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Cambodian arts and culture move to raise funds from local backers

Srey Kumneth / Khmer Times Share:
Traditional art performance by an indigenous group from Stung Treng and Mondulkiri. KT/Srey Kumneth

Arn Chorn-Pond, founder of Cambodian Living Arts (CLA), a leading art organisation in the Kingdom stated, that the organisation have to start raising more funds from local sources.

Founded in 1998, the CLA mission is to preserve the ancient arts and culture of Cambodia by assisting artists and creating a market place for their skills and talent. However, due to various global economic headwinds, funds for the organisation that has previously been sourced from outside the country have been slowly in decline.

Arn Chorn-Pond, founder of a leading art organisation in Cambodia. KT/Srey Kumneth

“As the world has been struggling with the Novel Coronavirus and other economic problems, raising funds has not been easy. In the future, the CLA cannot only survive from foreign sources alone, but we will also need to survive on local donations,” Arn said in a speech given last week, at the Dam Dos award night hosted at the Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center.

“It is our culture and arts, hence, we need to find a way to raise vital funds and continue to support our nation’s classical and modern art,” he added.

Arn said that presently he was not sure how he would start raising funds locally, however, has called on artists to contribute back to their community by creating events, festivals and fundraising ideas.

“I will try to create events to raise funds and seek help from locals, hopefully, Khmers will stop complaining about their absence in helping Khmer art,” he said.

Traditional art performance by an indigenous group from Stung Treng and Mondulkiri. KT/Srey Kumneth

The CLA was established to rescue endangered art forms and ensure the survival of artists from the Khmer Rouge era. The organisation offers scholarship programmes for artists and cultural preservationists to undertake projects every year.

The CLA Dam Dos grant has funded nearly 20 junior and senior artists to pursue a career in their chosen artistic profession. The grants have also been distributed to various grantees to various underrepresented groups and communities in order to uncover the hidden talents of every Cambodian.

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