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.

“When we held our first RedCan event in 2015, we quickly learned that graffiti culture and Lakota culture resonated with one another and could, in fact, infuse each other’s art,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “We watched our community lift itself up through art, and we saw how deeply our children and teens were affected by the experience.

“Art has transformative healing power,” she added. “When we fully realized the truth in this, we dedicated ourselves to making sure RedCan could come to life each summer here on Cheyenne River. We’re asking our friends across the country and around the world to come together and join us in helping to make RedCan 2017 a reality—we need to cover all the costs associated with such a large undertaking, from painting supplies to meals and refreshments for participants and guests alike.”

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. The artists will be painting at various sites around Eagle Butte as well as in the Waniyetu Wowapi Art Park, with its newly completed Art Walk pathway.

The public is welcome to attend RedCan. Lodging is available at area motels; since rooms do tend to book out quickly, CRYP is offering camping for up to 100 people at its East Lincoln Street campus.

To make a tax-deductible contribution to CRYP’s RedCan fundraiser, please visit, click “Donate Now,” and include the note “RedCan 2017.” All proceeds will be used to purchase paint, artist supplies, food and beverages, and to help cover the artists’ travel expenses. For more information on how to help support RedCan, contact organizers at

For information about this year’s RedCan graffiti jam, please click on “RedCan” in the navigation bar above; here, you can view the teaser trailer for RedCan 2017, documentaries from the first two annual events, and more. In the coming weeks, CRYP will be sharing more information about planned activities and performances through the website and through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram—hashtag #RedCanRising.

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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