It is my great pleasure to write on behalf of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts to express our endorsement of the upcoming Cambodian Youth Arts Festival, to be held from Saturday, August 7th until 11th, 2010 at Phnom Penh’s Chaktomuk Theatre.
The Cambodian Youth Arts Festival, sponsored and organized by Cambodian Living Arts, represents a collaboration between Cambodia’s diverse arts organizations to showcase and promote the best of our Khmer artistic heritage.
This year’s festival stands out from those held in previous years precisely because of the large number of organizations and artists involved—ranging from traditional Chapei Dang Weng and Lakhaon masters to circus acrobats, modern dancers, and even young filmmakers. Additionally, the 2010 Cambodian Youth Arts Festival welcomes a number of artists and participants from abroad, allowing for the dialogue on Cambodian arts to reach beyond our national borders.
One of the primary goals of this festival is to renew and reinvigorate traditional Khmer art forms that have been continued to be practiced through the years by elderly masters or small groups. Our traditional Khmer arts truly form the pillar of our national and cultural identity.
Yet, in the modern day we understand that our artistic traditions cannot be preserved simply by recording them in books and other media. Instead, these arts must live on through younger generations and well into the future. Youth must be exposed to traditional and modern arts in a way that allows them to cultivate a deep, enduring interest in helping to preserve and carry on our Khmer cultural traditions.
This year’s Cambodian Youth Arts Festival fills our nation’s need of preserving our traditional Khmer culture by allowing young people from all backgrounds to be exposed to the traditional arts. Through live demonstrations, workshops, performances, and conferences, youth have the chance not only to observe traditional and modern art forms, but also to have hands-on interaction with these arts and the masters that have diligently worked to preserve them in the modern day.
As a representative of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, I fully support the work of the Cambodian Youth Arts Festival 2010 precisely because the festival works to support renewal and preservation of our traditional Khmer art forms through the means of youth education. It is my hope that this festival will continue and be repeated well into the future and inspire similar efforts at traditional arts renewal and teaching.
To read this text in Khmer language, please download the compressed PDF here.
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