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.
Hallie Morrison, Art Director, Art Relief International
Hello, my name is Hallie Morrison, and I am thrilled to say I am the new Art Director of Art Relief International (ARI).
Last year (2015), I came to ARI as a volunteer, which was made possible by a Volunteer Abroad Scholarship from the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), in Ireland. There, I studied between CIT, the Crawford College of Art and Design, and the University of Limerick to design my own Master of Arts in Creative Process via a new creative institution, called Uversity. I ultimately earned my MA from Uversity, for whom I proudly represent the first-ever class of the institution.
Before my MA in Ireland, I earned my BFA at the Rhode Island School of Design where my passion for using art as a critical, social tool began.
This educational career initiated my practice as an a/r/tographer (an artist/researcher/teacher), and led me to work as a teaching artist at a reputable art center in Chicago, my home city. Also within this special realm of education, I previously worked as an assistant art educator in a Montessori school, which reflects my appreciation for empowering students of any age to find the motivation from within to pursue their own artistic and educational interests. At my core, I am a mixed media artist; I continue this practice today fulfilling international commissions, and I bring this creative identity to my position with ARI.
For ARI, I aim to marry techniques of art therapy and arts education to make truly meaningful and beneficial workshops for our partner organizations. My love for learning in new environments motivates me to learn as much as possible from our partners, and serve them answering to their individual goals. I strive to fulfill my dream of healing through creative work, and making positive change wherever possible. For me, nothing like ARI exists elsewhere in the world.
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.
Yu is our reliable and punctual driver. He always has a smile on his face and will take you to and from your volunteer placement each day. Although Yu is new to CCT, he has already proven to be well suited for the job given his friendliness, patience in Chiang Mai’s traffic, and sweet jams to accompany your rides.
P'Pon, CCT Home Keeper
P’Pon is the CCT volunteer home keeper. She will be cooking you delicious Thai meals Monday through Saturday. She is very adept at altering meals with limited resources to accommodate allergies and intolerances. She takes great care in keeping the volunteer home in order!