Arts Missoula hosted UM Mansfield Center Fellow from Laos in October and November
Chanmaly Panyaphone was part of the 2018 YSEALI Professional Fellows Program,
sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and locally
facilitated by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at the University of Montana.
The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) was launched in 2013 to strengthen leadership development and networking in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), deepen engagement with young leaders on key regional and global challenges, and strengthen people-to-people ties between the United States and young Southeast Asian leaders. YSEALI is a professional development exchange program for the best and brightest community leaders from the ASEAN, working in the fields of civic engagement, environmental sustainability, economic empowerment, and legislative process and governance. YSEALI provides participants a fellowship at U.S.-based nonprofit or other organizations, government offices or legislative bodies. Fellows work with community leaders to enhance their practical expertise, leadership skills and professional contacts to address issues in their home communities
is sponsored by the Swiss Lao Cultural Challenge Fund to support and develop capacity in Lao arts and culture organizations. Her role is to support cultural organizations run by the government of Laos, non-profit organizations, and business, and to provide funding via the Fund. Her goal is to grow a Lao Cultural Network to promote Lao cultures, but also to develop society through art and cultural activities.
Panyaphone has a master's degree in innovative enterprise and project management from Montpelier University II in France, and a bachelor's degree in business management from the National University of Laos.
During her three-week stay in Missoula,
Panyaphone lived with a local host family and was professionally integrated into Arts Missoula, which introduced her to their day-to-day office activities, including weekly staff meetings, a monthly board meeting, as well as specialized activities facilitated by the Arts Missoula team. This year was Arts Missoula's first collaboration with YSEALI and the team was proud to share their diverse experiences
with their Southeast Asian participant.
Panyaphone had an opportunity to accompany Tom Bensen, Executive Director, to a downtown master plan meeting. She had a keen interest in how arts support the economy, which was the topic of several meetings between Bensen and Panyaphone. Sienna Solberg, Director of the SPARK program, invited the Lao scholar to meet teaching artists in SPARK.
Panyaphone also enjoyed a public art tour in downtown Missoula with Becca MacLean, Public Art Coordinator. Matt Anglen, Program Director, provided information on project planning and management and Dr. Udo Fluck, Director of Global and Cultural Affairs, invited the foreign guest
to observe intercultural skill-building seminars he was teaching at the
Missoula International School for 3rd graders and at Hellgate High School for 10th graders.
Bensen and Fluck led Ms.
on a day-trip to Helena, where she had the opportunity to visit with Governor Bullock, tour the State Capitol Building and meet with members of the Montana Arts Council, Monica Smith Grable, Arts Education Director and
Kristin Han Burgoyne, Grants Director and Accessibility Coordinator (photo below) to learn more about the role of the Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. The day-trip was completed with a visit of Montana's Museum of the Montana Historical Society, providing insight into state history, culture, art and native artifacts.
In addition, Arts Missoula was instrumental in arranging meetings for
with Missoula mayor John Engen, UM Art professor Rafael Chacon,
Shalene Valenzuela, Executive Director of the Clay Studio of Missoula,
Geoffrey Sutton, nationally recognized business leader of the arts,
Ram Murphy, owner of Murphy-Jubb Fine Art, Laura Millin, Executive Director and Brandon Reintjes, Senior Curator from the Missoula Art Museum, Katie Patten, glass artist and founding partner of 4 Ravens Gallery, Nikki Lane, Programs Director from the Montana World Affairs Council, Betsy Mulligan-Dague, Executive Director of the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center, Linda McCarthy, Executive Director of Downtown Missoula Partnership, Matt Lautzenheiser, Executive Director of the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, Kia Liszak, Executive Director and Patricia Thornton, Adult Education Program Director, Zootown Arts Community Center (ZACC), Terri Elander, International Tour Director, Missoula Children's Theatre and Charlene Campbell, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Ballet, to name but a few. "The
exchange provides a great opportunity for citizens from different parts of the world to learn from each other, and is an excellent example of cultural diplomacy and ambassadorship.
Panyaphone certainly learned quite a lot from us, and in turn we benefitted from her knowledge of art and culture of Laos." Tom Bensen, Executive Director, Arts Missoula.