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RedCan 2017 Gift Items Now Available for Purchase Online

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has announced that its signature RedCan gift items are now available for purchase online through its website at lakotayouth.org; from the home page, simply click “RedCan” and then “Shop.” All proceeds from RedCan gift purchases will benefit the nonprofit youth organization’s programming and services.

Gift items include RedCan 2017 T-shirts, posters, coffee mugs, and special edition whole bean and ground coffee. All feature this year’s RedCan logo, created by acclaimed Kansas City, Missouri-based artist Scribe, who is returning to Cheyenne River this year for his second RedCan experience.

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    CRYP and DQ Will Host Annual “Sweet Tooth for Youth” on June 18-24

CRYP and DQ Will Host Annual “Sweet Tooth for Youth” on June 18-24

For the eighth year in a row, the local Dairy Queen in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, is planning to host a very special fundraising event to benefit the Cheyenne River Youth Project®. From Sunday, June 18 to Saturday, June 24, $1 from the purchase of each Blizzard, shake or malt will be donated to the local nonprofit, grassroots youth organization.

During “Sweet Tooth for Youth,” the youth project’s staff and DQ owners Lonnie and Jackie Heier are hoping to raise $2,000 to benefit summer youth programming at The Main, CRYP’s youth center dedicated to 4- to 12-year-olds. These programs include Bike Club, Summer Literacy, Garden Club, arts and crafts, and other innovative daily activities; the funding also will support summer field trips for the younger children.

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Now Available: Schedule for RedCan 2017

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has just released the schedule of events for its upcoming 2017 RedCan graffiti jam. The eagerly anticipated arts and culture festival is scheduled for June 29-July 1 in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.

Thirteen headline artists from eight states and Switzerland will attend this year’s RedCan event. More than half have indigenous heritage, including Taino, Hawaiian, O’odham, Yacqui, Cherokee and Lakota; in addition to painting at mural sites around town and in CRYP’s free public Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park, they also will be painting alongside local native artists, attending the teen art interns’ exhibition as honored guests, leading youth art workshops, and giving young people the treasured opportunity to paint alongside their heroes.

Featured artists this year are Estria from Hawaii; East from Denver; Serval from Switzerland; Scribe from Kansas City, Missouri; Kazilla and ER from Miami; Cyfi, Wundr and Biafra Inc. from Minnesota’s Twin Cities; Scape Martinez from San Francisco; Dwayno Insano from Tucson, Arizona; and Siamese and Rehst from Rapid City.

“We’re stunned at how quickly RedCan has gone global,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “In just two short years, we’ve reached artists around the world with our message, and they’re contacting us to express interest in attending. It’s incredible.”

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Help CRYP Raise $10,000 to Support RedCan 2017!

The third annual RedCan graffiti jam is two months away, and the Cheyenne River Youth Project® has launched a dedicated RedCan fundraiser to support its three-day arts festival. CRYP seeks to raise $10,000 in the next eight weeks.

Scheduled for June 29-July 1, RedCan will showcase 11 headline artists from seven states and Switzerland, more than half of whom have indigenous heritage, including Taino, Hawaiian, O’odham, Yacqui, Cherokee and Lakota. It also will incorporate traditional dancers, native drum groups, and a musical lineup featuring Ojibwe rapper TallPaul and Lakota hip-hop artists Dakota South.

What’s more, CRYP’s teen arts interns will host an exhibition of their work in the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center, and youth of all ages will have a chance to attend arts workshops through the First Peoples’ Funds Rolling Rez Arts bus and to paint alongside their heroes in the free, public Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park.

RedCan remains Indian Country’s first and only graffiti jam, and it is the signature event for CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi Lakota Arts Institute. RedCan gives Cheyenne River’s young people, and the community at large, an unparalleled opportunity to experience the contemporary graffiti art movement, learn about different techniques and styles, paint alongside master artists, and explore their own unique voice and identity as they share their stories through the visual arts.

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RedCan 2017: CRYP Releases New Details and Teaser Trailer

RedCan is rising: This summer, graffiti artists from around the world will converge once again in a small town on the South Dakota prairie for a groundbreaking, one-of-a-kind arts celebration: the third annual RedCan graffiti jam at the Cheyenne River Youth Project®. The nonprofit organization has just launched a new teaser trailer for RedCan 2017, available here on the CRYP website and on YouTube.

