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 launch, 2019

Do you love Phare? Do you love our shows? Do you want to see all of them with your friends? Then you will love this, too.

We are happy to introduce you our renewed Phare Lover Card.

This card gives you benefits you can enjoy only if you have this card.

  • You are entitled to unlimited access to all regular shows for 1 year (till expiry date).
  • Special ticket price of $12 (adults), $6 (children up to 6yrs) for up to 4 additional guests per show. They must be accompanied by the Phare Lover Card holder.
  • 10% off all Bar&Boutique products.
  • Seasonal promotions for card holders at Bar&Boutique
  • $15 ticket (C seating) at Phare, the Cambodian Circus in Siem Reap for regular shows (April – October 8pm show, November – March 5pm show) for member and up to 4 additional guests. Reservation required!

You support Phare Ponleu Selpak students’ education by buying this card, and do not forget they are happy to show what they learn day after day every time they are on stage. Are you in the city for only a few weeks or months? Your generous support by purchasing the card is very much appreciated even in this situation.

For $85 – which is the price of six show tickets – you can enjoy as many shows as you wish for up to 12 months. Do not miss this great deal, and get your card now! Email us at [email protected]. We will be happy to produce your Phare Lover 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

Phare Ponleu Selpak is once again opening its doors to every youth interested in a sustainable artistic career in Cambodia, and anyone who wants to know more about its wide range of activities and programs. 

On July 26th and 27th, the Open Days will showcase the works of our talented students and teachers, while offering the opportunity to discover the curriculums provided by our Visual & Applied Arts School and Performing Arts School, as well as the educational and social programs run by our NGO.

During two days, you are warmly invited in our beautiful campus in Battambang, transformed into a giant exhibition space and stage where you will be welcomed by our big Phare family!

Enjoy a guided campus tour, put yourself in the shoes of a dancer, a circus artist or a painter, enter our animation studio and fresh new music space, come across our creative graphic designers or experience a Khmer theater rehearsal… And don’t forget to take a picture in our Open Days Photo Booth to capture this special day among us. 

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…