more responsibility.”

 

-HUN Pen, dancer and choreographer and 2015 Fellow

“For me, it has been really special to learn more about leadership and how to develop an action plan for working with partners both in Cambodia and internationally”

 

– CHHAN Dina, visual artist and 2016 Fellow

“Now I know more about arts, and about creativity, flexibility, management, and motivation. I feel more confident, and I’m happy and learn and share with the other fellows”

 

– Sinath SOUS, Director of HR at Phare Performing Social Enterprsie and 2017 Fellow

The Program

There are three main elements:

  • A series of 4 ‘Living Arts Labs’ – weekend sessions at arts venues around Cambodia exploring a theme through discussion, creative exercises, reflection and field visits
  • An exchange visit to another Greater Mekong country, to meet peers and share practices, challenges, and experiences. In 2015 we visited Myanmar, and in 2016 Vietnam.
  • A group project – the 2016 Fellows held a careers event and art fair at Sisowath High School.
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Support for Living Arts International fellowships is provided, in part, by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

 Our Former Fellows: 2018

  • KIM Ann Arun
    KIM Ann ArunPrincipal writer and script supervisor at Khmer Mekong Films

    Arun has worked as principal writer and script supervisor at Khmer Mekong Films since 2006. Before that she worked for BBC Trust as a script supervisor for the successful educational TV drama ‘Taste of Life’. She has also written a children’s book and a short story for the anthology ‘Crush Collection’. She joined the Asia Foundation’ ‘Let’s Read’ program to promote an E-book for children. Inspired by people living with disabilities, Arun has dedicated her time to learn Cambodian sign language from Deaf Development Programme, as she believes that knowing this language will help her to communicate more effectively with other people and give her practical ideas for script writing.

    • NANG Yanna
      NANG YannaRepresentative of Artsolute-Cambodia in the “ASEAN Puppetry Exchange Program” (APEX)

      Yanna represents Artsolute-Cambodia in the “ASEAN Puppetry Exchange Program” (APEX), a collaboration between Sovannaphum Art Association, Artsolute-Singapore, ASEAN Foundation and Japanese Solidarity Fund. Through this program, he connects Cambodian artists with trainings, workshops and performance opportunities. Working with Sovannaphum Art Association, Yanna created a program with APEX in 2015 on the topic of Fire, called “APEX-Fire”. This aimed to raise awareness about discrimination, jealousy, and misunderstanding, using puppetry to build peace and understanding. Yanna is pursuing a degree in Communication, Media, and Arts at PUC.

      • SREY Bandaul
        SREY BandaulVisual artist, arts teacher, and co-founder of Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPSA)

        Bandaulis a visual artist, arts teacher, and co-founder of Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPSA), a community-based visual and performing arts school that also provides general education and social support, based in Battambang. Bandaul has exhibited his works extensively both locally and internationally including in Norway, the Philippines, Thailand, Australia, Singapore, New York, London, Istanbul, and Myanmar.  He has also published two books: Looking at Angkor and The Land of the Elephants. Bandaul is currently working on a memoir based on his life as a child refugee.

        • THORN Seyma
          THORN SeymaCo-founder and artistic director of The Khmer Magic Music Bus

          Seyma is co-founder and artistic director of The Khmer Magic Music Bus, which has made trips around Cambodia since 2013 to bring traditional music to rural parts of the country. Previously a singer, she was invited by Arn CHORN-POND to join Waterek Productions, a CD production company. Later, Seyma and Arn co-founded The Khmer Magic Music Bus (The KMMB), and called on musicians from different provinces to form a group. Seyma strongly believes that less well-known traditional musicians deserve the opportunity to perform and show their talents and should be able to transfer their skills to the next generation. The KMMB has recently become a program of Cambodian Living Arts.

