When the novel coronavirus pandemic exploded this spring, staff at the Cheyenne River Youth Project assumed they would have to cancel their 6th annual, award-winning graffiti jam. After all, how could such a dynamic, live art experience take place during a public health crisis?

The answer: Put together a team to figure out the back-end engineering, invite the artists to contribute their creativity and expertise in new ways, and take the event online. So RedCan is back, and it’s bigger than ever.

“Covid wasn’t going to keep us down, that’s for sure,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “We found a way.”

During RedCan 2020, CRYP is going live twice daily on its Facebook page, in the Social Distance Powwow Facebook group, on its YouTube Channel, and on its website at lakotayouth.org. During the 3 p.m. Mountain broadcast, viewers will enjoy a RedCan short film and live arts instruction in the RedCan Classroom, where they and an assembled cohort of Cheyenne River youth will learn new mediums and skills from First Peoples’ Fund’s Rolling Rez Arts instructors.

During the 7 p.m. Mountain broadcast, CRYP is offering a live discussion with panelists participating from their home communities. The first night, Garreau and Youth Programs Director Jerica Widow talked about “Changing the Narrative: The Power of Messaging Through Public Art” with RedCan artists 179, Biafra, and Hoka.

Last night, the discussion focused on “Remember Your Medicines: Keeping Our Body and Spirit Healthy Through Adverse Times. RedCan artists Chief and Dwayno Insano joined Garreau, Widow, and Youth Arts Director Tyler “Siamese” Read for a thought-provoking, insightful conversation around traditional medicines and healing life ways, medicinal plants, holistic approaches to well-being, how to engage youth in healthier lifestyles, and why strengthening connections with culture is imperative during these challenging times.

Meanwhile, RedCan 2020 murals are taking shape in eight cities nationwide: Denver; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Seattle; Kansas City, Missouri; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Rapid City, Pine Ridge, and Eagle Butte, South Dakota. CRYP will unveil the final murals during the Saturday evening broadcast, which will be followed by a special Midnight Express performance at the Minneapolis mural site.

The schedule for today and the remainder of the RedCan 2020 event:


Today, Friday, Aug. 14

3 p.m. MT — RedCan film

3:15 p.m. MT — RedCan Classroom Live — Miniature Shields with Gus Yellow Hair

7 p.m. MT — Panel Discussion — Powered by Our Ancestors: Harnessing the Wisdom of Our People to Empower the Next Generation (Collins, Sadat, Unalee Howe)

Tomorrow, Saturday, Aug. 15

3 p.m. MT — RedCan film

3:15 p.m. MT — RedCan Classroom Live — Skateboard Design with CRYP youth & Painting with Unalee Howe

6:30 p.m. MT — Live Mural Unveilings & Special Midnight Express Performance at the Minneapolis mural site

7:30 p.m. MT — Talking Circle with CRYP Executive Director Julie Garreau, East, 179, Biafra, Chief, Collins, Cyfi, Dwayno Insano, Hoka, Sadat, Scribe, Unalee Howe, Wundr

RedCan 2020 Will Be Broadcasting Live:

CRYP Facebook Community:

Social Distance Powwow:

CRYP YouTube Channel:

CRYP Website:

Note: All previously broadcast RedCan 2020 segments will be available at https://lakotayouth.org/redcan/

To learn more about RedCan 2020, visit www.lakotayouth.org/redcan. You’ll be able to view all previously broadcast RedCan 2020 video segments, previous years’ video documentaries and photo galleries, bios for this year’s featured artists and special guests, 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.