Cheyenne River Youth Project
RedCan is rising once again. The Cheyenne River Youth Project’s 8th annual invitational graffiti jam is scheduled for Wednesday, July 6 to Saturday, July 9, and Cheyenne River Youth Project has just released the lineup of its featured artists and special guests for this year’s event.
Held in the heart of the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation, RedCan is the first and only graffiti jam in Indian Country. For four days every summer, this award-winning event offers an unprecedented opportunity for the Cheyenne River community and its guests to connect with Lakota culture while also experiencing the largest art movement in the history of humankind.
This year’s roster features 12 artists from Native nations and cities across North America. New to RedCan are: Rezmo, from the Salt River Maricopa Indian Community in Arizona; TamiJoy, a local artist from the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation; and Yukue, from the Pascua Yaqui Tribe in Guadalupe, Arizona.
Returning artists include: 179, a Latine artist from Seattle; Lucious, from the Marten Falls Anishinaabe First Nation in Ontario, Canada; East, an artist of Cherokee descent from Denver; Cyfi, a Yaqui and Azteca artist from Minneapolis; Hoka, an artist of Oneida, Oglala Lakota, and La Jolla Band of Luiseño descent from Albuquerque; Biafra and Wundr, both Minneapolis-based artists; Lawst, a Potawatomi, Menominee, and Puerto Rican artist; and Tsel, a Mexican artist from Chicago.
The artists will be painting at mural sites around the City of Eagle Butte on July 6-7, and in Cheyenne River Youth Project’s Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park on July 8-9. And, according to Julie Garreau, Cheyenne River Youth Project’s executive director, the artists will continue to innovate, as they have in years past.
“Each year at RedCan, we try to explore new ways of sharing our stories through graffiti and street art,” she explained. “A few years ago, we introduced Lakota language into our murals, so we could revitalize language as well as culture. In 2020, we put together a virtual event, with artists painting in their home communities and live-streaming the action and roundtable discussions to audiences at home.
“Last year, five artists collaborated on a massive mural that filled the front of an abandoned apartment building,” she continued. “This year, our five female artists will be collaborating on a mural that will recognize our Lakota women, their power, and their sacredness. It will be by women, for women.”
Garreau also noted that the spirit of collaboration is an intergenerational one at RedCan. Young artists are eager to work alongside, and learn from, the older generation.
“We give our teen art interns and Lakota Art Fellows the opportunity to work with the RedCan artists,” she said. “We also will be offering a wide variety of art activities that are open to youth of all ages. We are dedicated to providing meaningful inspiration for our young people, so they can experience the profound power of art in finding their voices and sharing their own stories.”
As always, DJ Micah will be spinning tunes in the Waniyetu Wowapi Art Park, and the Wakinyan Maza drum group will begin and end each day with songs and a blessing. In addition, the First Peoples’ Fund’s Rolling Rez Arts bus and Dances With Words will be on hand to work with youth, and the entire community will enjoy live performances from acclaimed Cheyenne River lyricist Let it Bee, Sicangu Lakota hoop dancer Starr Chief Eagle, and renowned Mvskoke Creek/Seneca hoop dancers The Sampson Bros.
Additional details and a full schedule of events will be available in the coming weeks. To learn more about RedCan, the featured artists and special guests, and how to help support this groundbreaking event in Indian Country, visit www.lakotayouth.org/redcan.
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 www.lakotayouth.org. And, to stay up to date on the latest Cheyenne River Youth Project news and events, follow the youth project on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Cheyenne River Youth Project
The Cheyenne River Youth Project is dedicated to giving our Lakota youth and families access to the culturally relevant, enriching, and enduring opportunities we need to build stronger, healthier communities and a more vibrant future together.