OUR WORK: Living Arts Fellows

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


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.

Meet the 2018 Fellows


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.


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.


SREY Bandaul

Bandaul is 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.



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

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-based violence, 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.

 Our Former Fellows: 2015-2017

  • AN Raksmey
    AN Raksmey Researcher 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.

    CHEA SOPHEAP Executive 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.

    CHHAN DINA Artist

    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.

  • HEAK Pheary
    HEAK Pheary Artist 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.

    HELENE VEAL Founder, 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.

    HUN PEN Deputy 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.

    HUOT DARA CEO, 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 Head 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.

  • 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).

  • ONN Sokny
    ONN Sokny Country 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.

  • OU Buntheng
    OU Buntheng Operation 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.

    SAN PHALLA Deputy 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 Writer 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.

  • SOUS Sinath
    SOUS Sinath Senior HR Manager, Phare Performing Social Enterprise

    Sinath is currently Senior HR Manager from 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.

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

Living Arts Fellows

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