Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Institute & Art Park

About the Waniyetu Wowapi Institute & Art Park

CRYP has offered youth arts and crafts since its 1988 inception, and it expanded on those offerings for teens and community members with the opening of Čhokáta Wičhóni (Center of Life) in 2006. The youth project quickly outgrew the facility’s single art studio, however, and staff knew the time had come to evolve CRYP’s arts program.

The Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Institute and Art Park began with the unveiling of CRYP’s free public art park in 2014, and a year later, the launch of the groundbreaking RedCan invitational graffiti jam. Today, the institute also includes a robust teen art internship program, nine-month Lakota Art Fellowships, and variety of public workshops and classes.

The country has taken notice. RedCan received Americans for the Arts’ prestigious Robert E. Gard Award in 2017, and it was one of 50 projects honored through Americans for the Arts’ PAN Year in Review. That same year, Executive Director Julie Garreau received the Americans for the Arts’ Arts Education Award. Now, the Native- and woman-led organization is ready to make the next leap forward with a new community art center, which will provide a permanent home for the institute in the heart of CRYP’s vibrant art park.

Help us build our new Arts Center Building!

Donate to our capital campaign

On July 9, 2021, CRYP broke ground for a new art center during its 7th annual RedCan invitational graffiti jam. This facility will be the official home for the youth project’s acclaimed Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Institute & Art Park.

Waniyetu Wowapi  Institute & Art Park Programs

Teens in workshop making traditional hoops

Classes & Workshops

The Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Institute & Art Park currently offers programming in fine art, graffiti and street art, and traditional Lakota arts. Our long-term vision includes music and movement, commercial arts, full internships/peer mentor program.

Youth learning from art teacher demonstrating technique

Lakota Arts Fellowship

The CRYP Lakota Arts Fellowship is a 9-month Fellowship Program within our Waniyeto Wowapi Lakota Youth Arts & Culture Institute. The Fellowship program is designed to build confidence, skills and personal growth for teens who have indicated they are considering pursuing a career in the arts.

Instructor East Foster working with CRYP youth on an art project.

Meet Our Instructors & Artists

We partner with local and national artists to bring their talents to Lakota youth as instructors for our classes and workshops. We also partner with artists for our RedCan graffiti jam and as vendors in our gift shop and online store.

Waniyetu Wowapi Art Park

The Cheyenne River community chose the name for CRYP’s free, public art park, christening it “Waniyetu Wowapi.” Translated from Lakota, it means “Winter Count”—a year period, from snow to snow, written on something flat. The winter count is how the Lakota Nation traditionally recorded its history, so it was a fitting name for our 5-acre park. 

Lakota dancing in front of backdrop of graffiti art

RedCan Graffiti Jam

Graffiti jams were designed to introduce graffiti as an art form, bringing together people who exemplify the contemporary graffiti art movement and how it has evolved since its inception a half century ago. In the case of RedCan, not only are artists showcasing a global movement, its relevance and how to be part of it, they’re connecting the graffiti world with the indigenous one, allowing Lakota artists to infuse graffiti with their own culture, identities and stories.


Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Will Appear in the 17th Annual Beaufort International Film Festival

The Cheyenne River Youth Project announced today that its 2022 short documentary film “Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count)” is an official selection for the 17th Annual Beaufort International Film Festival. The festival will take place on Feb. 21-26 in the historic coastal...

CRYP Documentary Now Appearing in 2022 Latino & Native American Film Festival

The Cheyenne River Youth Project has announced that its new documentary film, titled “Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count),” is a featured film at this year’s Latino & Native American Film Festival. The groundbreaking festival at Southern Connecticut State University in...

Cheyenne River Youth Project Launches Public Capital Campaign for Art Center with New Documentary Film

Today, the Cheyenne River Youth Project officially launched the public capital campaign to fund the construction of its new Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Institute & Art Park. The campaign seeks to raise $1.5 million to complete this eagerly anticipated community...

RedCan 2021 Closes with Art Center Groundbreaking & Sampson Bros. Performance

It’s always exciting when artists, performers, volunteers, and guests gather at the Cheyenne River Youth Project in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, for the four-day RedCan invitational graffiti jam. But this year, after nearly a year and a half of pandemic life, was...

CRYP Receives #StartSmall Grant, Prepares to Break Ground on New Youth Arts Center

The Cheyenne River Youth Project confirmed today that it will officially break ground for its new youth arts center at 12 p.m. on Friday, July 9. The public is welcome to attend the special groundbreaking event, which will take place during the nonprofit...