Organization - Cambodian Living Arts

Cambodian Living Arts
Basic Information
English Cambodian Living Arts
Local language សិល្បៈខ្មែរអមតៈ
Country Cambodia
Category International Organization Cultural Agency
Domain Oral Traditions and Expressions
Performing Arts
Function Policy and System
Supporting the development of the arts sector
Established year 1998

Playing the role of a cultural agency to support the development of the arts sector in Cambodia, Cambodian Living Arts works along with its belief that arts are at the heart of a vital society and essential to a thriving future for Cambodia.

To achieve our vision, our ongoing aims are set as follows:

  • To support the continuity and preservation of Cambodia’s artistic heritage;
  • To develop the Cambodian arts sector through regional, as well as international exchange and promotion;
  • To lead major artistic initiatives to promote and develop Cambodian arts.

During the Khmer Rouge regime, 90 percent of Cambodia’s artists were killed. Centuries of artistic traditions passed on through generations were in danger of being lost. In 1998, Cambodian Living Arts (CLA), founded by Cambodian American Arn Chorn-Pond, began working in the country with the mission to revive and develop traditional arts. Today, our aims have broadened—CLA operates as a cultural agency supporting the development of the arts sector, from education to policy, cultural exchange, and festivals. We have two centers: one in Phnom Penh, from which we operate national programs and have a strong focus on leadership and creativity; and the other in Siem Reap, called Heritage Hub, with the specific focus of supporting the continuity and preservation of Cambodia’s artistic heritage, i.e., safeguarding ICH through preservation-based continuity.

The Heritage Hub is a center for the practice, research, and development of Cambodia’s ICH. It works together with all our other programs to ensure there is always a dimension related to ICH. The Heritage Hub is based in Siem Reap because of the area’s rich history of artistry, and the depth of knowledge held by the many traditional musicians and cultural experts living in the province. Siem Reap is well-known as a city of immense tangible heritage because of Angkor Wat, but its intangible heritage is sometimes forgotten.

Major Activities

Cambodian Living Arts consists of four core programs that share cross-cutting goals with Heritage Hub. All of our programs are targeted to the arts community and the public. Those core programs are:


Activities within this program are directly related to developing arts. They include creating art and presenting it to the public through performances, festivals, or workshops, and training people who are working in the arts, such as artists, arts managers, and technical staff. AD’s current major activities are: providing artists and arts professionals with the Arn Chorn-Pond Living Arts Scholarship; teaching skills needed to secure regular, paid work in the arts through professional development training; enabling the artists to learn and share through exchange programs (workshops and residencies); providing grants to support arts projects through grants and commissions; creating a platform for the artists to presents their works at festivals (Amatak Festival); and raising awareness of Cambodian traditional art forms to the public through demonstration.


This program helps to connect people working in culture and arts, both within Cambodia and with relevant networks outside Cambodia. It aims to develop and share ideas and information related to arts in Cambodia and to link art to other sectors and issues. We take part in dialogue with the government and the private sector. KNP’s major activities are: providing arts and cultural leaders the opportunity to meet other prominent cultural leaders in the region and to reflect upon and discuss their roles as cultural leaders with a dynamic group of peers through the Living Arts Fellows Program; supporting research and researchers by providing grants and scholarship; establishing and getting involved in national and international conferences; initiating and participating in dialogues with the government and the private sector; and writing and sharing research and knowledge.


We initiated a five-year pilot program to develop a model for culture and arts education in the public education system. We are working in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, and UNESCO, and we collaborate with Cambodian arts and culture organizations. CAE is currently undertaking major projects in teacher training, curriculum development, education both outside and inside school hours, festivals, workshops, competitions, and presentations.


These activities create sustainable and fairly paid jobs for artists and technicians and allow audiences to experience quality authentic Cambodian performing arts. They also contribute income to Cambodian Living Arts overall and help us to fund our other programs. CLAE’s major activities are: providing employment opportunities to artists and other cultural workers; creating a platform to promote troupes and individual artists; presenting traditional Cambodian dance shows to the public; and providing authentic and dynamic experiences in arts and culture to the public.

Contact Information (Organization)
Address Phnom Penh: 128G9, Sothearos Blvd, Tonle Bassac, Chamkarmon | Siem Reap: Wat Reach Bo, Reach Bo Pagoda St., Sala Kamraeuk
Tel Phnom Penh: +855-23-986-032 | Siem Reap: +855-63-967-032

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