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