Cokata Wiconi Teen Center

CRYP to Host Midnight Basketball Lock-In This Weekend!

The summer 2017 season of Midnight Basketball at the Cheyenne River Youth Project is coming to an end, and CRYP staff are preparing to commemorate the occasion with the nonprofit youth organization’s annual Midnight Basketball Lock-In. Open free to young people ages 13-18, the event will include Midnight Basketball, DJ in the Art Park, basketball and volleyball tournaments, back-to-back horror movies, and two hearty meals.

The revelry kicks off at 9 p.m. with Midnight Basketball in the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center’s gymnasium. At the same time, teens can enjoy an outdoor DJ performance in the Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., made possible by a “Native Performance Art Series” grant from NEA Artworks.

When Midnight Basketball concludes at 1 a.m., the fun doesn’t stop. Sports enthusiasts can participate in a one-hour volley ball tournament at 1 a.m. and a two-hour basketball tournament at 2 a.m. The gym will then be open for free play from 4 to 6 a.m.

Meanwhile, movie buffs can head for the Keya (Turtle) Cafe at 1 a.m. for the back-to-back screening of three horror films: “Autopsy of Jane Doe,” “Train to Busan” and “Ouija.”

CRYP staff will serve taco salad in the cafe at 2-3 a.m., with breakfast to come at 4-6 a.m. Both meals will feature fresh, nutritious ingredients from CRYP’s 2-acre, pesticide-free Winyan Toka Win (Leading Lady) garden. After breakfast, Cokata Wiconi’s doors will open, and the lock-in will come to an end.

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    Applications Available 8/11-9/8 for New Youth Leadership Program!

Applications Available 8/11-9/8 for New Youth Leadership Program!

From this Friday, Aug. 11 until Friday, Sept. 8, applications will be available for the new “Growing into Wowachinyepi” program for youth leaders on South Dakota’s Cheyenne River Lakota reservation. The Cheyenne River Youth Project® recently joined forces with the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute to create this exciting one-year pilot project, which is modeled on CNAY’s national “Champions for Change” program.

This community-specific initiative is designed to respectfully honor young leaders in a culturally relevant youth recognition program, which is designed specifically for Lakota youth and the Lakota Nation’s traditional value system.

“Our community has its own unique outlook on what it means to be a leader, and what it means to achieve,” said Tammy Granados, CRYP’s youth programs director. “The Lakota word wowachinyepi means ‘one who the people can depend on’ — the ‘Growing into Wowachinyepi’ program seeks to promote that distinctly Lakota view of leadership while honoring and recognizing young people who exemplify our community values.”

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July Hall of Fame: Jason White Horse

Cheyenne River’s young people immersed themselves in art during CRYP’s RedCan invitational graffiti jam this year. From the First Peoples’ Fund’s Rolling Rez Arts activities to the many ready-and-waiting walls in the Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park, teens and littles alike expressed themselves creatively and energetically.

CRYP’s art interns were busy too. With the support of guest artists and instructors, they sketched their ideas and then hit the park, refining their color choices and styling, and practicing that elusive skill called can control. Jason White Horse was among them.

Sixteen-year-old Jason started painting roughly two years ago, and now he’s going through his second art internship in CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi Lakota Arts Institute. According to Tammy Granados, youth programs director, the internship has been valuable for this polite, attentive teen on more than one level—as his artistic skills have grown, so have his life skills.

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    Acclaimed Artist Scape Martinez Will Lead CRYP Graffiti Art Camp on May 30-June 2

Acclaimed Artist Scape Martinez Will Lead CRYP Graffiti Art Camp on May 30-June 2

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has announced that acclaimed San Jose, California-based artist and writer Scape Martinez will lead a four-day graffiti art education camp at its Eagle Butte campus from Tuesday, May 30 to Friday, June 2, with lessons taking place from 1 to 5 p.m. each day. Martinez will focus on “Can Control” and “Mural Creation Basics” during the hands-on, intensive mural and graffiti art camp, which is open to all teens.

The camp will begin with the basic principles of can control as well as the mechanics of aerosol paint, its properties, and how to use it as a tool for personal expression. From there, Martinez will teach blends, cuts, fades, outlines, stencils and more advanced can-control techniques, and the teens will have an opportunity to each design a unique piece. The fourth day will be dedicated to a collaborative outdoor painting workshop in the nonprofit youth project’s innovative, public Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park.

Throughout the four-day experience, Martinez will guide students through the rigorous lessons and activities so they understand the creative and mural-making possibilities of spray paint. He also will encourage the students to explore their own identities and creativity in a supportive environment, discuss their work and exchange ideas, and provide respectful, reassuring critiques within the group.

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May Hall of Fame: Sunni Dupris

At the Cheyenne River Youth Project, we’ve worked hard over the years to develop a programming mix that allows us to reach as many young people as we can, and then develop deeper, more meaningful relationships with particular individuals over time. For example, we created Midnight Basketball in 1996 so area teens would have a safe place to play ball and hang out with friends on Friday nights—some weekends, we’ll see more than 100 kids come through our doors.

