Cambodian Living Arts
Lifting up lives, preserving Khmer culture
What we say:
Founded in 1998 by Khmer artist Arn Chorn-Pond, Cambodian Living Arts (CLA) is an acclaimed non-profit that employs master Khmer artists who teach a number of media to impoverished young people from around the country.
The focus is on preserving traditional Khmer art and culture while sharing it with the modern world and offering impoverished youths the chance to have successful careers in the arts.
CLA's teachers and students periodically hold public events, such as the popular Khmer dance performances by the Children of Basaac, a dance troupe of 17 to 22 year-olds from the impoverished Basaac community of Phnom Penh. The CLA also holds bi-annual Khmer art festivals and offers tours of its training facilities in Phnom Penh and elsewhere. A handful of comprehensive scholarships are granted by CLA to determined young Khmer artists each year. Check the CLA's website for up-to-date information on events, tours, donating and other ways to get involved.
The schools are entirely funded by donations, and they offer travellers a wonderful alternative to orphanage tourism or giving money to street kids. CLA helps lift hard-working, underprivileged young people out of poverty, but in a sustainable way that offers them a real chance of a better life while at the same time preserving traditional Khmer culture. We highly recommend getting involved and/or supporting CLA in whatever ways you can.
Last updated: 5th July, 2013
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