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Prumsodun Ok in front of Phnom Penh's now demolished White Building. Photo: Lim Sokchanlina

Prumsodun Ok is the proud child of Khmer refugees. Born in, of, and between many different cultures, languages, and worldviews, he is an outlier pioneering strategy and program design for art and education. Integrating the intense rigor of traditional master-apprentice training with ideas and approaches from youth development and community health, Ok founded Cambodia’s first gay dance company, which quickly grew into “one of the most revolutionary dance troupes in Cambodia . . . a dance troupe like no other” (Channel NewsAsia). Embodying justness in movement at contemporary performing and visual arts festivals, corporate leadership conferences, and government functions, his students and groundbreaking original works have been celebrated as "Radical Beauty" (The Bangkok Post).

Ok is a cross-disciplinary thinker, creator, and doer who is both critically acclaimed and viral on his motherland’s social media platforms, an innovator drawing from interconnected understandings of humanity, nature, history, language, folklore, and science to interpret patterns, fulfill needs, and identify opportunities for his global community. He is a master meaning-maker employing body, word, and speech, sharing the story of his tradition and advocating for new narratives at TED and Dance/USA, in academic publications throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States, and on major media outlets such as BBC, PBS, AFP, Asahi Shimbun, and South China Morning Post among others. Reflecting the intercultural, boundary-crossing nature of his work, he has been an artist in residence at Asia Discovers Asia Meeting (Taiwan), The Vann Molyvann Project (Cambodia), Baryshnikov Arts Center (United States), and CounterPulse (United States). He is the recipient of major grants and fellowships from TED, Hewlett Foundation, Dance/USA, Creative Capital, New England Foundation for the Arts, MAP Fund, and Surdna Foundation among others, and was honored with the Monette-Horwitz Trust Award and named an LGBT+ Leader of Tomorrow by The Dots and WeTransfer. 


With a depth of experience and proven ingenuity in activism, social entrepreneurship, and community development, Ok has inspired and nurtured the growth and leadership of many youth throughout Cambodia and the United States. He boldly and holistically takes dreams into reality, astutely exercising end-to-end skills in project research, design, development, implementation, management, presentation, and assessment. An expert networked into and working across multiple sectors, he has adjudicated applications for TED Fellows and Durfee Foundation, convened with culture bearers to shape the Center for Cultural Power’s Constellations Culture Change Fund, and served on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts. Ok's authentic sense of purpose has resulted in the organic forging of relationships, collaborations, and communities, exemplified in youth capacity-building partnerships with Sophiline Arts, Sa Sa Art Projects, and the Wild Lotus English Program. Currently, he serves on the Executive Committee of ខ្ញុំទទួលយក - I ACCEPT, Cambodia’s historic marriage equality campaign, and provides strategic advising and consultancy to Thaung Enterprise (Cambodia), Shogakuin Temple (Japan), and Southern California Marimba (United States).

Having been raised in inner city Long Beach in the aftermath of the Los Angeles Race Riots, and having lived and worked in his motherland, in the Global South, Ok is committed to breaking cycles of fear, poverty, suffering, violence, and voicelessness. He is especially invested in art and education for social change, the thriving of refugee, diasporic, BIPOC, and underserved youths and families, rightful access to and collective stewardship of nature, and the transformation of systems and cultures to create equity, harmony, peace, progress, and prosperity. Following the Path of the Bodhisattva—altruistic service for the liberation and transcendence of all beings—Ok seeks to bridge latent power and resources with high-impact vision and action, shaping a world where everyone may realize and offer the highest, fullest expressions of their joys, successes, and lives. 

Prumsodun Ok delivers the opening keynote speech at the Dance/USA Annual Conference in 2019.

Prumsodun Ok delivers an artist talk at CTM Festival in 2020.

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