Arn Chorn-Pond nominated IMC Five Music Rights Champion

Arn c Choeun Socheata min

Musician, human rights activist, and survivor of the Khmer Rouge period, Arn Chorn-Pond has been nominated IMC Five Music Rights Champion rejoining in this role Dame Evelyn Glennie, Ramy Essam and Tabu Osusa nominated in 2016.
The Five Music Rights represent the core values of the International Music Council. They have been guiding the work of the IMC and of its network comprising some 1000 music organisations in 150 countries of the world.

5Music Rights
Arn Chorn-Pond was born into a family of artists, but in 1975 was sent to a children’s labor camp. Under the instruction of a Master Artist, he survived by playing propaganda music. He escaped, spending time at a refugee camp in Thailand, before aid worker Peter Pond adopted him in 1980. He was educated in the US, and started up several community projects in his new country. In the 1990s, Arn returned to Cambodia to find his former teacher and to rebuild the artistic legacy of his family. After seeing the desperate conditions faced by Cambodia’s remaining Masters, Arn was moved to help. In 1998, along with a group of dedicated people from the US, he created the Cambodian Masters Performers Program, which grew into Cambodian Living Arts (CLA).

For a decade, CLA focused on endangered performing art forms and rituals. As 90% of Cambodia’s artists did not survive the Khmer Rouge regime, Cambodia’s artistic heritage was in danger of being lost forever.
CLA has focused on helping talented people to build and develop careers in the arts, though scholarships, fellowships, and support to troupes and individuals.

Looking forwards, CLA aim to promote creativity and innovation in the arts sector, and to build links with their neighbors in the Greater Mekong region and further afield in Asia. CLA is also working to get more arts and culture education into Cambodian public schools, and to increase performance opportunities for Cambodian artists.

Expressing his gratitude for the nomination, he evoked his “dream for Cambodia and [...] for the world to have children carrying musical instruments, to sing, to dance and be able to learn in the future how to love - instead of carrying guns like I did”.

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