The arts4peace tour is coming to the USA this fall:
Music, stories, conversations from Cambodia
From 24 October - 14 November 2018
Phnom Penh, 19 September 2018 – This fall, artists from Cambodia travel to the US for the arts4peace tour - three weeks of performances, community events, and discussions connecting artists from Cambodia with the diaspora and stateside lovers of Cambodian arts and culture. New commission Heartstrings will take to the stage for the first time, in Putney, Boston, Hartford, New York, and Washington DC. Created by three generations of Cambodian artists working with The Khmer Magic Music Bus , this unique and intimate production features music and personal stories from the four decades since the years of the Khmer Rouge. 

In addition, CLA founder, musician, and human rights activist Arn CHORN-POND will speak at The Moth in New York, sharing his own story of survival and healing through the arts - as well as the passion that drove him to start Cambodian Living Arts (CLA) . Three CLA Artist Fellows, who will have spent a month in residence at the prestigious Vermont Studio Center, will join the tour in New York for a discussion at Asia Society, supported by NYSEAN. The arts4peace tour is presented by Phnom Penh-based art organization Cambodian Living Arts.

This tour is a precursor to the 2019 arts4peace festival, which will take place in Phnom Penh in November 2019 - the 40th anniversary year since the fall of the Khmer Rouge. Also marking 20 years of CLA’s work in the field of arts for transformation, this will be a two-week celebration of Cambodian creativity and the power of the arts. It will feature the much-anticipated homecoming performance of Rithy PANH and HIM Sophy’s critically-acclaimed Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia , which has toured Melbourne, Boston, New York and Paris.

The arts of Cambodia were almost lost forever in the 1970s, when the Khmer Rouge regime systematically killed artists and destroyed works of art and musical instruments. In the forty years since the fall of the regime, the arts have experienced a resurgence - thanks to the efforts of the individuals, communities, and organizations dedicated to rebuilding the sector, and passing on arts and culture to the next generation. Today, the arts scene in Cambodia is flourishing - the role that the arts have played in healing, building identity, and passing on memories can be seen as a model for other post-conflict nations.
Arn CHORN-POND, founder of Cambodian Living Arts, said,

“‘arts4peace’ has always been an idea so close to my heart. Since I first returned to Cambodia in the 1990s, I’ve tried to pass on our country’s heritage to the next generation, and to get people, especially children, to play music, sing and dance together. I’m so proud of everything that artists in Cambodia today are doing, and I can’t wait to share this with people in the USA, my second home!”

Artistic Manager of The Khmer Magic Music Bus THORN Seyma said,
“My group, The Khmer Magic Music Bus, has spent the last 5 years travelling around Cambodia bringing music to the provinces, and helping to keep rare arts forms alive. Now, it’s time to bring Cambodian music to America. We want to share our traditional music with Cambodians in the USA who might not often get the chance to experience it, and we want to share our own stories”

Phloeun PRIM, Executive Director of Cambodian Living Arts said,

" This tour is an amazing chance for arts-lovers in the US, and especially the Cambodian-American community to connect with Cambodian artists from different generations, and to hear first-hand about the stage the Cambodian arts scene has reached in 2018. From Master Musicians to young and upcoming scriptwriters and visual artists, we really can't wait to bring you their stories ."
arts4peace tour dates
Friday 26 October
PREMIERE: Heartstrings, by artists from The Khmer Magic Music Bus
Next Stage, Putney, VT

Saturday 27 October
Heartstrings, by artists from The Khmer Magic Music Bus
Boston Public Library, Boston MA

Wednesday 31 October
Meet the Artist Fellows
Asian Cultural Council, New York, NY

Thursday 1 November
Heartstrings, by artists from The Khmer Magic Music Bus
Watkinson School, Hartford, CT

Sunday 4 November
Panel Discussion with the Artist Fellows, supported by NYSEAN
Asia Society, New York, NY

Sunday 4 November
Heartstrings, by artists from The Khmer Magic Music Bus
Followed by live auction by CK Swett
The Loft at City Winery, New York, NY

Tuesday 6 November
Arn Chorn-Pond tells his story
The Moth, New York, NY

Friday 9 November
Heartstrings, by artists from The Khmer Magic Music Bus
Followed by live auction
The Wine Garden at City Winery DC, Washington, DC

Sunday 11 November
Meet the KMMB
Vatt Buddhikarama – វត្តពុទ្ធិការាម, Silver Springs, MD
For more information, press tickets, photography and interview opportunities please contact

See the full tour schedule and get tickets at
Notes for Editors:

  • Cambodian Living Arts was founded by Arn Chorn-Pond in 1998.
  • Cambodian Living Arts is an independent not-for profit organization, based in Phnom Penh.
  • Cambodian Living Arts' mission is to be a catalyst in a vibrant arts sector, inspiring new generations. Cambodian Living Arts believes that are at the heart of a vital society, and envisions the arts and cultural expression as essential to a thriving future for Cambodia.

Visit the website:


  • The Khmer Magic Music Bus has been active since 2014. It was founded by Arn CHORN -POND, THORN Seyma, and dedicated individuals from the US.
  • The Khmer Magic Music Bus aims to bring demonstrations and performances of traditional Cambodian music to villages and communities around the country, and to help keep rare art forms and instruments alive.
  • In 2017, The Khmer Magic Music Bus became a program of Cambodian Living Arts.

Visit the website:


  • In partnership with the Vermont Studio Center, Cambodian Living Arts brings talented Cambodian artists and writers to the USA every two years. The Artist Fellows spend a month in residence at the VSC, before taking part in a program of discussions, exhibitions, and networking in and around New York City.
  • In 2018, the Artist Fellows are filmmaker HANG Sokhara, visual artist TAN Vatey, and visual artist and co-founder of arts school Phare Ponleu Selpak TOR Vutha.