The CCT Team
Woravit 'Wad' Rattanakit, Executive Director, Cultural Canvas Thailand
My dedication to volunteerism is rooted in my upbringing. My mother worked with impoverished, rural children in Northern Thailand. At the time I did not understand why she would choose to work in such dire conditions. As I have gotten older (and wiser) I realize the significance of helping others. My mother was personally rewarded by being a catalyst for change and believing that her students could rise above their socio-economic conditions. I, too, have found a passion and personal commitment to improving the lives of others through volunteerism.
In college I majored in English communication in order to be able to communicate and connect with people from other cultures. Communication is essential for being able to understand where other people are coming from and making a difference. However, it takes more than language or job skills to make a difference, you must also possess passion. I am very interested in a range of social and environmental issues, and after University I took the skills I gained and the interest I developed and went to volunteer teaching children in China.
Now, I spend my time working with many groups in Northern Thailand. By connecting with people here, I am constantly expanding my idea of a global society. As the Executive Director of Cultural Canvas Thailand, I enjoy my unique role of introducing you the volunteer, to the people, organizations, and many facets of Thai culture. I know that you will have an unforgettable experience connecting with the people here and learning about Chiang Mai.
Emma Reinhalter, Assistant Director, Cultural Canvas Thailand
My passion for cross cultural exchange and volunteerism developed after many years of personal travel and volunteer experience. After graduating from Haverford College with a B.A. in anthropology, I worked first in Southern Thailand as a TEFL trainer and then as the Base and Projects Manager with Global Vision International (GVI), an international volunteer organization. After two and a half years with GVI, I moved on to teach English in a Thai secondary school.
After realizing that my interests sway more towards the non-profit sector, I started searching for the perfect position in Thailand. Creating and enjoying the arts has always been an active interest of mine, thus combining art, development and non-profit work, volunteerism and Thailand was the perfect combination found at Cultural Canvas Thailand. Following a brief stint back in America, where I worked as the Asia Programs intern at a San Francisco-based NGO called Volunteers in Asia, I returned to Thailand in January 2013 to join the Cultural Canvas Thailand team as the Assistant Director. CCT is a perfect combination of art, development, non-profit work, and volunteerism. Please feel free to contact me at any time as I am here to assist in your unique volunteer experience.
Sarah Lovett, Art Director, Art Relief International
A year after leaving Chiang Mai as a volunteer with Cultural Canvas Thailand’s Art Relief International (ARI) program, I have returned to fulfill the position of Art Director for ARI.
Born in New Jersey, USA I attended college at the University of Delaware, graduating with a degree in Fine Art and a minor in Art History. I knew early in my career that art therapy and art outreach would be where I would find my niche. After graduating, I discovered Cultural Canvas and decided to travel to Thailand to volunteer with the ARI program, where I fell in love with art outreach, with Chiang Mai and its people, and with CCT.
I have a diverse background in art and have worked in a gallery in Philadelphia, as a Teaching Artist at a Chicago High School, a frame maker’s assistant, a “craft studio leader," and a museum attendant. I love working in all different realms of the art world, and in addition to my passion for bringing the power of art to artists, I’m a practicing artist of mixed media and painting. Specializing in the use of text, book pages, found imagery, and original painting and drawing, I use my paintings to create visual conversations and storytelling.
I’m very confident that coming to Thailand to be a volunteer with CCT was not only a wonderful decision to gain experience in figuring out my career path, but it was also more fun than I could have imagined and I’m so excited to be back at ARI full time!
Piangta (Pepo) Leepatanakun, Coordinator, Art Relief International
It has always been a dream in my life to work for a non-profit organization.
My home town is Hang-Dong city in the Chiang Mai province, Thailand. When I was young, there were many organizations that always came to do many things for us such as built the church, library, give us some clothes and so on. At that time, I hoped that one day I would work with a non-profit organization and now my dream has come true. I am the Volunteer Coordinator for Art Relief International.
I graduated with a bachelor's degree in English from Phayao University. Phayao is a peaceful province in the northern part of Thailand, about a 3 hour drive from Chiang Mai. After I graduated I came back to live in Chiang Mai because I want to stay near my home town to take care of my parents.
I have previously worked as a receptionist at Sri-Pat Guest House, Chiang Mai. While working there I got good news from my teacher in primary school, she told me about this job with Art Relief International. I decided that this was a good chance to follow my dream and improve my English skills. The most important thing is that I can learn to do things which I never could do before. I have a great chance to learn about life, meet new friends, and a lot more about the world than I would ever before.
I am very proud to work for this Non Profit Organization and work with various volunteers from all over the world. In my opinion, it is a great experience for everyone to, one time in their life, join us at Cultural Canvas Thailand and Art Relief International in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Alexandra Perkinson, Funding and Outreach Coordinator, Cultural Canvas Thailand
After volunteering with Art Relief International for three months, I returned in January 2014 to fulfill the position of Funding and Outreach Coordinator for Cultural Canvas Thailand.
I am originally from Baltimore, Maryland but I have spent the last six years living in New York, New York. I studied at Syracuse University and Pratt University, receiving my Bachelor’s degree in Art Photography and Master’s degree in Art Therapy and Creativity Development from these institutions respectively. In the past I have worked for a number of small and large non-profit organizations throughout Maryland and New York and was most recently employed by the Museum of Modern Art in New York where I taught art history and art making to individuals with physical and developmental disabilities.
Starting my relationship with CCT/ARI as a volunteer allowed me to witness and take part first hand in the amazing work that this organization does on a daily basis. Now as Funding and Outreach Coordinator, I am anxious to communicate our mission to as many people as possible and to be a part of it’s continued growth and success.