Nonprofit seeks volunteers in renovating Whiteclay Makerspace

Will be used as a performing arts space for musicians, artists

WHITECLAY, NEB. — A grassroots organization which looks to empower Native Americans on the Pine Ridge Reservation through art and entrepreneurship continues to grow.

Currently, community members and the Lakota Hope Ministries are working in launching the Whiteclay Makerspace. It’s facility in the works located in an old Whiteclay bar. When it comes to fruition, artists, musicians and creative minds can gather to create, perform and sell their artwork.

Last year, the State of Nebraska pulled the liquor licenses from the bars and stores in Whiteclay which were peddling over 3.5 million cans of beer a year to people on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The town had a population of just over 10 people.

Joe Pulliam, a Pine Ridge artist and activist said that he hopes the Makerspace will be a springboard for communities across the Pine Ridge Reservation and in Nebraska to grow entrepreneurship and independence.

“That little town of Whiteclay, as bad and evil as it was, it’s really turned into a place of hope now and a place of power and healing,” said Pulliam. “It’s a great thing.”

Recently organizers have run into a few setbacks with winter weather. But despite the challenges, they’re looking for volunteers on April 12th and 13th to come clean and refurbish the former Whiteclay bar.

For information on the project or how you can help, visit the Whiteclay Makerspace’s website.

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