We might not have the chance to get to know each of those 100-plus children personally through the basketball program. Sometimes, however, a passion for basketball turns into a passion for CRYP, and we have an opportunity to make a lasting difference in that child’s life.

That’s what happened with a young woman named Sunni Dupris, who first came to our Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center to play basketball. That turned into so much more.

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Teen Art Interns Complete Architecture & Design Course

On April 27-29, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® welcomed Boulder, Colorado-based Pyatt Studio to its Eagle Butte campus for a three-day, intensive “Introduction to Architecture & Design” workshop. Rob Pyatt, principal and design director, and fellow designer Walt Pourier spent three days with 13 teen art interns who currently are pursuing their arts education through CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Lakota Arts Institute.

The intensive workshop familiarized the interns with architectural and design thinking, and it provided critical instruction in a variety of representational tools and media, including freehand drawing and basic model-making techniques. All interns received an official Certificate of Completion from Pyatt Studio and CRYP.

During their three days with Pyatt and Pourier, the interns developed local, relevant and personally meaningful design projects, and they explored aspects of architecture and design that aligned with their individual interests. They also learned about design research, communicating design ideas through drawing, testing designs through physical models, working collaboratively and sharing their design ideas with others.

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    CRYP Encourages Lifelong Wellness Practices Through Teen Internships

CRYP Encourages Lifelong Wellness Practices Through Teen Internships

For nearly 30 years, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® has been dedicated to building and nurturing healthy children through its innovative, resourceful youth programs. The launch of CRYP’S teen internship program at the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center nearly three years ago took this vision to the next level.

Not only does CRYP offer teen wellness internships, it has designed wellness-oriented activities for all four cohorts, allowing the teen interns in the arts, social enterprise and sustainable agriculture to participate as well.

In the last four weeks, for example, CRYP has hosted Native Wellness training and physical assessments, comprehensive empowerment and team-building exercises, and cooking classes.

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CRYP Hosts First Peoples Fund’s Rolling Rez Arts

On April 18-20, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® welcomed the First Peoples Funds’ Rolling Rez Arts mobile unit to the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation. Visiting artist Wade Patton and First Peoples Fund Coordinator Bryan Parker spent three evenings with the nonprofit youth organization’s teen arts interns, providing valuable instruction in multiple mediums.

On the first evening, the interns cut up pages from a ledger book and constructed a collage. Then, they either painted or used pastels to create unique visuals incorporating the ledger paper.

“The teens blended old ledger paper with contemporary images and ideas,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “It was fascinating to see the beautiful and interesting ways they bridged the gap between the old and the new.”

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CRYP Schedules Community Activities to Celebrate Earth Day

For the team at the Cheyenne River Youth Project®, a strong connection to the earth means a strong connection to traditional Lakota life ways, a critical component to holistic wellness and healing. That’s why Earth Day is a significant date on the CRYP calendar, and the nonprofit youth project is already gearing up for a weekend of special activities.

On Saturday, April 22, CRYP will host an eight-team, double-elimination basketball tournament for grades 6-8 in the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center’s full-size gymnasium. The tournament is a CRYP fundraiser, so all proceeds from the $10 entry fee will support youth programming and services; each team can have up to 10 players and must wear like-colored shirts or jerseys to participate in the competition, with medals and prizes for first through third place.

The tournament will incorporate half-time spectator challenges and raffle tickets for a 50/50 drawing. Doors open at 8:30 a.m., and the tournament will begin promptly at 9 a.m.

Also that day, CRYP will lead a series of special Earth Day activities. Starting at 8:30 a.m., CRYP will lead a “March for Science,” which focuses on the effects of global warming. Staff members also will lead a trash pick-up effort in the community, followed by a grill party outside The Main youth center on East Lincoln Street. These events are open free to the public, and guests of all ages will be able to participate in a variety of outdoor fitness and sports challenges.

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Nearly 70 Teens Attend Passion for Fashion in March

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has announced that 68 young Lakota women attended its annual Passion for Fashion event on Saturday, March 25. CRYP staff anticipate that another 20 to 30 teens will participate in the program this month, as the nonprofit organization is accepting individual appointments to look at dresses, shoes and accessories until Wednesday, May 3.

The highlight of this year’s Passion for Fashion was keynote speaker Cecilia FireThunder, the first woman to serve as president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. She spoke to the gathered Lakota teens about her personal journey and learning to walk in two worlds, finding the tools to function in both Lakota culture and contemporary society, taking care of themselves, and learning to say no.

“She was so honest and real with the girls,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “She spoke to them about being the leaders for the next generation, and the importance of taking care of their children and families. She also reminded them how powerful they are, advising them to always stand up for themselves, protect themselves and, most importantly, love themselves.”

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