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:
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 nearly 200 students across the U.S., plus another 250 in Luang Prabang, Laos
>> see the 2019 camp schedule
The master musicians with whom we partner include National Heritage Fellow Bounxeung Synanonh (kaen), Thongtanh Souvannaphanh (poetry and strings),
Sengdeuan Phengkeo (lanahd, kong wong, percussions, strings), Chy Her (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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.