CALLING ALL CHANGEMAKERS! Winter 2023 cohort applications are now open.

Apply Now

We grow Southeast Asian leadership through social empowerment in arts, advocacy and reimagination.

SEA Change Lab is a cohort-based program aimed at growing social empowerment and leadership development through storytelling in young people ages 18-25 with heritage roots from mainland Southeast Asia, including indigenous and ethnic groups from Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. We center, support and guide our young people’s experiences using an interdisciplinary cross-cultural, cross-generational approach through arts and advocacy


We're looking for up to 20 changemakers who are able to work collectively and collaboratively using artistic mediums including but not limited to writing, visual arts, movement, digital art, music, and performance that will engage communities on Southeast Asian issues. Cohort members are welcome from all over the country, as all activities will take place online. The finished outcome will be in the form of a virtual community recital and digital and print zine publication. The program will be 100% virtual, with materials shipped to all participants.


$1,000 per participant at the end of program completion.


  • All changemakers will learn topics in arts, advocacy, and community issues that impact the Southeast Asian diaspora.
  • All changemakers will be provided with professional development tools and training.
  • All changemakers will be matched with a mentor.
  • All changemakers will create an original work responding to these key community issues: COVID19 Pandemic, Abolition, Anti-Asian Violence, Deportation, Healing Justice, Environmental Justice, and Southeast Asian Cultural Reimagination (Identity, Heritage, Histories).
  • All changemakers will work directly with community members.
  • All changemakers will join a supportive alumni network.
  • All changemakers are expected to fully participate and finish the program in order to receive the stipend.


  • Must be ages 18-25 years old
  • Must identify as having heritage or roots from Southeast Asia
  • Must be into creative arts
  • Must have strong interest in storytelling for change
  • Must be able to participate in weekly virtual planning meetings, trainings, and check-ins
  • Must meet minimum technical requirements in order to participate (stable internet, working phone, etc). If this is an accessibility issue, SEAD can provide financial support for need-based participants.


Q: Who can apply for the SEA Change Lab Program?
A: Anyone who is ages 18-25 who identifies as having heritage roots from mainland Southeast Asia, including indigenous and ethnic groups from Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. This is inclusive of people who are multiethnic and multiracial.

Q: Do I need to live in Minnesota to participate in this program?
A: No. At least half of the cohort will include folks who reside in Minnesota, but there is space for people who live outside the state as well.

Q: How many changemakers will be selected?
A: Up to 20.

Q: Can past program participants apply?
A: In an effort to create opportunities for more artists, we are limiting the program to new applicants.

Q: Do I need to be an artist in order to apply?
A: You do not need to be a professional artist to apply, but you should have an interest in the arts.

Q: What kinds of artform does this program support?
A: We are inclusive of all art forms including but not limited to writing, drawing, acting, music, photography, video work, and so forth.

Q: What are the program dates?
A: The program runs from February 1 - March 25, 2023. We will meet Wednesdays from 4:30 to 7:30 PM and some Saturday mornings from 10 AM - 1 PM. All meetings will be Central Time coordinated.

Q: Is there a cost to this program?
A: No. It is free.

Q: What can I expect to get out of this program?
A: Opportunities to learn from Southeast Asian artists and leaders. A platform and guidance for creating new work. Mentorship from SEAD staff, artists, and a mentor who will work with you one-on-one. A community of other young Southeast Asian artist leaders. And a $1000 stipend upon completing the program.

Q: I don’t really consider myself a “leader” or a “changemaker”. Should I apply anyway?
A: We think that leaders and changemakers can enter this program at any stage in their development. If you are interested in using your voice and different art forms to create a better world for the community around you, you should apply.

Q: In the application, there is an option to include work samples and a resumé. Why do you need that information?
A: While work samples and a formal resumé is not mandatory, they help to give us context about who you are. Work samples can include a website, a word document of your writing, or your Instagram and Facebook posts. You can include a resumé or a one-paragraph bio letting us know about your past experiences in school, work, or the arts.

Q: What is the deadline to apply?
A: Wednesday, January 11th 2023 at 11:59PM Central Time.

Q: When will I hear back about whether I am accepted into the program or not?
A: First-round acceptances will be sent out on Friday, January 20, 2023.

Q: What if I have more questions?
A: Please email Creative Leadership Manager Jessica Eckerstorfer at

Final Projects