Monthly Archives: July 2015

Support the 2015 School Supplies Drive!

With the midsummer heat and still-long days, it’s hard to believe that the new school year is just weeks away. Parents around the country are already scanning coupons and keeping their eyes open for Back to School sales, preparing to hit the stories in August.

Unfortunately, not all families have room in their budgets for school supplies. That’s why the staff and volunteers at the Cheyenne River Youth Project® are hard at work on their annual 2015 School Supplies Drive. As it has throughout its nearly 27-year history, the grassroots, not-for-profit youth organization will distribute much-needed school supplies to community schoolchildren during the month to come.

“It always surprises people that we’re thinking about the new school year in July, but we have to start early,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “These last weeks of summer are critical for gathering donated supplies, purchasing additional items with contributed funds, and then hosting the actual distribution at our Cokata Wiconi teen center.”

This year’s School Supplies Drive distribution is scheduled for Wednesday, August 12. Children and families who aren’t able to attend the distribution are welcome to visit Cokata Wiconi at a later date to choose their school supplies. In 2014, CRYP served 511 Cheyenne River children and 135 families at the scheduled August distribution and in the days and weeks to follow.

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July Hall of Fame: Khalid Garreau

When CRYP opened the doors to its Cokata Wiconi (“Center of Life”) teen center in August 2006, its mission went beyond simply providing a safe place for teens to socialize, enjoy meals and snacks, do homework, watch movies and play sports. The center also was designed to provide a venue for learning valuable job and life skills.

That vision became a reality with the CRYP internship programs. Today, nine years after Cokata Wiconi’s dedication, the youth project offers art internships as well as internships in the 2-acre, naturally grown Winyan Toka Win (“Leading Lady”) garden, in the Keya (“Turtle”) Gift Shop and in the farm-to-table Keya Cafe & Coffeeshop. And it turns out, the kids are as excited about their opportunities as we are.

Meet Khalid Garreau, a Rapid City, South Dakota-based teen who has family on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. The son of Sonny Wayne Garreau and Heather Taken Alive, Khalid was a frequent visitor to CRYP’s The Main youth center as a small child; he says the fun activities and interesting people always kept him coming back. Then he found out about the internship programs at Cokata Wiconi.

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    CRYP Hosts RedCan, Graduates First Art Interns, and Receives $100K NEA Our Town Grant!

CRYP Hosts RedCan, Graduates First Art Interns, and Receives $100K NEA Our Town Grant!

It’s been a thrilling month for the Cheyenne River Youth Project. Not only did the 26-year-old, not-for-profit, grassroots youth organization host the groundbreaking RedCan graffiti jam and graduate its first cohort of teen art interns, it earned a $100,000 Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

According to NEA Chairman Jane Chu, CRYP was one of 275 applicants for this year’s Our Town awards, and it’s one of 69 award recipients nationwide. The grant program is designed to support creative place-making projects that help transform communities into lively, beautiful and resilient places — with the arts at their core.

It’s a perfect fit for CRYP. In just one year, the innovative youth project has launched an ongoing teen arts internship program; dedicated its 3.5-acre Waniyetu Wowapi (“Winter Count”) Art Park, which is open free to the public; and created the nationally recognized RedCan graffiti jam, in which acclaimed artists from around the country converged on South Dakota’s remote, 2.8-million-acre Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation for an unprecedented merging of graffiti culture and Lakota culture.

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July Partner of the Month: Keith and Ann Brundin

As so many of you already know, this month marks the kickoff of a new annual event for CRYP: the RedCan graffiti jam. RedCan is one of our many arts initiatives here at the youth project, which include the Waniyetu Wowapi (“Winter Count”) Art Park, the art internship program, and a variety of ongoing classes and workshops.

With Waniyetu Wowapi, we sought to create a free, public art space where community members and visitors of all ages could gather and share their stories, life experiences, and unique identities and voices in a safe, positive environment. We dedicated the park last September, and now, we’re finding that it’s resonating with people in ways we could not have expected.

Some of these supporters are artists. RedCan has attracted acclaimed graffiti artists from Denver, Rapid City, Minneapolis, Miami and southern California, as well as native artists, dancers and drum groups from across Indian country.

Others are community members who see a new hope for their children. One mother told us she drove 80 miles each way from the Takini community so her son could paint in the park.

Then there are those supporters who seek only to make a contribution to ensure that the art park, and our youth project, will be here for generations to come. These are people like Keith and Ann Brundin of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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RedCan: Schedule of Events!

RedCan is no longer rising. It’s finally here. After months of fundraising, planning and development, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® will officially kick off its first-ever RedCan graffiti jam on Wednesday, July 8 at the CRYP campus on East Lincoln Street in Eagle Butte.

The revolutionary arts event is scheduled for July 8-10 in Eagle Butte on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. From there, artists will head west for a second RedCan event in Rapid City’s Art Alley on July 11. Headline artists include East Foster from Denver, Kazilla from Miami, Meme from southern California, Tyler “Siamese” Read from Rapid City, and Peyton Scott Russell (pictured here), Biafra Inc. and Wundr from Minnesota’s Twin Cities. Also on hand will be a variety of native and non-native artists, hip-hop groups, native drum groups and native dancers.

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