A Cambodian Living Arts (CLA) working group has been conducting live broadcasts in community areas of four target provinces – Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Cham, Tbong Khmum and Kratie – to help develop the arts in Cambodia. They will focus on innovation and creativity and leadership of artists, writers and people working in the art and culture sectors through the provision of three different funds for 2023.

The three-day broadcast was aimed at artists and those involved in the arts scene who may not have access to specific information about the announcement, Suos Sinath, CLA grant manager of Cambodian Living Arts (CLA), told The Post on August 29, the first day of the campaign.

She said the campaign is promoting “Dam Dos grant”, which is one of three CLA grants (Dam Dos grant, New Creations grant and Mobility grant) for an upcoming 2023 project.

“We advertised in Kampong Chhnang province on August 29, Kampong Cham and Tbong Khmum on August 30 and on August 31 in Kratie province,” she said.

“The live broadcast aims to provide information to artists who might not have heard of our operations in the past. It’s a good opportunity for them to secure support for their various art projects. More specifically, we want to provide opportunities for those who have never received support from CLA.”

“The deadline for applications is October 30, and the projects will run for the whole of next year,” she said.

Sinath told The Post about the purpose of the three grants: “The Dam Dos grant was established in 2017 to help artists and people works in the art and culture sector in Cambodia. From 2018 to 2022, we provided each of the 25 winners of the grant with $2,500. For the 2023 project, we plan to accept four to six applications, with the amount of the grants depending on their requirements.”

“We want to help in developing the arts sector in Cambodia, through a focus mainly on innovation and leadership. We provide support for creative art projects, community art projects – such as art classes or other community activities – community-based music research projects, or research on art history, anthropology, culture and cultural policy,” she added.

In particular, the new creations grant, which was established in 2021, offers a budget of up to $5,000 to support the development of independent artists and cultural professionals who have original ideas.

“The grant has a deep focus on developing innovative projects to another level. We encourage candidates to think deeply about techniques that take risks and employ new mediums to draw in new audiences,” she said.

“Applicants should include all details of their project, including the duration of the project, the time it will take to create new masterpieces, the direct costs of production, any travel requires (including overseas trips), networking and mentoring. We will select two nominees for 2023,” she added.

The Mobility grant is worth up to $1,000 and was launched in 2017 to support artists’ travel.

“Our mission is to act as a driving force in a lively art sector that inspires the younger generation. In Cambodia, there are few grants for travelling to exchange knowledge in the art sector. The mobility grant helps young creatives to exchange experiences with other artists, writers, researchers and cultural workers, to build networks and develop their ideas and knowledge via training, workshop, conferences, seminars and festivals,” she said.

Earlier this year, Chhoung Veasna received a Dam Dos grant from CLA to conduct further research on the Lakhon Berk Bort dance form – including publication of a book and choreographing a performance.

“He finished his project, brought his new creation to life, performing it on stage for his bachelor’s degree examination at the Royal University of Fine Arts [RUFA] last July, another achievement brought about by the Dam Dos grant,” said Sinath.