Located just north of the capital of Bhutan, in the beautiful mountain valley of Kabesa, Choki Traditional Art School is the only private institute that provides free education to underprivileged youths who have a keen interest in learning the traditional arts and crafts.
The school focuses on developing solid background and skills of the students so that they can go on to become independent and contribute to preserving Bhutan’s unique art and culture.
“I have been in traditional painting my whole life and now, nearing the end of my life, my humble contribution will be to pass the skills to the younger generation. We must preserve our values and customs, our culture and tradition. This is one of our identities, if it disappears,it’s gone forever.”
Choki Traditional Art School (CTAS) founded by Thrimdep Choki Dorji in 1999.
After his retirement from Civil Service, Dasho Choki Dorji was approached by children who were interested to learn arts but could not get admission in the National Painting School due to qualification requirement. His interest and love for the profession and zeal to keep alive the zorig chusum (13 Arts and Crafts) inspired him to teach these children at his house. These students came from humble families far away, so he kept them in his house and provided free food and lodge. Soon enough the news spread and many parents started bringing their children. Thus the idea to establish a small school and provide learning opportunities for the economically and disadvantaged children was conceived.
Koenraad & Lynne Foulon, long-time and major patrons of our school, are organizing a fundraising trek to benefit CTAS beginning on 30th March of this year. Together with a small team of friends, they will come to Bhutan to hike an auspicious 108 km of the Trans Bhutan Trail, an ancient route which runs 403 kilometers from Haa in the West of Bhutan to Trashigang in the East.
“The school has provided me the opportunity to develop myself and now, not only am I able to support my family but I can also give back to the school by supporting the school as the chairman of the Alumni Association.”
“I am grateful to the school and all the well-wishers and supporters who have created such an opportunity and paving a bright future for youths like us. I wouldn’t be where I am without it and I am thankful and happy to be where I am now.”
– Thinley Dorji
Chairman of CTAS-AA
The Choki Traditional Art School Alumni Association (CTAS-AA) was established in September 2014 with the objective of fostering connections between ex-students and the present students. This bond could benefit the present students and the school in the form of expertise, financial resources and sharing of best practices towards sustainable development of the school.
Since its establishment, the CTAS-AA has continued to grow in terms of membership and its contribution to school.
CTAS alumni work across the country, preserving and promoting the arts and crafts.