It started with one woman with a passion for heritage preservation
Kinnaly was formed in 2002 from the passion and dedication of one woman, Pom Outama Khampradith (1971-2014). "Upon founding the Kinnaly Dance Troupe, she spent over a decade teaching and inspiring Lao American youth Lao traditional dance, music and culture, creating innovative approaches to making the arts accessible to the community" (AA Press). She was passionate about Lao culture and arts and wanted to share the beauty of Laos with the rest of the world. "Her enthusiasm for the arts constantly inspired artists in many disciplines. She made clear connections between lifelong success and the arts as part of the Lao American renaissance" (Little Laos On The Prairie).
Pom was also a huge advocate for education and believed that culture and community have a huge impact on shaping youth into contributing members of society. "To her credit, many of her students remain active in the arts and the community" (Little Laos on The Prairie). Her values and beliefs of cultural preservation, youth advocacy, and community outreach remain the core of the Kinnaly program and have proven successful for over a decade. Her lasting legacy will continue to inspire generations of Kinnalies to come.
2003 History Symposium on Laos, University of California-Berkeley
2007 International Conference on Lao Studies, Arizona State University
2010 International Lao Artist Festival, Elgin, Illinois
2010, 2011, 2012 International Lao New Year Festival, San Francisco, California
2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 Pom Foundation Cultural Exchange, Lao National School of Music & Dance