Angkor Dance Troupe was formed in 1986 by Cambodian refugees of the Khmer Rouge. Lowell’s Cambodian American community, estimated at more than 35,000 people, is the second largest in the country. When we resettled here, we brought a passion to carry on our cherished cultural traditions to practice and perform, to teach our children, and to see our art preserved for future generations of all cultures.
We take our name from the great Angkor civilization, between 802 and 1432 AD when Cambodia was a dominant empire in Southeast Asia. Dance and music have always been prominent in Khmer society, but these ancient traditions were nearly eliminated when the Khmer Rouge controlled Cambodia in the 1970s. Artists were among those deliberately targeted for execution. More than 90% of the country’s tradition bearers perished. Today, as Cambodians around the world struggle to emerge from decades of war and poverty, our people look to the rebirth and recreation of dance as a testimony to the endurance of our culture.
As the heart of the Cambodian Community, the Angkor Dance Troupe is nationally recognized as one of the most accomplished and experienced U.S.-based Cambodian traditional arts organizations.
A few features include:
Philadelphia All-America City Competition
Boston's First Night
Mission Statement & Vision
The mission of Angkor Dance Troupe is to connect communities through the preservation, education, and innovation of Cambodian performing arts. Our vision is for Lowell, Massachusetts, to be a center for Cambodian performing arts, culture, and history, with the Angkor Dance Troupe at its core. Through its classes and the high-quality performances by its dancers, Angkor Dance Troupe maintains the integrity of Cambodian performing arts and traditions while adapting to societal changes, and developing the next generation of dancers, teachers, mentors, and leaders.
Your support allows us to train and develop students of all ages through three different programs - traditional classical and folk dance, traditional Cambodian music instruments, and Khmer language class.
As the students progress, they are taught to understand the history and background of each performing art area which will allow them opportunities to take part in a Global Cultural Exchange with Cambodian communities who share the same mission. The knowledge they've developed during the Cultural Exchange will prepare the students to become Master Teachers for Angkor Dance Troupe - in which they will continue training the next generation to perform during our Annual Residency Fundraisers for our community.
Board of Directors
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Sue was born in Richmond, VA and grew up in Maryland. After earning her bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and doctoral degree in English from Cornell University, she worked in the University of Alabama Birmingham's Department of English for eight years. She moved to Lowell in 2011 to work at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where she is now Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the College of Fine Arts, Humanities, & Social Science; Co Director of the Center for Asian American Studies (www.uml.edu/research/caas); and Professor of English. She is also the project director for the Southeast Asian Digital Archive (www.uml.edu/seada), which seeks to collect, preserve, and share historical materials related to Southeast Asians in the Greater Lowell area.
She has served on the Association for Asian American Studies Board of Directors, the Executive Committee of the International Society for the Study of Narrative, and the Board of Directors for Lowell TeleMedia Center.
Gallagher & Cavanaugh, LLP
Jay was born in Seoul, South Korea, and lived in RI, TX, CA, and NY before settling in Massachusetts. He is married with four stepchildren and is currently employed as an attorney with the Lowell firm of Gallagher & Cavanaugh, LLP. He obtained his Bachelor of Science at New York University and his Juris Doctor at Northeastern University School of Law. Jay began his legal career as a prosecutor in Middlesex County, and continued his public sector work with the City of Boston Law Department before moving on to the private sector. He currently has a varied practice but is focused on civil defense litigation. In addition to sitting on Angkor’s Board of Directors, Jay is also a current member of the Human Rights Committee of LifeLinks, Inc. Jay was previously involved with the Chelmsford Cultural Council and the Merrimack Valley Food Bank.
Sopaul has been an active community member while growing up in Lowell, MA. Initially, working as a travel nurse, he gained a great amount of experience and knowledge as a medical professional, specializing in geriatric, wound care, and psychiatric patients. During the end of his nursing career, he transitioned to senior based services in Lowell.
After graduating from UMass Lowell with a dual concentration in Finance and Management, he worked for a multi-site commercial banking company servicing Woburn, Lexington, and Burlington. Sopaul now works for Columbia Care as a Senior Treasury Analyst where he oversees treasury operations on a national level with specialty in cash management, cash services, and forecasting.
Sopaul looks forward to providing his skills, experiences, and positive connection with the community to aide in strengthening not only the ADT team’s skill and knowledge base, but also strengthen ADT’s footprint to the community and beyond as well.
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell
Angel is the Director of Development at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell and has more than 26 years of youth development and nonprofit leadership experience. Angel is dedicated to building and fostering relationships with supporters and community members, committed to continuously finding innovative ways to improve philanthropic initiatives, and ensures that the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell stays abreast of marketing and communication trends. She has completed Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Advanced Leadership Program and Advancing Philanthropy and the Philanthropy Leadership Institute at Indiana University. Angel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University with a major in psychology.
Prior to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell, she was most recently the Director of Development and Communication at Project Adventure. Angel's tenure spanned 10 years across many departments including sales, training, consulting, and youth development. Additionally, she was a frequent presenter on Adventure Education at regional and national conferences. Angel is a current contract facilitator and trainer with Project Adventure and The Browne Center for Innovative Learning.
