2022 has been so busy we have barely had time to post! But we are always happy to take a pause to reflect on all of the great things happening at Mitakuye!
As 2022 started – many schools were still in hybrid mode with students working both in class and at home. Our School Arts Program was a big hit as it allowed kids to work both in the classroom and remotely! Our School Arts Program provides arts curriculum, instruction through over 50 filmed art lessons, and art supplies to kids across Pine Ridge, Rosebud, and neighboring towns and reservations. We delivered over 1800 art kits for the 2021-2022 school year.
With schools back in person we were able to bring our Art Contests and Creators Club back in full swing:
Our summer programs started off with the 500 Mile Sacred Hoop Run. 2022 was our 10 year anniversary of supporting the Run and over 160 kids participated:
Special prayers were made for all of the MMIW. Randi Raeni-Shawaway applies paint and says a blessing for each runner:
We even made time for an impromptu art class with the runners at Devils Tower:
On the last day our friend and long time supporter, Lo Sprague, was honored with a star quilt to recognize all of the support she has given to Mitakuye and the Run over the years:
Our summer art programs served hundreds of kids through our Mitakuye Art Days and Residencies in schools and communities across Pine Ridge and Rosebud including a special dance residency at Lakota Tech High School:
We also had the opportunity to support some young dancers by sponsoring a Youth Dance Special at the White River Wacipi with the help of our friend and expert judge Randi Raeni-Shawaway:
We expanded our Black Hills Arts Academy this year to experiment with offering shorter programs for younger kids in addition to our full time program which included kids from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mission and Rosebud plus a special residency for the dance team at Lakota Tech High School.
We started off the week with setting up the tipi then got busy making art:
You can check out the film the students made here: https://vimeo.com/785475392
Our special sweetgrass project made with sweetgrass provided by our friend Vanne Mocilac!
Morning Circles, Daily Smudge, and of course, lots of time for fun and s’mores!
Our 2022-2023 School Arts Program is in full swing! Our junior staff helped out to prepare and deliver 2,000 art kits for students across Pine Ridge and Rosebud! Thank you Cisco, Elliana, Rita, Ramsey, Steph – aka Gramma Pepper – Dante & Shayne for making it happen!
We finished the year supporting 2 important community events – a Winter Toy drive in memory of our dear friend Eileen Janis & the Thunder Lake New Years Eve lock-down to give kids a safe and fun event to ring in the new year!
Wopila to everyone who supports these awesome young people and helps to give them opportunities to experience the healing power of art! If you want to help create more opportunities for these kids in 2023 you can donate here: https://mitakuyefoundation.com/donate/
Dr Lo Sprague says
It was a humbling and incredibly inspiring experience to get to witness Jennifer and Simon and some of the remarkable leaders of Pine Ridge and Rosebud working together to enable these wonderful young people to live out their dreams with such creativity and courage. The Elders carry not only great wisdom but also great kindness and quiet dignity as well. I was watching a generosity of spirit and a daily courage that meets Life on its own terms without complaint and gives one’s best to it. What a rare honor to be a part of such a special people. Thank you, Jennifer and Simon, Ricky Grey Grass, Grandma Pepper, Gail, Rosie, and everyone who met me with such great generosity and graciousness. You have changed my life for the better and I am profoundly and humbly grateful.