SEA Us Write & Design is an initiative to create inclusive and culturally relevant spaces for Southeast Asian youth to grow as writers and artists. These spaces will uplift their voice & cultivate leadership and entrepreneurship skills through creative workshops.
History of SEA Us Write & Design
SEA Us Write & Design started in 2021 by Tou Saiko Lee, originally called SEA Us Write where they focused on creative writing, song writing, and performing arts (such as spoken word and hip hop) to uplift voices and creative expression.
In 2022, Npaus Baim Her continued SEA Us Write and added "Design" to the program to include youth artists. SEA Us Write & Design continues to align with the original vision to uplift voices and creative expression, however to also cultivate leadership and entrepreneurship skills.
Hmong Girls' Creative Writing & Design Circle
The Hmong Girls' Circle is the first youth group of SEA Us Write & Design. It is a safe and supportive space to build sisterhood and develop creative writing and artistic skills through a series of eight creative workshops. With this space, the girls will also learn to navigate and express their personal experiences and voices as Hmong women.
Hmong Girls' Circle Exhibition & Magazine
Through this program, the girls will grow as artists and entrepreneurs. At the end of the program, they will:
Curate an exhibition space at XIA's gallery to showcase all of their creative work
Develop their own creative products to sell at XIA's gift shop
Together, design a cover for the magazine
Write beautiful pieces to showcase their creative writing skills in the magazine
Friday, September 8th, 2023 @6PM
Join us to celebrate the growth and accomplishments of the girls from the Hmong Girls' Circle! Stop by to:
Meet and get to know the girls
View the Hmong Girls' Circle exhibit
Purchase the beautiful products made by the girls
Purchase the Hmong Girls' Circle Magazine
Every support and contribution supports the entrepreneurship of the girls.
Celebrating the Hmong Girls' Circle!
DIY Sticker Workshop with the girls!
Saturday, September 30th, 2023 @1PM - 3PM
In celebration of the Hmong Girls' Circle current Art Exhibition, the girls will be hosting a DIY sticker workshop! Come to connect with other artists and spark some creativity!
Open to everyone and all ages.
Light appetizers will be served
Meet the Girls!
I'm Aimee Her and I'm going to be a freshman at Hamline University. As a person, I'd see myself as open-minded, reserved, and perhaps a bit blunt and intimidating. However, I'm quite easy to get along with considering I love to try out new things. Some of my hobbies are simply eating good food, sleeping, reading, watching dramas and anime, and of course, anything to do with rain. I take inspiration from the things that I see daily in my life, and heavily on simplicity.
Writer / Artist
I’m an upcoming senior, and the oldest out of four girls, born and raised in Minnesota. I am a passionate and kind person. I’m often shy when meeting strangers, but I can laugh a lot when I’ve grown comfortable and familiar with the environment. My creative passion is creating stories and driven characters, and it stems from my love of analyzing characters within other books, shows, comics etc. I love to play video games with my friends and family, read and write, and sometimes I draw.
Hello! I am Eve Khang and I am going to be going to the University of Minnesota in the coming Fall. Many of the activities I do are at school such as Hmong dancing, Asian Culture Club (ACC), and Badminton. Those are the top things that keep me busy after school. I lead a group of girls to dance at my school’s annual Hmong New Year and May Show! We are a group called, Yaj Yuam Muaj Siab. I am also a captain of the Girls’ Badminton Team this year. In ACC, I am an active member and always involve myself with the activities. ACC gives me many opportunities to represent and share my culture with the school. When I am usually not at school, I am home reading or writing to myself. Which could be considered as art I like to do, along with dancing!
Writer / Digital Artist
Hello, my name is Julie Lee. In my free time, I enjoy both writing and drawing. I like writing short stories and poetry. I also like drawing things from nature and anything else that inspires me. What fuels my drive to create, be it through words or pictures, is the idea of being able to tell a story. I want to create pieces that are simply fun to look at or that can inspire others. Something I aspire to do one day is capture the stories of my family’s history and maybe even other Hmong stories through my work. I like reading books, going on walks when the weather’s nice, and occasionally playing mobile games.
Hi! I’m Natalie, but I often go by Nat. My pronouns are she/they/he. I am imaginative, curious, and timid. I have a thirst for knowledge and a love for nature and video games. You can often find me doodling muscular people with cute little cat and frog heads or playing open-world games that let me explore to my heart’s content. I am passionate about traditional mediums such as pencil, watercolor, and clay. However, I occasionally use digital programs such as Illustrator, Magma, and Procreate to create my art. I usually draw people and animals in very inconsistent styles. I like art because I can pop on a playlist and jam while drawing whatever’s calling to me. I love reading manga whenever I can find a new series. I also enjoy playing video games such as Fallout 4, Yakuza 0, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and The Binding of Isaac: Repentance.
Poet / Artist
Hello, my name is Shinningstar Xiong but I also go by shiny. I am 16 years old and will be a junior next upcoming school year. I enjoy playing tennis, paint and watch Asian dramas. I have strong leadership skills and enjoy trying new things even if it can nerve-racking at first. My creative passion is writing and painting. I enjoy writing poems about my life and the things I have learned while growing up and maturing. Meanwhile painting is an art form that allows me to fully express my emotions and bring me calmness. My passions are ways to express and filter my emotions through a healthy coping mechanism.
Meet the Mentors!
Adora Vang is a freelance graphic designer and artist. She is the owner and head creative of Adora Vang Designs. Her business helps other individuals with custom visual elements – whether it’s designing a logo, printed business cards, restaurant menus, digital social graphics, custom artwork, or even a website, she enjoys doing it all. She is mostly known for her Hmong-inspired designs and artwork that reflects her culture and identity. Growing up, there was not much representation or pride in being Hmong or Asian American, and she uses her skills today to create art that she and others can feel proud of.
Npaus Baim Her
Npaus Baim is an educator and storyteller, who collects the narratives of Asian Americans. In 2023, she taught A Reflection on Hmong Culture & Language with Public Art St. Paul for the Sidewalk Poetry Workshop series. In 2022, she published the digital zine "Hmong American Experiences during the Pandemic" with Hmong Museum. In 2019 to 2021, she was published in #MinneAsianStories with Coalition of Asian American Leaders, Staring Down the Tiger by Pa Der Vang, and The Summit Avenue Review. Previously, Npaus Baim worked in higher education and taught the course College Writing at the University of Minnesota Duluth as an instructor, as well as a Writers Consultant for the Writing Workshops. Currently, she works at XIA Gallery & Cafe as an Arts & Culture Coordinator to support and celebrate Asian & BIPOC artists.
Meet the Designer
Graphic Designer of Hmong Girls' Magazine
Maixia Xiong is a first generation Hmong American multidisciplinary artist and designer. Her background is in printmaking, papermaking and media design. Currently, Maixia is making zines and illustrations. Her work celebrates being Hmong American and her desire to uncover the nuances that make her experience special. She exists in a sweet spot between worlds and she makes sense of it all through art and design for herself and others.
SEA Us Write & Design is made possible by. . .
SEA Us Write & Design is funded by Women's Foundation of Minnesota's Innovator Program and Coalition of Asian American Leaders' Sparks Leadership Fund.