Lee Wai Chang

In Progress artist since 2010, teaching artist and curator.  Primary artforms - photography and video.  Heading off to college fall 2014.


1. Considering all your experience with In Progress, what is one achievement that you personally are most proud of? Why is this achievement important to you? What does it represent?: One achievement that was really important to me happened when I became an intern at In Progress. I had no experience at all, and now 4 years later here I am a teaching artist. It's meaningful to me because InProgress is like a family to me. The skills I have learned I have been able to apply to other positions and careers. It is something I have worked hard for. The skills I have developed represent me now as an artist, an individual and teacher. My artwork has improved, as well as my life choices and decisions. I don't know where I would have ended up without In Progress.

2. What did it take for us at In Progress to achieve this accomplishment? What strengths do we have that helped us succeed?: For me I believe responsibility and discipline were key. Raynie Vang's leadership as a peer mentor made me understand why it was important. She inspired me to excel and this motivated me to be creative and to motivate other artists. The strengths of In Progress include mostly connectivity and creativity for me, because it has connections not just here in Saint Paul but all over the nation. It not only is a community for the arts it is also a community for the Hmong, Natives, Latinos and more. A lot of our artists have motivation to create art through the different specialities that they have and that helps keep us all strong.

3. What do you think makes In Progress unique? What 2-3 things are at our very core that make us stand out from other arts programs or youth development programs?: It's really different from other places. It's not like any other organization because you don't feel like a participant when you are at In Progress, you feel like you are part of the family and that you are an important member of the group. You feel recognized, needed and important to what is going on.

4. As you think about In Progress, what do you value most? What keeps you engaged here?: I value Kris because without her, there wouldn't be an In Progress. Kris is the co-founder and a leader for artists. It is her motivation and hard work that makes it possible for us to succeed. It is motivational for us. What keeps me here is that I have been able to do what I really value in life. Whenever I come here I always learn new things. I know it is here for my life. There are so many reasons to stay and to keep connected. I will never leave In Progress.

all thoughts presented on this page have been given with permission from the person interviewed.