Xay Yang

In Progress artist and recent college graduate.  Photographer and Videographer.  Employee of Asian Women United of Minnesota.  Community advocate.


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?: Getting connected to all the wonderful artists and being mentored, building relationships and getting me to really work on art because its hard to find time (intentionally) when you have a full time job that occupies most of you time and energy.

2. What did it take for us at In Progress to achieve this accomplishment? What strengths do we have that helped us succeed?: In Progress was (and still is) very open and welcoming. People met me where I was at and I was given accountability and ownership of the space. People were always willing to help and to provide feedback. I was also able to use the space in my own time. I was given the flexibility to grow as I needed and to pace myself. And of course, providing access to me whether that is space, programs, computer use, cameras- all of it.

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?: In Progress is unique in its programming, its environment, and the balance in structure where there is some structure to help us frame our work but mostly, it is organic and flexible. In Progress is unique because it gives ownership to the young people (us) and holds us accountable for our ideas, our programs and our space. I really like that In Progress provides a rental option for people who don't have access to buying their own equipment. I also think one thing that really makes In Progress stand out is the fact that they find talent in everyone and they also bring in "expert artists" to give us a fresh perspective. In Progress allows for us to take initiatives and provides opportunities for us to practice presenting ourselves and our work and to tell our stories with a positive outlook- you cannot find that anywhere. And of course, at the core of the work is family. People come there to build their chosen family, to find familial support in each other (other than their family at birth) and In Progress fosters family by hosting events such as family portraits and movie nights.

4. As you think about In Progress, what do you value most? What keeps you engaged here?: The people and our relationships. That is top priority. Second to that is the space and the programs. People reaching out to me is what keeps me engaged. Its easy for me to stray away and get distracted but someone at In Progress always finds a way to get me walking back through that door and I am so appreciative of that. If it weren't for the people there, I don't know that I would have the same level of engagement and love for In Progress.

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