           

          • YIM Sotheary
            YIM SothearyIndependent arts therapist

            Sotheary is an independent arts therapist and a clinical psychologist with 12 years of experience working in the social development sector in Cambodia. Throughout her career, she has advocated for psychology as a necessary human right in Cambodian society. She was instrumental in producing a comprehensive handbook called “Understanding Trauma in Cambodia”. Sotheary has extensive professional experience with survivors of trauma from the Khmer Rouge era, and uses arts and culture as tools in her work. Recently, her work has focused specifically on gender-basedviolence, and has written the book “Past and the Present of Forced Marriage Survivors; Experience toward Healing”. Sotheary received her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and Counselling in 2010 from Royal University of Phnom Penh.

             Our Former Fellows: 2017

            • AN Raksmey
              AN RaksmeyResearcher and Technical Officer at Kampong Thom provincial Department of Culture and Fine Arts

              Raksmey is a senior technical officer from the Kampong Thom provincial Department of Culture and Fine Arts. He is an adventurer and art researcher, and founded the Living with Heritage Project, a Facebook page with his research, photographs, and writing on cultural practices, traditional ceremony, songs, and dialect.

              • HEAK Pheary
                HEAK PhearyArtist and Arts Teacher

                Pheary is an art teacher and an independent artist. She has been awarded residencies at Hue Artists Residency in Vietnam and Sa Sa Art Projects in Phnom Penh. Her work focuses on environmental issues, ideals of natural beauty, and textiles. She has been conducting art workshops for one hundred children and high school students in collaboration with Create Cambodia, a Peace Corps Initiative.

                • MENH Chanvanda (aka. Romdoul Lich Tek)
                  MENH Chanvanda (aka. Romdoul Lich Tek)Fashion Designer and Make-up Artist

                  Romdoul is a fashion designer, make-up artist, and hair stylist, who has demonstrated her talent and creativity by researching and uncovering many forgotten and rare elements of Khmer culture and tradition. Her creative costumes can be seen in various annual cultural events such as the Angkor Sangkran, film festivals, and Bonn Phum (Village Festival).

                  • OU Buntheng
                    OU BunthengOperation and Tour Manager, Epic Arts

                    Buntheng is Operation and Tour Manager at Epic Arts in Kampot. He has worked and supported artists living with different kinds of disabilities to create creative dance movements and performances locally and internationally. Buntheng’s oldest son has Down’s syndrome, which inspired him to become a strong advocate for inclusiveness and for artists with disabilities.

                    • SOUS Sinath
                      SOUS SinathDirector of HR and Community Engagement, Phare Performing Social Enterprise

                      Sinath is currently Director of HR and Community Engagement at Phare Performing Social Enterprise, and has worked with the organization for over 10 years. She has supported and led various festivals and performances locally and internationally. She is one of the core people working to curate and increase Phare’s social impact.

                       Our Former Fellows: 2016

                      • CHHAN DINA
                        CHHAN DINAArtist

                        Dina works in a range of media including painting and sculpture. Her recent work is largely abstract, dealing with themes of life, music and everyday activities.  She teaches visual art in a number of orphanages and international schools. Dina plans to continue making dynamic and engaging works of art, and hopes to open a workshop and gallery in Phnom Penh.

                        • HELENE VEAL
                          HELENE VEALFounder, Samay.tv

                          Hélène launched the first Cambodian internet TV channel, SAMAY.TV, with the mission to deliver entertaining and meaningful programs that both inspire people and broaden their knowledge. Her ambition for SAMAY.TV is to make it the first platform that promotes Cambodian video content, including culture and arts programming.

                          • HUOT DARA
                            HUOT DARACEO, Phare Performing Social Enterprise

                            Dara leads and manages PPSE in its mission of supporting Phare Ponleu Selpak school. PPSE operates Phare, The Cambodian Circus and Phare Productions International. A student at Phare Ponleu Selpak in 2001, he became CEO of PPSE in 2013. Dara’s dream is to develop a reputable and internationally recognized Cambodian brand.