Angel and her husband Michael live in Lowell. She is a Board Member of the Pollard Memorial Library Foundation, and a Trustee of the Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter School. Angel has volunteered with Budget Buddies, Mill City Grows, Merrimack Valley Food Bank, Catie’s Closet, and sits on the Chamber of Commerce WISE Committee. She is a member of the local cover band SecondHand, and enjoys hiking and gardening in her free time.
Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association
Charles (he/they) currently serves as the Executive Assistant for the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association. They identify as a Queer, first-generation Cambodian American. Charles participated in many community programs as a teenager with Lowell Community Health Center and also as a student with Angkor Dance Troupe before moving to Providence, RI in their early twenties.
They hope to reconnect with the Greater Lowell community and work to help uplift and support our members for a better quality of life. Charles has a vast range of experience working in the non-profit sectors, Working with groups to help support Southeast Asians & Communities of Color facing Deportation, Queer & Gender Justice, and Youth Empowerment & Education. Some of Charles’ other areas of interest are; fashion, game theory, gardening, and performing arts.
Conway Insurance Agency
Michael is a lifelong Lowell resident. He is a graduate of St. Michael’s College and founded Michael G. Conway Insurance in 1988. His business has been recognized as a Celebration of Excellence Agent numerous times and is a member of the Trusted Choice insurance agents group. Michael is very involved in community projects and has been a member of the Rotary Club of Lowell for 33 years. He also serves on the board for the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Whistler House Museum of Art, the C. Alice Rowell Bean Trust and is a corroborator of Lowell General Hospital. In his spare time Michael travels and has visited Cambodia.
Tsongas Industrial History Center
Sheila Kirschbaum has been a staff member of UMass Lowell's School of Education at the Tsongas Industrial History Center since 1992, becoming TIHC’s director in 2011. A former classroom teacher (high school and college, English), Sheila oversees a partnership organization (UMass Lowell and Lowell National Historical Park) that helps educators and students explore America’s cultural and industrial history using Lowell as a case study.
Sheila has been a follower of the Angkor Dance Troupe since seeing a performance of “Monkey Dance” at her daughter’s school in the early 1990s. She was honored to join the ADT board in 2014. Prior to that, she served for many years on the executive board of Lowell Public Schools Citywide Parent Council and currently is president of the board of the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust.
Sheila holds a Doctorate in Language Arts and Literacy (UMass Lowell), a Master of Arts degree in English (Rivier University, Nashua, NH) and a Bachelor of Arts in English, Secondary Education, from the University of Lowell.
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Cherry Lim proudly serves as the inaugural Program Director for the Asian American Center for Excellence & Engagement (AACEE) at UMass Lowell. As a first-generation Cambodian Chinese American college graduate, she is a fierce advocate for Asian Americans in her professional and volunteer capacity.
Prior to this role, she worked on the Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) grants at Bunker Hill Community College and Middlesex Community College. Additionally, she has volunteered with Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, American College Personnel Association, and the Asian American Mental Health Forum.
Cherry earned her MA in Higher Education Administration from Boston College and BA in American Studies at Tufts University. She is incredibly honored to serve on the board of the Troupe to further their reach and mission in whatever way she can.
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Growing up in Lowell, Sokny has been involved in many local community efforts. She has volunteered, built friendships, and learned from many community leaders. Sokny is a first-generation college student and a triple Riverhawk at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, receiving a BA in Sociology, a Master's in Community Social Psychology, and a Master of Business Administration.
Sokny has over 20+ years of experience working in higher education at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She was an advocate during her work as a Youth Program Co-Advisor at the Center for Family, Work, and Community. She managed recruitment events and student affairs at the College of Engineering as Program Coordinator for Graduate Studies. Now, as Executive Assistant, she works alongside the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovations on various contracts and projects. These experiences provided Sokny with the necessary resources for student engagement, community relations, and strategic planning.
Sokny is honored to be a member of the Angkor Dance Troupe's Board of Directors and aspires to be a leader that supports the Troupe's mission and vision.
Karen brings over 18 years of total banking experience to her role as Assistant Vice President and Special Assets Officer at Enterprise Bank.
In this capacity, Karen provides invaluable assistance and successful solutions to the portfolio of commercial and consumer customers she manages. Her experience and skillset in meeting the needs of these customers has contributed greatly to successfully building solid and trusted relationships.
Karen earned a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Lowell and an MBA from Northeastern University. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Angkor Dance Troupe, and was a former volunteer for the Westford Coalition for Non-Violence WCNV Committee, the City of Lowell – City Manager’s Domestic Violence Task Force Training, and the Boy Scouts of America Troop 159. She is also actively involved in numerous community initiatives.
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Lowell National Historical Park,
Patrick J. Mogan Cultural Center
40 French St. 3rd Floor,
Lowell, MA 01852
Western Ave Studios
122 Western Ave.
Lowell, MA 01851
Hours will vary. Please contact us if you would like to schedule a meeting.