Cheyenne River Youth Project
Executive Director Julie Garreau Wins 2019 Arts Education Award

Executive Director Julie Garreau Wins 2019 Arts Education Award

Americans for the Arts has announced that Julie Garreau, executive director of the Cheyenne River Youth Project, will be honored with the 2019 Arts Education Award at its upcoming Annual Convention in Minnesota’s Twin Cities. Scheduled for 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, June 15, the awards ceremony will recognize the achievements of a variety of individuals and organizations committed to enriching their communities through the arts.

“Words cannot adequately express how honored I feel to receive this acknowledgement on behalf of the Cheyenne River Youth Project,” Garreau said. “While my name might be the one that’s attached to this award, I am accepting it for the entire CRYP team. We could not do this important work without their dedication, resourcefulness and creativity. They are the real award-winners, and I’m grateful to them for standing beside me on this journey.”

An enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Garreau has served as CRYP’s executive director since the organization’s 1988 inception. In the last four years, she and her staff have established the innovative Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Lakota Arts Institute at the CRYP campus.

To assist with planning and arts curriculum development, Garreau enlisted the help of an advisory council consisting of artists and art directors from around South Dakota and beyond. Today, Waniyetu Wowapi incorporates robust arts internship and fellowship programs, regular arts classes and Lakota culture camps, a free public art park and the groundbreaking RedCan invitational graffiti jam, which received Americans for the Arts’ prestigious Robert E. Gard Award in 2017.

“These tremendous leaders have distinguished themselves as passionate advocates for the arts and arts education,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “They have implemented innovative and transformative programs to strengthen the communities they serve and build recognition for the important work of the arts. Their unwavering commitment to local, state, and national support for the arts is deserving of this recognition.”

The five other leadership award recipients are:

  • Roberto Bedoya – Public Art Network Award 
  • Stephanie Johnson-Cunningham – American Express Emerging Leaders Award
  • Margie Johnson Reese – Selina Roberts Ottum Award
  • George Tzougros – Michael Newton Award
  • Matt Wilson – Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award 

Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention brings together arts and community leaders to network and discuss strategies for building stronger towns, counties, and cities through the arts. What started as a small group of 45 people in 1955 has now grown to more than 1,000 each year and continues to grow 10 to 15 percent annually. 

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 55 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.

To stay up to date on the latest CRYP news and events, follow the youth project on Facebook (/LakotaYouth), Twitter (@LakotaYouth) and Instagram (@lakotayouth, @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.

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