Tuesday, July 18, 2017
GROW Nebraska has taken the lead in promoting Lakota artists and crafters of neighboring Pine Ridge Indian Reservation by securing prime selling space at the Oglala Sioux Nation’s Annual Pow Wow.
Native American Artist, Valery Brown Eyes at booth selling handcrafted jewelry.
In 2016 GROW provided space for nearly a dozen artists and crafters who are part of its on-going GROW2gather Program, a partnership with Lakota Hope Ministry, Inc., where registrants are introduced to job, business and life skills and training to help them develop their small businesses into growing and successful ones. Bi-weekly workshops are held from September through May with weekly sales events held at Lakota Hope Center every Tuesday night through the summer.
GROW’s presence and position within the Pow Wow ‘arena’ is clear and bold. Artists and crafters are provided with tables, chairs and a shelter during the 4-day event. This year some of the same will be going on – including a double booth space measuring about 40’ wide by 60’ deep, an overhead banner at the entrance supported on each end by tipi poles, free water and giveaways of the local, popular snack, Tanka Sticks, produced by a successful food company, native-owned. Newly-designed, appealing (and culturally-sensitive) promotional rack cards are also being provided to help spread the word about this unique and successful program.
August 3-6 are the dates with the first “Grand Entry” – a colorful, spectacular parade of various native dancers and regalia – scheduled for Friday, the 4th at 7:00 pm.
Finally, a progressive step has been made this year with the participating artists and crafters each donating financially towards the GROW EXCHANGE Store, a feature of the program where ‘coup points’ obtained through individual participation in group meetings/workshops, sales events and time spent acquiring computer skills in the GROW-provided computer lab at Lakota Hope are ‘exchanged’ (spent) to get many of the raw materials needed to produce the art and crafts members make and sell. Leather, beads, broadcloth, paints, dyes, tools and many other items are made available.
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