This has been a truly dizzying weekend. Yesterday, January 25, we officially opened the "Home: Cheyenne River" art exhibition in conjunction with the Cheyenne River Youth Project's 25th anniversary celebration in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Not only did we get a curious, engaged and enthusiastic crowd, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Council Representative Wayne Ducheneaux II read an official proclamation that makes January 25 "Cheyenne River Youth Project Day" on the Cheyenne River reservation.
Since CRYP was announcing the official launch of its endowment fund, we had the honor of announcing that 50% of all profits from "Home: Cheyenne River" book and print sales will be donated to that endowment fund in perpetuity. It's our small way of giving back to this wonderful community that has always welcomed us with open arms — we want to help make sure that CRYP will always have the resources it needs to continue its important mission in the community. For another 25 years, and beyond.
Next, in our Kickstarter campaign, we gained 24 backers who pledged nearly $2,700 in the first 48 hours of our fundraising effort. That's pretty amazing, and we're so grateful for every dollar contributed to this project! Indeed, we have new backers to welcome: Jenny Kling Scahill, Mary Beth Phelan, Catherine Moore, Rebecca Sheesley, Chris Kluener, Stewart Sarkozy-Banoczy, Lonnie Heier, Troy Campbell, Melissa Kling Saura, Carol Mann, Sparky Abraham, and Tanya Fiddler, in loving memory of her husband, Larry Fiddler. We're so grateful for your support! With your help, we're 3% funded, and we're a few steps closer to being able to put "Home: Cheyenne River" into people's hands. THANK YOU!
Getting the "Home: Cheyenne River" photography book published independently is going to be a team effort, and it means so much to us that so many people are expressing a desire to help. It's also a great way to pre-order your book — a $60 donation to the Kickstarter campaign will get you a free copy of the book AND a free fine-art print!
Finally: This morning, Indian Country Today Media Network published an article and slideshow about our art exhibition and the Kickstarter campaign that will fund production, printing and distribution of the book. We were thrilled to see it on the front page and listed in the "Most Popular Portfolios" section; what's more, in less than 12 hours, the article's post on ICT's Facebook page got nearly 1,700 likes and 270 shares; we hope that means the project is resonating with people. Our Facebook community also soared to more than 450 people (we're gunning for 500)!
It's been a big weekend. Now we're in Rapid City, on our way back home to Colorado... where we have a big 28 days ahead of us, seeking to bring the book project to a wider audience. Please help if you can. You can find our Kickstarter campaign here, and once again, we're so very grateful for your friendship and support. It means so much.