605-964-8200|lakotayouth@gmail.com

Special Events

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    CRYP Prepares for Annual Holiday Parties, Seeks Donors for 400+ “Dear Santa” Letters

CRYP Prepares for Annual Holiday Parties, Seeks Donors for 400+ “Dear Santa” Letters

The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us, which means the Cheyenne River Youth Project® has just one month left to fulfill the Christmas wishes of 1,500 children on South Dakota’s remote, 2.8-million-acre Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. More than 1,000 letters have already been adopted by generous supporters, yet more remains to be done.

“We still have more than 400 ‘Dear Santa’ letters that need to be adopted,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “That means we still need to take care of 400 children who wrote heartfelt letters in the hope that Santa Claus would bring a little extra happiness and magic to their homes this Christmas.

“Supporters who wish to join our Christmas Toy Drive efforts can contact us directly to get their Santa letters,” she continued. “Or, if they would prefer to contribute funds, they can donate via our website. We’re happy to do the shopping on our end to make sure Santa comes to these deserving kids.”

Christmas is a big deal on the CRYP calendar. This year’s toy drive geared up in late summer, and in just a matter of days, it will become an around-the-clock race as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day grow ever nearer. But first, CRYP will host its eagerly anticipated, annual holiday parties for the 4- to 12-year-olds at The Main youth center and the teenagers at the Cokata Wiconi (“Center of Life”) teen center.

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    Holiday Artists’ Market Will Include Tree Raffle, Book Fair, Student Art & More!

Holiday Artists’ Market Will Include Tree Raffle, Book Fair, Student Art & More!

On Saturday, November 21, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® will do more than host its 5th annual Holiday Artists’ Market. It will unveil its first-ever Festival of Trees, and Cheyenne River community members may purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win one of five Christmas trees decorated by local businesses and artisans.

The market is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Cokata Wiconi (“Center of Life”) teen center’s gymnasium. It will feature community artisans, craftspeople, chefs and bakers from around the community, as well as wares from CRYP’s Keya Gift Shop. In addition, the Keya Cafe & Coffeeshop will be open to the public throughout market day, with special menu items and baked goods; CRYP will be taking orders for holiday goodie boxes; and Santa Claus will spend the afternoon meeting children and posing for photographs.

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Coming Soon: CRYP’s First-Ever “Festival of Trees!”

Less than eight weeks remain before the Christmas holiday, and staff and volunteers at the Cheyenne River Youth Project® are immersed in preparations. Not only are they hard at work on the 2015 Christmas Toy Drive, which seeks to bring holiday joy to 1,500 children across the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, they’re hosting CRYP’s annual Star Quilt Raffle, and they’re preparing to unveil a very special new addition to the holiday season: the CRYP Festival of Trees.

Area businesses and organizations are invited to each decorate at tree at the Cokata Wiconi (“Center of Life”) teen center. Participating groups must register by November 13, and they may decorate their trees on November 18, 19 and 20. The trees will make their public debut on November 21 during the Holiday Artists’ Market.

“We’ll be providing the trees, but the participating groups will bring their own lights and decorations and decorate those trees however they see fit,” said Tammy Eagle Hunter, CRYP’s youth programs director. “It’s an opportunity for each organization to unleash its creativity, which is always fun, but it’s also a beautiful opportunity to demonstrate fellowship and good cheer as we go into this holiday season.”

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    5th Annual Holiday Artists’ Market Scheduled for November 21

5th Annual Holiday Artists’ Market Scheduled for November 21

In less than three weeks, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® will open the doors to its Cokata Wiconi (“Center of Life”) teen center for a very special annual event: the Holiday Artists’ Market. For the fifth consecutive year, the 27-year-old youth project will host community artisans, craftspeople, chefs and bakers as they make their wares available to the public in festive holiday environment.

The 5th annual Holiday Artists’ Market is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Cokata Wiconi gymnasium. Prospective vendors are encouraged to contact CRYP as soon as possible to reserve their tables.

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CRYP Announces October Programming, Including Halloween Fun

As the calendar officially turns to autumn, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® has announced its teen and youth programming for the month of October. The roster of special events and activities includes movies, native arts, academic courses, sports, games, food and treats, and of course CRYP’s celebrated annual Haunted House and Ghoul-A-Grams.

At The Main youth center for 4- to 12-year-olds, the fall semester of Main University will be in full swing starting Monday, September 28. One of the 27-year-old, not-for-profit youth projects most popular and enduring programs, Main University was founded by long-term volunteer Tracie Farrell in 2002 and is a recipient of a “Champion for Children” award from the South Dakota Coalition for Children.

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3rd Annual Harvest Festival Dinner is This Friday!

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® will host its 3rd annual Harvest Festival dinner this Friday, September 25, at the Cokata Wiconi teen center in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. A community-wide celebration of a bountiful season in the 2-acre Winyan Toka Win garden, the Harvest Festival meal is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. and is open free to the public.

The evening’s festivities will include a large-scale community feed, board games, fun and fellowship. On the the menu: cucumber and tomato salad, melon salad, roast bison, harvest vegetables, veggie panini, peach and banana smoothies, and baked goods such as peach pie, chocolate zucchini cake and banana bread. Recipes will be available, and as always, CRYP staff and volunteers will incorporate fresh, nutritious, organically grown produce from the youth project’s 5-acre Winyan Toka Win garden into the various menu items.

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“Family Week” Programming Scheduled for Sept. 21-25

“When you give a little of yourself to a child, you give a little of yourself to their future,” More4Kids CEO Kevin Heath once noted. He also has advocated the importance of being a role model, advising, “If you want your kids to dream more, then dream more; to learn more, then learn more; to do more, then do more. Be their inspiration.”

To that end, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® has created a weeklong roster of special family-friendly events that staff and volunteers hope will encourage parents, extended family members and guardians on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation to spend quality time with their children. Family Week programming will take place Monday, September 21 through Friday, September 25. (The Harvest Festival dinner, pictured above, will conclude the week’s activities at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.)

“We have served the Cheyenne River community for nearly three decades, and in that time, we’ve learned that one of the best ways to care for our children is to support their families,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “We work hard to design programs and special events that bring families together, allow them to make precious memories, and encourage them to pursue a healthier lifestyle together.”

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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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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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CRYP Seeks Community Vendors for RedCan Graffiti Jam

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® is seeking community vendors to sell original artwork, handmade crafts, and local farm and garden produce at the inaugural RedCan Graffiti Jam. This groundbreaking event, a first for Indian country, is scheduled for July 8-9 at CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi (“Winter Count”) Art Park and July 11 at Rapid City’s Art Alley.

Visiting artists include East Foster from Denver, Kazilla from Miami, Meme from southern California, Tyler “Siamese” Read from Rapid City, and Peyton Scott Russell, 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.

“We’re inviting our local vendors and artisans to participate because, at its heart, RedCan is about our Cheyenne River community,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “It’s about telling our stories and sharing our life experiences, celebrating relationships and forging new connections, introducing honored guests to our rich Lakota heritage and culture, and celebrating the role our people have to play in the longest-running art movement in the history of man.”

CRYP has six canopy tents and 6-foot tables available for participating vendors, who may take part in RedCan free of charge. All proceeds benefit the individual vendors.

Please contact the CRYP office at (605) 964-8200 to reserve vendor space for RedCan. Please note: While the youth project welcomes fresh produce and canned goods from local farms and gardens, it does not require food/meal vendors at this time.

The Cheyenne River Youth Project, founded in 1988, is a grassroots, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a wide variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities that ensure strong, self-sufficient families and communities.

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