Cheyenne River’s young people immersed themselves in art during CRYP’s RedCan invitational graffiti jam this year. From the First Peoples’ Fund’s Rolling Rez Arts activities to the many ready-and-waiting walls in the Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park, teens and littles alike expressed themselves creatively and energetically.

CRYP’s art interns were busy too. With the support of guest artists and instructors, they sketched their ideas and then hit the park, refining their color choices and styling, and practicing that elusive skill called can control. Jason White Horse was among them.

Sixteen-year-old Jason started painting roughly two years ago, and now he’s going through his second art internship in CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi Lakota Arts Institute. According to Tammy Granados, youth programs director, the internship has been valuable for this polite, attentive teen on more than one level—as his artistic skills have grown, so have his life skills.

“He’s very quiet, but he’s thoughtful and has an opinion,” Tammy says. “You just have to ask him. He really tries to participate in an engaged way. Even if he might be hesitant to answer a question, he feels that his opinion is important, and he makes sure it gets heard.”

For Jason, RedCan has been a major highlight in his art internship experience.

“There’s so many artists here, and they’re coming to Cheyenne River from all over,” he explained during the event, taking a short break from his painting in the bustling art park. “I love meeting new people.”

He’s going to be thrilled, then, with what comes next. This month, Jason will join a select group of interns on an eagerly anticipated CRYP trip to Washington, D.C., where they will tour some of the city’s most famous sites and meet a variety of native leaders who are working hard for their communities and making a difference in the nation’s capital.

“I feel like he’s really going to enjoy this opportunity,” Tammy says. “I’m very excited to see how that helps him to grow. He’s super polite and respectful… just a really wonderful young man.”

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