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Art Internships

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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Art Interns Learn Traditional Lakota Arts This Fall

This fall, interns at the Cheyenne River Youth Project® had the opportunity to learn traditional Lakota arts at the nonprofit organization’s Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center. Classes, which included hide tanning and jewelry making, were made possible through a First Nations Youth & Culture Fund grant from the First Nations Development Institute.

Thirteen teen interns attended the hide-tanning class. On the first day, they scraped a deer hide to remove all the fur, boiled the brains, and learned the process of brain tanning. The next day, they scraped the brains off the deer hide, and then they rubbed and worked the hide until it was soft.

Nineteen interns attended the jewelry-making class. They painted on buckskin and learned to fashion the material into bracelets, necklaces and rings.

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June Hall of Fame: Kellyn Circle Eagle

Through the Cheyenne River Youth Project’s teen internship programs, we’re able to engage young people with a variety of interests. Some teens want to work in our organic Winyan Toka Win (Leading Lady) garden. Others wish to learn to make gourmet coffees and prepare handcrafted entrees with farm-to-table ingredients in our Keya (Turtle) Cafe, or sell CRYP’s wares through our Keya Gift Shop and seasonal Leading Lady Farmers Market. Still others can’t wait to develop their skills in the arts, or become wellness mentors for their peers.

Then there are the teens who feel drawn to all of it. Kellyn Circle Eagle, 16, is one of those bright lights. Not only has Kellyn completed internships in art, wellness and social enterprise, she’s now a regular summer employee in the Keya Cafe.

The soon-to-be high school junior first started attending CRYP programs as an eighth-grader. She says she was excited to go to the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center due to the many opportunities it offered, from regular youth programming to the impressive menu of available internships for willing teens.

“I enjoyed Midnight Basketball and open gym,” she reflects. “They kept me occupied and doing positive things. The wellness internship kept me exercising and healthy; it was really fun. I also completed the art internship, because I always like art and want to continue learning. And the Keya Cafe—it seemed fun and interesting. I loved it!”

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It’s Not Too Late to Support RedCan 2016!

There’s still time to support Cheyenne River Youth Project®’s acclaimed RedCan graffiti jam, scheduled for July 6-9 in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Through Crowdrise, the nonprofit youth organization seeks to raise much-needed funds to cover the costs of paint, art supplies, food and beverages, and artists’ travel expenses.

Several of the headlining artists have made their own financial contributions and are sharing the Crowdrise campaign through their personal and professional networks. Four of these artists also hail from the Midwest; based in the Twin Cities, they are Biafra Inc., Cyfi, Daesk and Wundr.

These four artists will join headliners Scribe, Serval, East and Kazilla, local Cheyenne River artists, and youth artists of all ages for four high-energy days overflowing with art, music, culture and fellowship.

Not only will the artists be painting in CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park, they’ll be adding their unique murals to various buildings around the city of Eagle Butte. Community members and visitors also will be able to view 20 pieces of the current art interns’ work in Cokata Wiconi’s classroom space, and on RedCan’s final night, acclaimed native rapper Supaman will rock Waniyetu Wowapi.

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April Hall of Fame: Sapphire Lucero

When the Cheyenne River Youth Project opened the doors to its Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center 10 years ago, staff members envisioned that the 26,000-square-foot facility would become a true center of life in the Cheyenne River community. And, they hoped teens would use the center and its offerings to find their true passions, their authentic voices and a variety of healthy, culturally relevant ways to move effectively toward achieving their dreams.

That’s exactly what Cokata Wiconi has done for young people like Sapphire Lucero, 14. Sapphire has been attending CRYP programs and events since 2012; and, while she enjoys hanging out with friends in the teen center and the Keya Cafe, she also has become an accomplished teen art intern.

“I wanted to get better at art,” she explains. “I thought this would be a great opportunity.”

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January Hall of Fame: Maxwell Peacock

Maxwell Peacock, 14, is a member of CRYP’s second cohort of Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Interns. He started coming to our campus regularly about a year ago, drawn to the environment and learning opportunities he saw at the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center — in particular, he says he was interested in our arts programming.

