Cambodian Living Arts

in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Cambodian Living Arts is an organization working as a catalyst in Cambodia's arts sector, aiming to inspire new generations through arts and culture. Their cultural enterprise, Experience Cambodian Living Arts, offers visitors captivating and enriching experiences of Cambodian arts and culture, while also creating uplifting employment opportunities for artists. 

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Locally Owned Nonprofit
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Speaks: Khmer and English

Why Lokal Recommends Cambodian Living Arts


Nonprofit started in 1998| Locally Owned with 80% local staff

A Unique Story

Cambodian Living Arts was started by Arn Chorn-Pond - a musician and a survivor from Cambodia's Khmer Rouge era. During the civil war he managed to escape to a refugee camp and eventually to the United States.

In the mid-1990’s, Arn returned to Cambodia on a mission to rebuild the legacy of his family’s involvement in Cambodian Opera and to find his music teacher from the time of the Khmer Rouge. On his trip, he “discovered” that other Master artists who had miraculously survived the war and the resulting genocide, were surviving in extremely difficult living conditions. The Cambodian Masters Performers Program was born.

Over the past 20 years, this program grew into Cambodian Living Arts, and has expanded and evolved, helping talented people to build and develop careers in the arts, through scholarships, fellowships, and support to troupes and individuals.

Now, building on this base, CLA's programs aim to give artists the resources and opportunities to start telling the stories of contemporary Cambodia—from stages, schools and community spaces, to international platforms reaching audiences across the world.

Community Connection

Cambodian Living Arts' programs support artists and other people working in the culture sector, by providing opportunities for training, funding, networking, and more. They are also working to get more culture and arts education into the Cambodian school system, and to create more well-paid employment opportunities for artists.


Cambodian Living Arts is recognized as one of the key organizations in recovery and sustaining Cambodia’s artistic heritage. They’ve been recognized by UNESCO for their support of Cambodia’s Intangible Cultural Heritage.


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