Blog written by Sue Wallingford
While in Cambodia we were fortunate to spend some time with Arn Chorn Pond, at his lovely community home right outside of Phnom Penh. Arn shared his music and some stories of being a survivor during the Khmer Rouge, and we even got to see a live filming for MYTV (Cambodian’s version of MTV!) while we were there. Arn is founder of the Cambodian Living Arts (CLA) and his mission is to bring back the traditional arts to Cambodia that was mostly extinguished during the rule of the Khmer Rouge, when most of Cambodian’s artists and professionals were exterminated. To restore the rich culture of his people is one way he has found to heal the pain he and his people experienced during these horrendous years. He lives his life to restore what was so brutally taken away. He inspired us all.
In the next few weeks we will be sharing some more stories about Arn and the work of Cambodian Living Arts, including some videos of our time with him, and at the CLA center listening to the sounds of traditional Cambodia. On September 19, at Cervantes Other Side in Denver, NCAS-I will be joining DROP SWITCH, for “JAMBODIA,” a benefit concert to raise money and awareness toward Arn’s mission. Lead female vocalist Emma Wallingford (who is also my daughter 😉 was with us in Cambodia, and was so inspired by Arn’s stories and his passion to revive the traditional music she wanted to do something about it.
“30 years ago, the country of Cambodia was victim to a terrible genocide called the Khmer Rouge. When Pol Pot came to rule, he wanted to wipe out all of Cambodia’s culture and start from “Year Zero”, and establish a communist country. He did this by killing off 2 million Cambodians; all musicians, dancers, artists, educators, or people of higher class. Arn Chorn Pond, who survived through the Khmer Rouge through his talent for playing flute (he played propaganda music that played over loud speakers to muffle the noise of them killing off his people), is founder of Cambodian Living Arts. It gives kids of Cambodia the chance to rebirth culture of music, arts and dance into their country. Even 30 years later, the whole country is still suffering from the loss of their culture. A career in arts there is very much thriving and rebirthing Cambodian’s culture. Through the good vibes and night of music, we can support Cambodian Living Arts and raise awareness about this issue to help the amazing souls that populate this desolate country. Donation boxes, flyers about the school, and pictures and videos will be provided at the show!
Art Therapy comes in all kinds of packages….. this is just another one!
Please join us for this concert on September 19th to spread the LOVE and the HOPE for the restoration of the Cambodian Arts.
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 19TH
Cervantes Other Side – Denver, CO
Doors @ 8pm, Show @ 9pm – $7/$10 DOS
JAMBODIA: A Benefit for Cambodian Living Arts
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