CRYP began its innovative teen arts internship program last winter. During each four-month internship cycle, teens participate in training opportunities, engage in open studio time, attend leadership development workshops, explore career opportunities for artists, plan community events to promote our groundbreaking Waniyetu Wowapi Art Park, and unveil their own work within that free public space when it’s ready.

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Teen Interns Experience Weekend Art Retreat in Minneapolis

On November 13-15, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® took its second cohort of art interns on a weekend art retreat that gave the eight teenagers an unparalleled opportunity to experience the Minneapolis art scene. CRYP staff members accompanied Xzanndria Norris, 15, Jaymalee Turning Heart, 14, Tori Jensen, 16, Ranger Gunville, 16, Nathanial Fast Wolf, 13, Donovan Moran, 13, Maxwell Peacock, 14, and Edward Norris Jr., 13, on their two-day adventure in the big city, which is home to two of their art instructors.

After arriving at the Hyatt and enjoying a movie night on Friday, the teens embarked on their art tour Saturday morning with a two-hour stop at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, followed by beverages and lunch at Espresso Royale and Uncle Frankie’s Hot Dogs. During the afternoon hours, they had the chance to tour the art studio belonging to Peyton Scott Russell, their lead art instructor, and tour some of the city’s most famous murals with Peyton and with Biafra, also a CRYP guest instructor.

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    Interns Learn Arts of Stenciling & Paper Collage From Acclaimed Guest Instructors

Interns Learn Arts of Stenciling & Paper Collage From Acclaimed Guest Instructors

The Cheyenne River Youth Project®’s first cohort art interns had a busy spring, studying the history of graffiti and street art, learning the art of creative lettering, and exploring how community art parks like CRYP’s new, 5-acre Waniyetu Wowapi (“Winter Count”) Art Park can be tools for critical change. In late April, the six art interns delved into stenciling with guest instructor Biafra Inc., an accomplished stencil artist based in Minnesota’s Twin Cities; currently, they are working on collage with fellow Minneapolis-based artist and art instructor Peyton Scott Russell.

During his April course at CRYP’s East Lincoln Street campus, Biafra introduced the staff and interns to common stenciling tools such as knives, papers and paints, and then they had an opportunity to practice making lines and curves. They worked on understanding, locating and cutting bridges — the most complicated part of the process — and practiced on images and letters that would be used in their final project.

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    CRYP Receives Mini-Grant from First Nations Development Institute

CRYP Receives Mini-Grant from First Nations Development Institute

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has received a Native Arts Capacity Building Initiative mini-grant from the First Nations Development Institute in Longmont, Colorado. This $2,000 professional development grant, made possible through the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, will ensure that the youth project’s staff receives critical arts training this year to support its ongoing youth arts programming.

In the next two months, six staff members will learn graffiti and street art history and techniques, and they will work with local artists to learn traditional Lakota beading styles and quill work. They also will work with local pottery artists to become more familiar with basic pottery techniques and all the necessary equipment.

“We’re thrilled to receive this grant from the First Nations Development Institute,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “These funds will allow us to continue building our arts initiatives here at our campus, from our summer arts program to our many arts-related activities and events throughout the year.

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    CRYP Art Interns Prepare for Graffiti Workshop on March 27-28

CRYP Art Interns Prepare for Graffiti Workshop on March 27-28

CRYP’s inaugural art internship program is in full swing. Later this month, acclaimed Minneapolis-based artist and art instructor Peyton Scott Russell will travel to the CRYP campus to teach the first of three graffiti art workshops; 10 art interns will be participating in the workshop, which is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, March 27-28 at the Cokata Wiconi (“Center of Life”) teen center.

The three 2015 workshops are part of the artist’s innovative “Art of Creative Lettering” course. Peyton (as he is known professionally) said the course allows students to explore graffiti as a fine art form, to define their own distinct identities and personas, to articulate the stories they want to tell, and to create something new and positive with what they’ve learned.

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