The RedCan gathering, scheduled for June 29-July 1 at CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park and at sites throughout the Eagle Butte community, is unlike any other public graffiti event in the country. Here, on the remote, 2.8-million-acre Cheyenne River Lakota reservation, graffiti culture and Lakota culture come together in an explosion of culture, artistic innovation and creativity, and multicultural fellowship.

Featured artists this year are Estria from Hawaii; East from Denver; Serval from Switzerland; Scribe from Kansas City, Missouri; Scape Martinez from San Francisco; Kazilla and ER from Miami; Dwayno Insano from Tucson, Arizona; and Biafra Inc., Cyfi and Wundr from Minnesota’s Twin Cities.

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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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RedCan is a Final Nominee for the Robert E. Gard Award

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has announced that its RedCan graffiti jam is one of just 10 finalists for the prestigious Robert E. Gard Award this year. This award, which celebrates exemplary work at the intersection of the arts and community life, is one of seven national awards given out each year by Americans for the Arts.

“We’re honored that our RedCan graffiti jam is being considered for this award,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “We launched RedCan in 2015 as a way to expose our young people and our entire community to the world of graffiti and street art, and to provide them with new tools to explore their identity, share their stories, find their unique voice and pursue healing. We couldn’t have known how deeply this merging of Lakota culture and graffiti culture would resonate, nor how the event would grow in just two short years.”

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CRYP Launches Dress Drive for 2017 Passion for Fashion

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has officially launched its 2017 Dress Drive for Passion for Fashion. The nonprofit organization is asking its friends and supporters to donate everything from dresses to hair accessories so its young people can be ready for this spring’s high school prom.

On the surface, the prom is all about glamorous gowns and dashing tuxedos, fresh corsages and sparkling jewelry, popular music and lots of dancing. Underneath, however, this uniquely American rite of passage is about so much more—it’s a celebration of friendship, multigenerational bonding, and positive self-esteem.

Unfortunately, for too many teenagers on the Cheyenne River Lakota reservation and in neighboring rural towns, this vision can seem far from reality. Their families cannot spare the significant funds necessary for the latest formal wear and all the accessories, nor is it feasible for them to make the three- to five-hour round trip required to go shopping in distant Pierre or Rapid City.

Executive Director Julie Garreau, Youth Programs Director Tammy Granados and the rest of the CRYP staff firmly believe that Cheyenne River’s youth should have the same exciting, memorable prom experiences as those enjoyed by teens across America. To provide that experience, the grassroots youth project created Passion for Fashion in 2001.

“At its heart, Passion for Fashion has much in common with our more well-known Christmas Toy Drive,” Garreau said. “In both cases, our young people are simply amazed to see the miracle that unfolds at Cokata Wiconi. They feel how treasured they are, and they come to realize how many people truly do care.”

The 17th annual Passion for Fashion event is scheduled for 1-6 p.m. on Saturday, March 25 at Cokata Wiconi. For the ninth year in a row, it will feature a special theme.

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2017 Passion for Fashion: How to Help

If you would like to support the Cheyenne River Youth Project’s 2017 Dress Drive for Passion for Fashion, please considering contributing any of the following:

-New/Gently Used Formal Dresses (Sizes 4-26, especially sizes 16-26)
-Dress Accessories (Examples: Purses, Wraps, Scarves)
-Formal Shoes (especially sizes 9-12)
-Jewelry
-Hair Accessories & Care Products
-Facial, Manicure and Pedicure Supplies
-Makeup and Bath Sets
-Gift Cards
-Cash Donations

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    Together, We Brought Santa Claus to More Than 1,300 Children

Together, We Brought Santa Claus to More Than 1,300 Children

It takes more than a Christmas blizzard to stop the Cheyenne River Youth Project®. Despite subzero temperatures, howling winter winds and mountainous snow drifts, the nonprofit youth organization still managed to bring Santa Claus to more than 1,300 excited children across South Dakota’s Cheyenne River Lakota reservation this year.

As always, volunteers from around the country and Europe converged on CRYP’s Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center, which had been transformed into a 24-7 Santa’s Workshop for the month of December. These dedicated helpers worked around the clock to sort and wrap thousands of gifts arriving from every corner of the United States.

These gifts came from long-standing partners like the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation and Running Strong for American Indian Youth, both based in Virginia; the Spirit of Sovereignty Foundation in Minnesota; the St. Louis Chapter of CRYP in Missouri; and Fairview High School, student groups at CU-Boulder, Fredericks Peebles & Morgan law firm, the American Indian College Fund and Lennar Construction, all in Colorado. But they also came from generous individuals whose contributions arrived in many forms.

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