Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Institute & Art Park


Art Center 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.

The innovative new facility is made possible through a $2.5 million grant from #StartSmall, Jack Dorsey’s philanthropic initiative. Dorsey is CEO and chairman of Block, Inc (formerly Square), former CEO of Twitter, and cofounder of both. He first became acquainted with CRYP in 2017, when Square commissioned the short film “Lakota in America,” and he traveled to Eagle Butte for the film’s premiere that fall.

The Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Institute & Art Park will incorporate dedicated spaces for traditional and contemporary art, music, performance art, and more. These will include circular exhibition galleries, photography dark room, recording studio, screen-printing studio, pottery studio with kiln room, multipurpose room with doors opening to the outside, and individual artists’ studios. What’s more, its exterior walls will constantly be changing, reflecting the vibrant culture of the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation.

Learn more about our art center journey.

Learn more about the Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Institute & Art Park and its programs below.

Support the Capital Campaign

Our goal is to raise $1.5 million to complete the construction of the new art center.

To make a contribution, simply select Art Institute Art Center Construction when you donate via Square or PayPal.


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Start Small Foundation

Arts Midwest

National Endowment for the Arts

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Schmidt Family Foundation/
11th Hour Project

Vadon Foundation

John T. Vucurevich Foundation

The Wayfarer Foundation

The Mellon Foundation

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.

Waniyetu Wowapi  Institute & Art Park Programs

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.

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.

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. 

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.