Welcome to the Wicahpi Olowan Music Program! Located on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, USA, this dynamic music program creates new opportunities through music for Oglala Lakota youth in the region. Collaborating with local organization First Peoples Fund, PFCF has helped establish the Wicahpi Olowan (WO) music studio at the Oglala Lakota Artspace (OLA), which has already produced new music from local youth and musicians. Initial music education activities have already begun across multiple music genres, including hip-hop, rock and folk music, and traditional Oglala Lakota music.
These activities take place across multiple locations, and primarily at OLA in Pine Ridge. OLA is the first arts space dedicated to serving artists and culture bearers from Pine Ridge. Wicahpi Olowan means ‘Star Songs’ and is connected to the overall theme of OLA of Star Knowledge.
Check out music already produced at WO music studio!
ABOUT PINE RIDGE
The Pine Ridge Reservation lies within the original Great Sioux Territory and is located approximately 88 miles from the FPF headquarters in Rapid City, South Dakota. The reservation is home to approximately 26,000 tribal members, half of whom are 25 years old and younger. Approximately 30% of the population of Pine Ridge identifies as artists. However, Native artists across the reservation have been unable to sufficiently access creative space, business training and knowledge, supplies and equipment, and networks they need to build strong economic futures rooted in Lakota cultural identity. This limits the development of arts business skills, the ability to share, teach and learn cultural knowledge across generations, and the ability to earn income from art businesses. Moreover, it’s a significant barrier to the broader expression of Lakota culture and identity desired for healing and strengthening the people of Pine Ridge through the unique and beautiful perspective of Lakota culture. However, with the establishment of the Rolling Rez Arts bus in 2016 and now the opening of the Oglala Lakota Artspace, together they provide a central hub for Lakota youth, artists and culture bearers.
TEAM ON THE GROUND
OUR PARTNER : FIRST PEOPLES FUND
Founded in 1995, First Peoples Fund is guided by the belief in Collective Spirit®. Collective Spirit is a commitment to nurture shared humanity and honor our connection to one another, the lands around us, those who came before us and the spirit of all things. The Collective Spirit moves each of us to stand up and make a difference, to pass on ancestral knowledge and to extend a hand of generosity. The Collective Spirit is essential to sustaining the cultural fabric of Native communities, and our ability to thrive.
FPF’s mission is to honor and support the Collective Spirit of First Peoples artists and culture bearers. Their work recognizes the power of art and culture to bring about positive change in Native communities, beginning with individual artists and their families.
The Oglala Lakota Artspace (OLA) is a partnership between, FPF, Artspace, Lakota Funds and the Lakota Federal Credit Union.