Lakota Hope is bringing local artists into the main arena at the Pow-Wow as part of our Grow2gather program.
Lakota Hope is running a booth at the Oglala Nation Pow-Wow! (August 4-7) We are using the event to boost some of our artist's businesses and to familiarize members of the program with our program.
Our program called "Grow2gather" is an economic development program that aims to help artists turn their creativity and skills into thriving businesses. Promoting economic self-sufficiency has been a long-time focus at Lakota Hope: Bruce's initial call from God was "I want to use you along with others to bring dignity to my people, and I want you to do it through the creation of jobs" Although Bruce didn't initially know who God meant by "my people," that calling has been on his heart since the beginning.
Our work with artists and crafters is biggest economic development project Lakota Hope has ever undertaken. We are partnering with an established Nebraska non-profit called Grow Nebraska.
Together we are connecting artists with new markets, providing training, making art supplies more accessible, and creating micro-loan programs.
We connect artists to two types of markets: First, we provide physical venues such as our Tuesday night programs "Night of Another Hope" or our booth at the Pow Wow. Second, we are working on getting our artists work online to sell. We are currently uploading our items to Grow Nebraska's site buynebraska.com Providing the online space to sell is crucial because artists have difficulties selling their work once the summer tourists and mission teams are gone.
With the help of Grow Nebraska, we will be teaching business skills to some of the artists. Grow Nebraska's team will help us provide training in marketing, computer skills, and the administrative side of business. We will also be using our computer lab to facilitate GED classes.
Another resource we will be providing artists with is a raw materials store. The stores around the Reservation over price their materials. We plan to buy wholesale beads and resell the beads to artists at a very low markup from a small store in our office.
Finally, we have a grant that will help us set up micro-lending groups. These groups of artists will manage a small sum of money that they can loan to members of the lending group. This will open up new opportunities by allowing members to borrow money for art supplies, booth spaces at big events, etc.
We are excited to see artists and crafters building steady businesses through our program.
If you are in our area, stop at our booth at the Pow-Wow. If you can't make it you can still support some of our artists by buying online at buynebraska.com
If you are a Lakota artist interested in our program contact Bruce BonFleur at (308) 360-2747