Episode 40: Ancient Dance Emboldens Youth’s Future

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For 30 years, Angkor Dance Troupe has been a creative youth development leader in Lowell, MA, a city with the second-largest Cambodian population in the United States. Angkor connects families to what it means to be Khmer, gives young people opportunity, and shares beautiful stories of the Khmer people and their cultural heritage.

Linda Sou was there from day one. At the age of three, she began her training with Angkor Dance Troupe and would grow up to become its executive director. She shares what it means to preserve and share a nearly-lost art form.

Linda Sopheap SouLinda Sopheap Sou finds tremendous pride in the City of Lowell and champions efforts around youth development, community coalition building, and cultural preservation and innovation. A daughter to Cambodian refugees, Linda was born and raised in Lowell and currently resides in the Centralville neighborhood with her partner, Steven Flynn.

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Episode 12: Creating Pathways for the Contemporary Performing Artist

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Performing arts education pioneers Berklee College of Music and The Boston Conservatory are merging, creating a comprehensive training ground for music, dance, theater, and related professions. Richard Ortner, president of The Boston Conservatory, and Roger Brown, president of Berklee College of Music, discuss what it means to create an institutional platform for collaboration, to get students to the next level of career preparedness, and to employ music as a tool for social change.

Roger Brown (left) & Richard Ortner (right)Roger H. Brown is Berklee’s third president in the institution’s history. Under his leadership, the college has expanded scholarship support by 400 percent; created an international campus in Valencia, Spain; built its first ground-up custom facility boasting 173 residence hall rooms, a state-of-the-art recording complex, and a dining hall/performance venue; and established a suite of institutes including the Berklee Global Jazz Institute under the direction of jazz pianist Danilo Pérez. The college has expanded its global reach to attract students from 105 countries, markedly improved gender diversity, dramatically increased admissions selectivity, and created the world’s largest online music education system. During his tenure, the City Music Program, which offers educational opportunities to economically disadvantaged young musicians, has expanded outside of Boston, now serving more than 29,000 young middle school and high school-aged young people. Brown has also been a leader in humanitarian initiatives in Africa and Southeast Asia. He is an avid drummer.

Born in Great Neck, NY, Richard Ortner has shared his lifelong passion for music and advanced training in the performing arts with the most renowned senior professionals of our age, the best and brightest young artists and students, and the widest possible audiences.
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