Board of Directors

KAA Board Members

Sophiline Cheam Shapiro – Artistic Director

Main Photo Home 2

Sophiline Cheam Shapiro’s groundbreaking choreography is distinguished by its impeccable technique, its collaborations across disciplines, and its capacity to expand the Cambodian classical vocabulary and realize new works. She has set her original dances on Cambodia’s finest performing artists and toured them to major stages on four continents. Read More

Notable venues include Amsterdam’s Muziektheater, Cambodia’s Les Nuis d’Angkor Festival, Beijing’s China Conservatory, Los Angeles’s Disney Concert Hall, the Hong Kong Arts Festival, New York’s Joyce Theater, Vienna’s Schonbrunn Palace Theater and the Venice Biennale. Her commissions include those from the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process Series, the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Vienna’s New Crowned Hope Festival. 

Recent works include A Bend in the River, a collaboration with sculptor Pich Sopheap and composer Him Sophy, which toured the USA in 2013 and had its Cambodian premiere at Chaktomuk Hall in 2014, and the exhibition Gods & Angels at Phnom Penh's Java Arts.

Sophiline’s lifetime achievement awards include National Heritage and USA Knight Fellowships (USA) as well as the Nikkei Asia Prize for Culture (Japan).  Other recognition includes Creative Capital, Durfee, Guggenheim, Irvine Dance and McKnight International Fellowships.

Her essays have been published in Children of Cambodia’s Killing Fields: Memoirs by Survivors (Yale, 1997), Dance, Human Rights and Social Justice: Dignity in Motion(Scarecrow, 2008), Cultural Identities: Bombay to Tokyo (Centre national de la danse, 2009), Beyond the Apsara: Celebrating Dance in Cambodia (Routledge, 2009) and elsewhere.

Born in Phnom Penh three years before the onset of civil war, Sophiline was a member of the first gen­eration to enroll in and to graduate from the capital’s School of Fine Arts after the fall of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime and was a mem­ber of the faculty there from 1988 to 1991. She studied all three major roles for women (neang, nearong and yeak), which is rare. With the school’s ensemble, she toured India, the Soviet Union, the USA and Vietnam. She moved to Southern Califor­nia in 1991 where she studied dance eth­nology at UCLA.  She now teaches and lectures internationally. She is Co-Founder and Artis­tic Director of Khmer Arts, a transnational performing arts organization dual-based in Long Beach, California, and Takhmao, Cambodia, and the parent organization of Sophiline Arts Ensemble, a 22-member professional dance and music troupe.  In 2014, she was appointed Advisor to Cambodia’s Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. 

Mony Thach – Chairman

Mony ThachMony is a first generation immigrant born in Battambang Cambodia. He
resettled in the Ohio with the first wave of immigrants in 1979. He
relocated from Ohio in 2005 to California after studying architecture
at the Ohio State University. He currently is a Program and Project
Manager for a large national construction company. Read More

His most recent work is in the Northern California has been in mixed-use multifamily residential. and many public works including building schools
throughout the Bay areas. In his current assignment, he is again
working on college campuses and working to renovate a 32,000SF
Performing Arts Complex as part of a $348 Million dollar bond program.

Chan Pech Coy – Secretary

ChanChan has been in the real estate business for over 10 years and has worked with every client possible from nervous first-time Buyers to seasoned Investors. Her title of Mortgage Specialist is one that she takes seriously, and she prides herself on keen communication and individual devotion to each relationship that she builds. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from California University of Long Beach, CA. She lives in Long Beach with her husband, Christopher. 

John Shapiro – Executive Director

John-Portrait-220x220(Executive Director and Co-Founder) has a background in visual arts, design, filmmaking, creative writing and non-profit development. He is also the executive producer of Khmer Arts’ creative and media projects.He holds a BFA from the University of Michigan and an MFA from Warren Wilson College.

Sotivear Sim – Treasurer

Sotivear Sim

Malene Sam

 Malene Sam