Living Arts Long Beach, is an immersion program located in United Cambodian Community. Led by Sayon Syprasoeuth, this program is created to teach youths that are disadvantage, from broken homes and students from local high school, such as Poly, Wilson and others in the area, as well as young adults from neighboring cities to get them exposed to art and think creatively about how design and objects are made. All projects are hands-on where we encourage the students to get involve, participate in art and ways toward self reliance through entrepreneurship.
This program is more than just making art, it is building self-esteem, social skills building, communications and ways to present and become a professional in the view of a potential employer. Our students get to work as individual and with a team. They discover and find ways to express their feelings and emotions through written and spoken art as well. They also get to perform and present any work they wish in front of the class. Work assignments and projects are all volunteer based. The students can choose to participate or not. Our students participate because they feel safe to share, and they know they are in a safe environment to do so.
At the end of the Living Arts program, the students also assist in hanging and displaying their work at a local gallery, community center or arts organization. They then receive their certificate of completion and celebrate all their accomplishments with an art reception, where they invite their friends and family to come and view their work. This is especially a proud moment for me, where I get to meet the students family and friends. Of course, it means much more to the students when they see their parents and friends attend and see their hard work.
Our recent graduates, Class of 2017
Class of 2015/2016 exhibition