The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has just released its eagerly anticipated RedCan graffiti jam documentary. Available to the public on the youth project’s YouTube channel and through its Facebook page, the approximately nine-minute video introduces audiences to RedCan, its featured artists, CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi (“Winter Count”) Art Park, and the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation.
Perhaps even more importantly, the documentary introduces viewers to Cheyenne River’s children—and the critical role RedCan plays in their lives.
“Ever since we founded RedCan in 2015, we’ve recognized that it’s so much more than a graffiti jam,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “We’re proud that we created an unprecedented way for graffiti culture and Lakota culture to come together, but as we experienced the first RedCan and then saw the second one completely eclipse the first in terms of outreach and impact, we realized that what we really created is a revolution.”
That revolution also is what Garreau called a “rezolution.” Not only does RedCan expose Cheyenne River’s young people to what has become the largest and longest-running art movement in human history, it encourages them to explore their own unique identities, find their voices, share their stories and truths, and find positive, healthy means of self-expression.
“RedCan provides real, meaningful solutions here on the Cheyenne River reservation, and it’s powerful evidence that art-based initiatives like this can do the same throughout Indian country,” Garreau said. “Through RedCan, and through our youth programming here at CRYP, we see firsthand how art helps people strengthen their connection with, and their pride in, their indigenous heritage. It is healing kids, and saving lives, on the rez.”
RedCan takes place each summer at the CRYP campus and at various community sites throughout Eagle Butte, South Dakota. This year, featured artists included Serval from Geneva, Switzerland; East from Denver; Scribe from Kansas City, Missouri; Kazilla from Miami; Biafra Inc., Cyfi, Daesk and Wundr, all from Minnesota’s Twin Cities; and Rehst and Focus, both Oglala Lakota artists from Rapid City, South Dakota.
CRYP has announced that its 3rd annual RedCan graffiti jam will take place June 27-July 1, 2017, and many of this year’s artists will be returning. To stay up to date on the latest CRYP news and events, follow the youth project on Facebook (/LakotaYouth), Twitter (@LakotaYouth) and Instagram (@waniyetuwowapi).
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.