Celebrating One Year Anniversary at Champey!
It has been a busy year as Champey Arts celebrated its first anniversary in January 2014. Bit by bit, the program has expanded from its original form as a summer arts camp program for disadvantaged children. Its newly expanded course offerings include not only dance, but traditional Cambodian ( Khmer) music and arts. We are proud to celebrate the accomplishments of a largely “ home grown” Kasumisou team. Our staff now numbers 3 dance instructors, all of whom were long time students and graduates from our former Apsara Arts program. Our senior art teacher, Ms. Dong Saree has been teaching children in various Kasumisou Foundation programs traditional Cambodian art since 1999. In addition to her work at Champey Arts , Dong Saree teaches traditional arts at the prestigious Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh. She is capably assisted by Khun Sotha, a graduate of Kasumisou Foundation’s original art school at the Reyum Gallery in Phnom Penh. Finally, our program is rounded out by classical Khmer music instruction by Don, himself a classical music student at the Royal University of Fine Arts.
In addition to our teachers, we have four of our own university students from Prey Veng Province, who are working part time in various assistive jobs at the school while they attend university classes, three of whom board at the school.
Now that the recent civil unrest has quieted down, we are seeing about 50 to 60 students per day, spread over two sessions, one morning, the other afternoon, each spanning 3 hours. Some of our students are really inspired by the opportunity to dance. We have two students, teenagers, who bike nearly every day a distance of more than 5 miles from the National Orphanage to attend the afternoon session from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. Their typical day is school in the morning, then back to the orphanage at lunch (they live there as their moms are employees who work rotating 48 hours on/off shifts) . After lunch they attend after school supplemental classes and then it’s time to bike over to Champey. In recognition of their strong motivation ( they rarely miss a dance class) and acknowledging their limited family budget, we help by providing an outside class stipend of $ 25 per month.
We will soon be planning the session for the school break and continue in our efforts to bring traditional dance, music and art to children.
Your support of our efforts gives us the opportunity create a sense of pride of culture in these students by exposing them to Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage.
Thank you !
Barbara & Mark Rosasco
Summer Arts Camp 2013
Champey Arts Association hosted its first Summer Arts Program in August and September. In addition to the children who are now becoming “ regulars” at Champey, summer campers came from included more than 30 children from the Phnom Penh Municipal Orphanage and several from our AIDS Patient Family Support Program ( FSP) . Children enjoyed a half day session learning traditional Cambodian dances and music. Traditional Cambodian music is a key part of the dance and teaches children the history and stories behind the dance.
Local daily attendance has continued to increase at Champey, with some days seeing as many as 100 local children coming to participate during the course of a day. Our goal of building community and becoming a place for kids is gaining ground among local street vendors who found the summer program a great way to safely occupy children during the school break.
The camp session ended with a field trip for all of the campers to a local water park and a graduation performance and party to celebrate their accomplishments.
We are pleased to announce that our Champey Arts Association will host its first Summer Arts Program hosting approximately 20-25 children from the Phnom Penh Municipal Orphanage and another 6 children from our AIDS Patient Family Support Program ( FSP). This smaller camp population reflects our smaller facility space to hold the camp sessions. None the less, these children will enjoy 8 weeks of half day classes offered Monday ~ Friday beginning in early August through the end of September, the annual summer school break. They will enjoy learning how to perform traditional Cambodian dances and learning about the music which is a key part of the dance. Student teachers will provide both instruction and peer support to their campers.
The camp session will end with a field trip for all of the campers and a graduation party to celebrate their accomplishments.
We are grateful for your continued support of our efforts to create a sense of pride of culture in these students by exposing them to Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage.
Barbara & Mark
A work in progress !
Champey Academy of Arts ( CAA) started dance classes at our new location in Phnom Penh in January. Champey is the Cambodia name for the tropical plumeria flower. Our new location is centrally located and is just a short walk of one block to the Royal Palace, the National Museum and Royal University of Fine Arts.
Our inaugural class included a group of approximately 20 young girls age 9 to 16 from a shelter for abused and formerly trafficked children in Phnom Penh. Now just three months later our Champey Academy of Arts ( CAA) l continues to take shape.
From a just a handful of children, our classes have now expanded to include morning and afternoon sessions with attendance of about 20 to 30 students per class. Instruction is presented 6 days per week. Not only does the program of dance and music at Champey teach children about their rich cultural heritage, it keeps children off the streets during their free time. Cambodian children attend school for a morning session or an afternoon session, and this alternates each month, so non-school hours are filled with a rigorous curriculum of classic Cambodian dance. The classes are filled with children from NPOs as well as neighborhood kids whose parents recognize that Champey provides opportunity while helping to assist the challenge of idle children who are often left unattended while parents work.
As school holidays in late summer approach, we will be working to develop additional activities, including drawing, to enrich and occupy these children.
Classes are offered free of charge.
Mark is in Cambodia this week to evaluate progress to date and plan for the coming months.
Again, all of this is possible because of your generous support.
Stay tuned for more news!
The start of a new chapter in 2013: Champey Academy of Arts ( CAA)
January 2013 marks the start of a new chapter in our efforts to bring the joys, discipline and pride of culture of traditional Cambodian arts and dance to underprivileged children. Expanding upon our previous project of Summer Arts Camp , several of the teachers and staff formerly with our old Apsara program are continuing to work with us on our new project the Champey Academy of Arts ( CAA). CAA started dance classes at our new location this month in Phnom Penh. Champey is the Cambodia name for the tropical plumeria flower. Our new location is centrally located and is just a short walk of one block to the Royal Palace, the National Museum and Royal University of Fine Arts.
Our inaugural class includes a group of approximately 20 young girls age 9 to 16 from a shelter for abused and formerly trafficked children in Phnom Penh. They are attending classes twice a week. We are receiving a strong expression of interest from other groups who serve disadvantaged children and we are looking forward to building a robust and diverse year round roster of activities for our students as our funding permits.
Activities which our program hopes to include, is to offer year round enrichment programs in traditional Cambodian dance, music instruction on traditional Cambodian musical instruments and instruction in a variety of Khmer arts and in Khmer culture and history for children who might otherwise grow up with little or no knowledge of their nation’s rich cultural history.
We are looking forward to bringing you more updates as our new program unfolds.
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