Inspiring Feedback

Melinda Modisette is a student awardee of 2019. Here is what she did with her award, which is very inspiring.


         My name is Melinda Modisette and I am going to be a senior at Albuquerque Academy this year. I received the Young Asian-American Student Award in December 2019 and I wanted to express my appreciation for the award as well as show you how the money was used.

This award became the starting point of a wonderful project that I never would have even thought about and it has taught my colleagues and me skills for life. The project that I started is called the Cross-Cultural Art Exchange, where six Albuquerque, USA, art students and six Lanzhou, China, art students get together to every two weeks to talk about culture while also creating twelve half Lanzhou and half Albuquerque art pieces. I started this project because with the news constantly forecasting about how divided the world had become, I wanted to help my community realize it is the differences between people that can come together to create something beautiful. We meet up every two weeks over the app WeChat to talk about the experiences we are having in our own lives and relating it to/comparing it against the other culture. In the first half of the year, starting in October of 2019, each student in Albuquerque and Lanzhou created their own half of an art piece with the overarching theme of the mixing of cultures. In February of 2020, the half pieces were mailed from China and the United States to the United States and China, respectively. However, due to COVID-19, the Albuquerque package was delayed in transit for over two months. But by mid-April, everyone was ready to complete the other half of the art piece. Each student picked the piece that most inspired them and came up with an idea to complete the other half. We are currently still completing the pieces because of the delays due to online schooling and testing between the two countries. We plan to have our pieces finished by August 8th, 2020.

I have created a website detailing all of our experiences with this project and the information and skills that we have learned. The website is called MELGAL and you can find it at MELGAL. The website includes a project synopsis, a timeline, a gallery, and all the information and lessons we learned. Feel free to take a look at it under the page: Cross-Cultural Art Exchange. The award money went into mailing the packages, buying art supplies, and creating a website on WordPress.

This award has started an amazing project that allowed twelve students to gain incredible experiences, learn how to communicate with each other across boundaries, and create lasting connections with people from over 7,000 miles away. On behalf of the whole Cross-Cultural Art project team, I thank you very much for this award and everything it has led to.

With utmost gratitude,
Melinda Modisette