The Cheyenne River Youth Project’s 6th annual RedCan invitational graffiti jam came to a close on Saturday, Aug. 15 with a special live broadcast that united artists in eight cities across America. Together, they unveiled their RedCan 2020 murals in a live broadcast:
– East in Denver
– Biafra, Wundr and Cyfi in Minneapolis
– 179 in Seattle
– Scribe in Kansas City, Missouri
– Hoka in Albuquerque, New Mexico
– Sadat and collinsjordan in Rapid City, South Dakota
– Chief in Pine Ridge, South Dakota
– Una Howe in CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park, Eagle Butte, South Dakota
In addition, the acclaimed Midnite Express Singers performed at the Minneapolis mural site for viewers around the world, who were able to join the grand finale via Facebook and YouTube. It was a remarkable experience for an unprecedented year, according to Julie Garreau, executive director for the grassroots, nonprofit youth organization.
“When the novel coronavirus pandemic first erupted this spring, we felt we would be forced to cancel our 6th annual RedCan,” she said. “Then we realized that our community needs the energy and inspiration from RedCan now more than ever — and other communities need it too. So we pulled together an incredible team of partners, from our artists to our multimedia team and technology experts, and we took RedCan to the next level for 2020.”
That meant a hybrid of in-person and virtual elements. During RedCan 2020 on Aug. 12-15, youth on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation had an opportunity to receive art instruction through First Peoples’ Fund’s Rolling Rez Arts while viewers participated through the live RedCan Classroom broadcasts. CRYP staff pulled together virtual panels each evening to discuss the year’s themes — “Changing the Narrative,” “Remember Your Medicines,” and “Powered by Our Ancestors” — and offered sneak peeks at the murals taking shape around the country.
“RedCan definitely looked different this year, and its new format presented plenty of challenges,” Garreau reflected, “but what made such a powerful impression on us was that the spirit of RedCan remained intact. And we were able to bring that spirit, along with our community’s culture, stories and messages, to a much larger audience than we ever imagined.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if some elements of this year’s unique RedCan event are now part of the RedCan experience permanently,” she continued. “Covid-19 is teaching all of us so much, on a daily basis. Perhaps one of its greatest lessons is that tremendous challenges can provide tremendous opportunities. We’re deeply grateful to our many partners and friends who helped us bring this year’s RedCan to life. It wasn’t easy, but it absolutely was worth it.”
All RedCan 2020 broadcasts remain available through CRYP’s Facebook community, YouTube channel, and website. In addition, through the Keya Gift Shop online, the youth project has made RedCan 2020 T-shirts and limited-edition art prints available for purchase.
This year’s featured artists created the prints, drawing inspiration from their RedCan 2020 murals. CRYP has ordered just 20 copies of each print, and they are collector’s items, produced on high-quality archival paper. Proceeds benefit CRYP’s programming and services, with every contribution making a real difference in the lives of Cheyenne River’s young people.
CRYP Facebook Community:
CRYP YouTube Channel:
RedCan Content on the CRYP Website:
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.