25 years ago, Phare Ponleu Selpak laid the foundation stone for the first community art school in Battambang and started to change the lives of numerous children and youth through arts and education, to rebuild a country and to reinvigorate a culture and a people devastated by decades of conflict. 

25 years of creativity, empowerment, collaboration, professionalism and accessibility, which are both our core values and the governing principles leading us every day.

25 years of successes and struggles, joy and pain, creation and passion, laughter and tears and most importantly, hope and resilience. Despite the challenges and a seemingly endless life at the edge of chaos, a symbiotic relationship developed with surrounding the community as it grew around the organization and the organization grew with the community. The power of arts and education have pushed us to never give up on the most noble of our objectives: allowing youth and children to yearn for a brighter future, a successful career and a resilient and meaningful way of life.

25 years that we see thousands and thousands of youth becoming accomplished artists, responsible citizens, role models and beautiful human beings.

It is with thanks to the energy, support and tireless optimism of all our founders, partners, donors, students, staff, teachers, artists, graduates, volunteers, friends and parents that we have reached this milestone. We strongly believe this same passion and commitment will guide us for the next 25 years to continue preserving and furthering the brightness of the arts all over Cambodia and beyond.

Throughout this year, we will organise several events and activities to highlight our powerful history starting in the refugee camps of 1986. We will share our most intense memories, appreciate our greatest achievements and focus on our promising future through 25 stories, released over the year on our Facebook page and our website. We hope you will join us on this journey of celebrating resilience and hope!

NEWS

Phare Lover Card
We reintroduce our Phare Lover Card as part of our anniversary for friends living in and regularly visiting Battambang. A yearly membership will get you access to all scheduled shows, discounted tickets for your family & friends, discounts at our Bar and Boutique, and many more benefits. Keep an eye on our activities not to miss the relaunch of the card!
Phare Lover Card
We reintroduce our Phare Lover Card as part of our anniversary for friends living in and regularly visiting Battambang. A yearly membership will get you access to all scheduled shows, discounted tickets for your family & friends, discounts at our Bar and Boutique, and many more benefits. Keep an eye on our activities not to miss the relaunch of the card!

EVENTS

We invite you to celebrate our 25th year with us – from the relaunch of Sokha circus show, the Light the Lights Festival in Phnom Penh to the first Urban Art Festival in Battambang. We have several special events planned in celebration of us turning 25 – look out for „Phare in City” as we engage more closely with the communities beyond our campus boundary. Follow our Facebook page for the upcoming events!

March

Relaunch of the circus show "Sokha"

The story of Phare Ponleu Selpak and its founders is the story of Sokha. Escaping the war and spending years at a refugee camp at the Thai border, they did not just survive, but worked on a dream to re-establish arts into the lives of the Cambodian kids. This happened even long before the school opened 25 years ago, and we are not stopping. We have developed many programs to support the Cambodian communities, families and children by providing opportunities to become the artists of the future.

We are happy to relaunch the story of Sokha to celebrate our 25 years anniversary. Come and see how the story of Phare began!

Sokha is a child haunted by war. Her memories of the Khmer Rouge combine with surreal visions and nightmares to create a distorted and dark reality. But through art, she discovers her strength and finds the tools to heal both herself and her community. Based on the true-life stories of the founders of Phare Ponleu Selpak NGO School, Sokha is a powerful mix of drama, dance, contemporary circus techniques, live painting, and original, live music. The show highlights the long-term effects suffered by post-war victims and the way art provided a powerful way to heal and rebuild the country.

April

Light the Lights

A festival to celebrate art and artists and how they brighten our world! Come and enjoy our circus shows, music concerts, visual arts exhibition and live painting! Three days of entertainment and a one-month long exhibition to showcase where Phare has gotten to during 25 years.

May

S'Art Urban Arts Festival

First held in 2018 on our campus to highlight mural and hip-hop art, this year, as part of our 25 Years celebrations, the Festival will be held in the city of Battambang. The S’Art Urban Art Festival is an initiative under our new Community Outreach and Engagement strategy – to create more meaningful social impacts and play a bigger role in arts & culture education, promotion and development.

S'Art Urban Arts Festival

First held in 2018 on our campus to highlight mural and hip-hop art, this year, as part of our 25 Years celebrations, the Festival will be held in the city of Battambang. The S’Art Urban Art Festival is an initiative under our new Community Outreach and Engagement strategy – to create more meaningful social impacts and play a bigger role in arts & culture education, promotion and development.

S’Art means beautiful in Khmer, the combination of the words means the beauty of Urban Art. The festival aims to promote Battambang as an important city for Khmer culture and art including food, fashion, architecture and visual and performing arts.

This year the S’Art Urban Art Festival has the unique opportunity to collaborate with the “Experiencing ASEAN Pop Culture” event organized by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. As both events are about engaging the local community in the arts, there is natural synergy especially since 2019 is the ASEAN Culture Year. This project has the prospect of becoming a platform toward the collaboration between Cambodian artists, art spaces, food, craft and fashion artisans, art organizations and Thai artists while realizing the benefit of arts and culture in promoting cross border tourism.

After 10 years in Siem Reap, the Giant Puppet Organization is bringing their annual puppet creation activities to the S’Art Urban Art Festival. The giant puppet parade, which is a culmination of a few weeks of puppet making by children, aims to provide a creative platform for children to foster and promote expression and self-confidence through art.

Many more creative art organizations from Rom Bak Hip-Hop Association, to Sangker Gallery and Romchiek 5 Art Space are partnering to make this a truly community event.

July

Open Days

Two days of fun and celebration at the campus. We open the new Music School. We run the graduation ceremony of the students who finish their studies and are ready to become artists. We also invite our business partners to join us in celebrating our achievements and successes. Futhermore we show our home and the Phare family to those interested to join us during these two days. 

Music School Grand Opening

In April 2018, we initiated the construction of a brand new building made up of five classrooms and a central pavilion stage to perform and gather. The rooms have been soft-opened and the canopy is under construction. We look forward to having the grand opening under the new canopy of the music school pavilion during our Open Days.

STORIES

How to better capture 25 years worth of experiences and achievements than through the very voices of the people that have lived through them? We will be sharing with you very personal perspectives of the many people who have shaped Phare to what it is today – from the journey to escape the war to the friendships that led to the idea of an art school and beyond to international and local successes. Stay with us to travel through our 25 years!

Coming soon…