                            • KOR BORIN
                              KOR BORINHead of Cultural Programming, Institut français du Cambodge

                              Borin has been in his role at the IFC since 2006 and is responsible for their cultural programming, coordinating exhibitions, shows, conferences, cinema screenings, and festivals. He would like to stay working at the IFC, and to continue curating interesting and valuable cultural activities for people living in Phnom Penh.

                               Our Former Fellows: 2015

                              • CHEA SOPHEAP
                                CHEA SOPHEAPExecutive Director, Bophana Center

                                Sopheap is a historian and the Director of Bophana Audiovisual Resource Centre, where he has worked for over a decade. He has produced cultural events, run film festivals, and installed exhibitions. He is especially interested in the role of arts in telling stories about society.

                                • HUN PEN
                                  HUN PENDeputy Director, Department of Performing Arts, MoCFA

                                  Pen is a classically trained dancer and choreographer, who has been engaged in contemporary dance for the last decade. She is also an experienced arts manager, and is currently Deputy Director of the Department of Performing Arts in the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts.

                                  • ONN Sokny
                                    ONN SoknyCountry Director, Epic Arts

                                    Sokny is the Country Director of Epic Arts, an inclusive arts organization that brings together people with and without disabilities. She is also a founding member of the Cambodian Arts Network, which brings together people working in the arts sector to increase collaboration and exchange.

                                    • SAN PHALLA
                                      SAN PHALLADeputy Director, Department of Books and Reading, MoCFA

                                      Phalla trained as a painter, and has worked as a researcher across many artistic disciplines. He is currently the Deputy Director of the Department of Books and Reading at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, and has writer, edited, and published articles and books on topics including mural painting, classical dance, and Buddhist culture.

                                      • SO Phina
                                        SO PhinaWriter and Researcher

                                        Phina is a writer and poet, and leads Women Writers Cambodia, a charter of PEN Cambodia. In 2016, she and five other female writers self-published an anthology of short stories, called the “Crush Collection”. She encourages women to write via her personal blog, dare2write.com. She is currently Knowledge, Networks, and Policy Program Manager at Cambodian Living Arts.

                                         Creative Leaders: 2014

                                        • CHHUON Sarin
                                          CHHUON SarinHead of Experience CLA
                                          • CHREK Sopha
                                            CHREK SophaThe Messenger Band
                                            • KHEN Vanthy
                                              KHEN VanthyTeacher and Independent Artist and Dancer
                                              • MOENG Meta
                                                MOENG MetaArts Manager and Independent Curator
                                                • ONN Sokny
                                                  ONN SoknyCountry Director, Epic Arts

                                                  Sokny is the Country Director of Epic Arts, an inclusive arts organization that brings together people with and without disabilities. She is also a founding member of the Cambodian Arts Network, which brings together people working in the arts sector to increase collaboration and exchange.

                                                  • REUTH Shhort Chhoeung
                                                    REUTH Shhort ChhoeungGeneral Manager, Tiny Toones Cambodia
                                                    • YORN Young
                                                      YORN YoungIndependent Writer and Singer

                                                       Season of Cambodia Fellows: 2013

                                                      • CHEA SOPHEAP
                                                        CHEA SOPHEAPExecutive Director, Bophana Center

                                                        Sopheap is a historian and the Director of Bophana Audiovisual Resource Centre, where he has worked for over a decade. He has produced cultural events, run film festivals, and installed exhibitions. He is especially interested in the role of arts in telling stories about society.

                                                        • CHEY Chankethya
                                                          CHEY ChankethyaArtistic Director, Amrita Performing Arts
                                                          • CHUM Chanveasna
                                                            CHUM ChanveasnaArts Manager
                                                            • KHUON Chanreaksmey
                                                              KHUON ChanreaksmeyDeputy Director of Performing Arts, PAS
                                                              • SONG Seng
                                                                SONG SengProgram Manager

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                                                                Supporters of the Program

                                                                Thank you to the following institutions for making this program possible:

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