RedCan is rising once again. The Cheyenne River Youth Project’s fourth annual RedCan invitational graffiti jam is less than two months away, and today the nonprofit youth organization officially announced the official lineup of guest artists and performers, as well as the kickoff of the annual fundraiser to support its popular three-day arts and culture festival.

Scheduled for June 28-30, RedCan 2018 will feature returning artists East, Wundr, Cyfi, Scape, Dwayno Insano, Siamese and Biafra Inc., as well as first-time RedCanners Ryoe, Sadat and Hoka. All 11 artists will be painting in CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park as well as at select mural sites around the Eagle Butte community.

Then there are the performing artists. Frank Waln, Dances With Words and DJ Micah all will be appearing on the Waniyetu Wowapi Art Park stage. RedCan attendees also will enjoy a traditional Lakota dance exhibition.

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’ Fund’s Rolling Rez Arts bus—and to paint alongside the graffiti and street art masters in the art park. All activities are open free to the public.

“The entire Cheyenne River community is excited for the return of RedCan,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “You can feel the energy as it gets closer. Graffiti and Lakota culture resonate with each other in profound ways, and this event provides a remarkable opportunity for cultural exchange and creative exploration— for our youth, our local artists, and our community in general.

“Since we first hosted RedCan in 2015, however, we’ve also observed that it has a life-changing effect on everyone it touches,” she continued. “We saw how deeply our children and teens were affected, as they shared their stories and explored their own voices and identities. We witnessed the impact on our local artists and our guests, who worked so closely together over that intense three-day period. And we saw our entire community lift itself up through art.”

RedCan remains Indian Country’s first and only graffiti jam, and it is the signature event for CRYP’s new Waniyetu Wowapi Lakota Youth Arts & Culture 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, and paint alongside master artists from across the country and even around the world.

“Art has transformative healing power,” she added. “As Lakota people, we have always known this; in our language, we have no word for art, because art is life. That’s why we’re dedicated to bringing RedCan back to Cheyenne River each summer, and why we’re asking our friends and supporters to join us in helping to make RedCan 2018 the best one yet.”

CRYP needs to cover all the costs associated with such a large undertaking, from painting supplies to meals and refreshments for participants and guests alike. To make a tax-deductible contribution to the RedCan fundraiser, please visit www.lakotayouth.org/redcan. All proceeds will be used to purchase paint, artist supplies, food and beverages, and to help cover the artists’ travel expenses.

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.

For information about this year’s RedCan invitational graffiti jam, please visit www.lakotayouth.org/redcan, where you also can view the teaser trailer for RedCan 2018, video documentaries and photo galleries from the first three annual events, artist bios, and more. In the coming weeks, CRYP will be sharing more information about planned activities and performances through the website and social media—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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