RedCan is rising once again, but this time, it’s rising far beyond its birthplace on the South Dakota prairie. Due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, the Cheyenne River Youth Project has expanded its annual RedCan invitational graffiti jam, inviting guest artists to create groundbreaking murals in their own communities while CRYP also keeps creativity levels high in its Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park in Eagle Butte.
An innovative online broadcasting system will unite CRYP with artists at their satellite painting sites, bringing RedCan’s unique energy, healing medicine, and distinctive bridging of graffiti and Lakota culture to viewers around the world from Wednesday, Aug. 12 to Saturday, Aug. 15.
RedCan 2020 will feature East in Denver; Biafra, Wundr and Cyfi in Minneapolis-St. Paul; Hoka in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Dwayno Insano in Scottsdale, Arizona; 179 in Seattle; Sadat and Collins in Rapid City, South Dakota; and Wakinyan Chief and Unalee Howe on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.
While the artists work on their murals, CRYP staff will spearhead RedCan activities for young people in the art park. These will include spray-chalk painting, painting and stenciling skateboards, and making kinetic sand, Orbeez stress balls, knotted pillows, and even ice cream.
“We did consider cancelling RedCan this year,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “Covid-19 presented massive challenges. Then we realized the event didn’t have to look like every other RedCan. It could be something completely fresh — and we might have an unprecedented opportunity to share it with others.
“Our community needs RedCan; that much has become clear in the last few years,” she continued. “It lifts us up. It fosters pride, joy and hope. It encourages a creative flourishing. It demonstrates to the world that the Lakota Nation is still here; we have a rich, thriving culture; and our voices matter.”
A live-stream schedule will be available prior to the event on the CRYP website at lakotayouth.org and on the youth project’s Facebook page at facebook.com/LakotaYouth. Interested followers also can search for #redcan, #redcan2020, and #redcanrising on social media.
“We’ve used #redcanrising since the beginning, but this year, that hashtag feels deeply personal to me,” Garreau said. “This summer is different than we thought, RedCan looks different than we imagined, and this world feels different than the one we knew. But, as humans, we are inherently creative beings; when we face challenges, we join together, and we rise up. This year, we are RedCan rising.”
For the latest information about RedCan 2020, visit www.lakotayouth.org/redcan. You’ll also be able to view video documentaries and photo galleries from previous years, bios for featured artists, and more.
To learn more about the Cheyenne River Youth Project and its programs, and for information about making donations and volunteering, call (605) 964-8200 or visit lakotayouth.org. And, to stay up to date on the latest CRYP news and events, follow the youth project on Facebook (/LakotaYouth), Twitter (@LakotaYouth) and Instagram (@lakotayouth and @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.