Nguyen during a photoshoot for a feature on KQED Bay Brilliant ( photo: Jean Melesaine )

“Quynh has a knack for bringing together diverse groups through creative expression. Her place-based approach to community building is an invaluable asset to the multicultural arts eco-system in the Silicon Valley. Increasingly, Quynh’s work has taken a social justice bent with her creative placemaking endeavors serving as a platform for women and other underrepresented groups. I can personally attest to the quality and consistency of her work.”
— Demone Carter, MALI Program Director, School of Arts and Culture at MHP


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Quynh-Mai Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American social artist, poet, musician, and creative producer from San José, CA with an imagination that dares to transform and nurture the world around her through her social art, visual storytelling, words, and civil interactions.

Growing up, she wanted to do three things in life:

  1. become Sailor Earth of the Sailor Scouts,

  2. study insects, and

  3. compose for and conduct a symphony.

Nguyen approaches everything with that same compassion, curiosity, and creativity.

Social artistry is about designing creative ways of interaction and engagement in society to bring crucial social issues to light in communities with the purpose of ultimately affecting change. Her work places heavy emphasis in creating cultural awareness through arts education and wellness through play. As an avid learner through visuals and first-hand experience, her art aims to inspire people of color to share and determine their own narratives rather than be subject to other narratives created for them, and to break the cycle of miseducation that is passed down from generation to generation. Nguyen also encourages for people to create new artifacts in order to replace those that have been outdated, appropriated, or erased by development. She believes that creating cultural awareness and preserving stories through art will foster a more inclusive community of understanding, empathy, and engagement regardless of what one may identify with culturally.

Her experiences working in these different communities has always been relationship-based and people-driven. These values have helped her to hone a special inside appreciation and understanding of how important it is to invest in local organizations AND people to allow for their communities to thrive. Using her passion for design and compassion for people, she understands how to evoke and identify the meaningful purpose behind community building through the arts and hope that it inspires those to create with more intention.

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Nguyen during a video assignment in Park Hills, MI ( photo: Jean Melesaine )


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Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute, Class 7

American Leadership Forum, Urbanism XL

California Presenters' All California Leadership Program

Sonido Clash


School of Arts and Culture at MHP

Bloco Do Sol Brazilian Drumming Ensemble