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Global Youth Exchange

Global Youth Exchange

What is the Global Youth Exchange?

The Global Youth Exchange (GYE) Program was envisioned as a way for Mia to foster greater cultural understanding among ten young people in Minnesota (ages 14–18) and ten young people in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The program, which ran from January through May 2020, was designed to offer an art-based curriculum and travel experience and then culminate in a group exhibition.

GYE has been an opportunity for young participants to expand their global perspectives and develop critical-thinking skills and self-confidence through the exploration of the following themes: U.S. and Vietnamese History and Culture, Art and Storytelling, Identity and Narrative, and Empathy and Perspective.

Sadly, due to the coronavirus pandemic, GYE participants were not able to travel to Vietnam, host Vietnam-based youth in Minnesota, or have an in person art exhibition at Mia. Instead, GYE participants will have the opportunity in the coming year to take Southeast Asian language and cultural workshops through the Southeast Asian Diaspora Project. GYE art-making sessions shifted to virtual sessions after March 15, 2020. GYE participants have put together a virtual exhibition, below, to highlight their experiences, artwork, and stories.

Generous support for this program is provided by the Gale Family Endowment.

GYE Partners

GYE themes and curriculum have been developed in collaboration with Mia’s project partners the SEAD Project and Renaissance International School Saigon. The GYE Virtual Exhibition highlights the experiences and journey of the ten Minnesota-based GYE participants and shares how they have connected with the Vietnam-based GYE participants throughout the process.


Global Youth Exchange Exhibition: Our Journey

Guiding Stories & Reflections

In our  Global Youth Exchange journey, we read the book Planting SEADS: Southeast Asian Diaspora Stories, edited by Chanida Phaengdara Potter, M. K. Nguyen, Narate Keys, and Pheng Thao. Through journal reflection and reading this text, we were able to learn more about Southeast Asian diaspora communities and their stories and reflect on our own identities and stories.

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Themes and Workshops

In the Global Youth Exchange program we worked with local artists, young leaders and scholars from the Southeast Asian and Asian Diaspora Twin Cities community and explored the following themes; U.S. and Vietnamese History and Culture, Art and Storytelling, Identity and Narrative, and Empathy and Perspective.

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Shifting and Connecting

We unfortunately could not travel and host each other as originally planned. Nonetheless, we found ways to connect with each other through object exchange, art challenges, cultural mixed-media projects, Zoom calls, Instagram and more. We are grateful for the connections that we have made and look forward to continuing those beyond the GYE program.

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