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The Banh Mi Chronicles: Cambodian Roots of the American Deep South w / Simone Cottrell

In this latest episode Randy Kim interview (Season 2, Episode 6), Simone Cottrell, an independent multi disciplinarian theatre maker, shares her experience growing up as a mixed Khmer American in Bayou La Batre, Alabama and Mississippi before moving to Fayetteville, Arkansas.  She reflects deeply on how art & theater can be important agencies that empower marginalized communities, specifically in rural communities, and how this has been put into practice to support anti-ICE raids that have affected undocumented Latinx communities, but also the Southeast Asian communities in Arkansas.  She spoke about her recent trip to the National Cambodian Heritage Museum in Chicago last Fall, and how it helped to better understand her Cambodian-American roots.  


The daughter of a Cambodian refugee and a Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran, Simone Cottrell (B.A., Mississippi State University) is an independent multidisciplinary theatre-maker in Fayetteville, Arkansas. As the former Director of Outreach with The Artist’s Laboratory Theatre, Simone led theatre programs with the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks, Marshallese Educational Initiative, A+ Residency, Teen Action Support Center, and many other regional partners. Simone interned at Lexington Children’s Theatre and then continued her artistic education at MSU, where she received funding to study at the Martha’s Vineyard Institute for Creative Writing (Summer 2015). Simone has held positions with MSU’s College of Arts & Sciences, Trike Theatre (Bentonville, AR), and served as a teaching artist and director for various youth theatre projects. Simone has received the Interchange Grant 2019 (Mid-America Arts Alliance and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), Artist 3 60 2019 (M-AAA and Walton Family Foundation), and is an Artist Inc 2019 Fellow.

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