Choki Traditional Art School (CTAS) was established in 1999 with the dual objectives of educating those children who could not continue their formal education due to both financial and social reasons and to contribute to the preservation and promotion of the unique cultural heritage of Bhutan. It is a private not-for-profit institute which supports the disadvantaged and under privileged youth of Bhutan through self-sustaining program on skills development in the traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.
The founder of the project is Dasho Choki Dorji. It was during his time that Dasho started the first painting school in Bhutan with the approval from Her Royal Highness Ashi Dechen Wangmo Wangchuck, then representative of His Majesty in the Ministry of Development in early 1970s.
The school offers general courses in traditional drawing, painting, sculpturing and wood carving. After 2nd year, students are given the option to pursue specialized courses in Thanka ( scroll, Debri painting (Fresco) and Patra (wood carving) based on their interest and aptitude. The full course is for six years. Both – theory and practical lessons – are properly integrated to develop the necessary skills and aptitude. The school also provides classes in basic English, maths and Dzongkha.
Other co-curricular activities such as games and sports, cultural activities, mask dances, Driglam Namzha (code of etiquettes) and SUPW (Socially useful & Productive Works) form an integral parts of the school program.
Sustaining the school is our greatest challenge. The internal fund generated by the school through its sale of artifacts produced by our student's during practical is inadequate to cover the expenditure of the school. The fund gap which the school could not generate is being provided by Himalayan Youth Foundation (HYF) and few individual donors through sponsorships.