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Lao Music and Culture


Lao Culture, Art, Music, & Dance - Lao Heritage Foundation Lao Culture, Art, Music, & Dance - Lao Heritage Foundation
The Lao Heritage Foundation (LHF) is based in the Washington, DC area as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) public charity with the mission to preserve and promote Lao culture.

Below are descriptions of our programs:

Cultural Preservation

Summer Camp Program
In addition to teaching music and dance year-round in the Washington, D.C. area, LHF runs a summer camp program in several communities across the U.S. We create standardized music education system (notation and teaching techniques), train teachers, directly teach students, and coordinate with master musicians and community leaders. Since 2006, we have grown from just a few students to a few hundred students across the U.S., plus another 250 in Luang Prabang, Laos >> see the 2020 camp schedule

The master musicians with whom we partner include National Heritage Fellow Bounxeung Synanonh (kaen), Thongtanh Souvannaphanh (poetry and strings), Salathy Yiengkang, Souliya Lao, Sengdeuan Phengkeo (lanahd, kong wong, percussions, strings), Chy Her Fai By (lanahd, kong wong, percussions, strings), and Sinthavong Sengmounthong (lanahd, kong wong, percussions, strings, kaen). >>more on the music masters

Music Notation Program
As Lao music is traditionally taught by ear, this art is in grave danger of fading away. As an ongoing effort, LHF is notating music and producing recordings of our partnering music masters. These steps will not only help to preserve the music, as but also to facilitate the teaching of it. >>more on our sheet music, sor, kaen
Fine Arts
We partner with Prince Nithakhong Somsanith, who documents and showcases the many treasures of Laos through his uniquely exquisite paintings and the royal art of gold-thread embroidery.

Lastly, we partner a very talented artist/animator, Nor Sanavongsay, who works tirelessly to preserve (and promote) Xieng Mieng stories. Xieng Mieng is a witty folklore character well-loved by Laotians for many centuries. >>more about our artist partners

Cultural Promotion

Our cultural promotion events include exhibitions of Prince Nithakong Somsanith's artwork at various art galleries and public venues in Washington, D.C., Seattle, and San Francisco. We hold cultural events to coincide with important festivals, such as the end of Buddhist lent (Boun Lai Heu Fai/Loy Katong). Our cultural promotion at the World Bank highlighted Laos' ethnic and cultural diversity. These events are as festive as they are educational.

LHF collaborates with other organizations whose missions are compatible with that of our own. Such organizations are Kinnaly Troupe of Seattle, Puang Champa (a Luang Prabang-based troupe of embroiderers, musicians, dancers, and instrument makers), the Lao American Women Association (LAWA) of Washington D.C., and the Laotian Community Center (LCC) of Rhode Island. We also collaborate with organizations that seek to promote cultures of the world, namely Asia Society, the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, and the Asian American Forum.

How You Can Help

Lao culture is rich in history, tradition, art, and folklore. It is unfortunately in urgent need of preservation. We ask for your generous support by volunteering, making donations, purchasing our merchandise, attending our events, and becoming a member. We invite all to join us in celebrating our heritage. Please email us at info@laoheritagefoundation.org.


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