In 2003, an organization called “Rajana Society” was founded by a group of motivated Khmer (Cambodian) students at the University of Washington in Seattle. In 2013/2014 Rajana Society was resurrected under the leadership of Sameth Mell, Baron You, Nissana Nov and Phatry Derek Pan. The work of the resurrected organization focused on broader issues connecting through multi-cultural unity, ethnic based programming around arts & civics as a platform to re-imagine and contribute to a growing Khmer diaspora and the broader community.
“Rajana” means artistically creative in Khmer. Because of the newfound vision, Rajana Society is rebranded into SPEAN RAJANA. “Spean” means bridge. Spean Rajana is “bridge to artistic creations”. Spean Rajana’s vision is to be a platform and network in connecting folks through civics, dialogue, arts and policy. We believe that every person’s voice is a catalyst for greater change.
By providing a platform for sharing, learning best practices and celebrating Khmer heritage and contemporary arts, culture and civics, the organization hopes to promote dialogue and collaboration between Khmer/Non-Khmer artists, creatives and communities.