Art program for kids expands on Pueblo's east side - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Art program for kids expands on Pueblo's east side

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Kids help clean up E 5th Street in Pueblo Kids help clean up E 5th Street in Pueblo

A program centered around art, music and learning for Pueblo kids is growing in a big way.

Pueblo House organizers aim to turn E 5th Street into a haven for youth on the east side. "We call it Fun on Fifth," says founder Janet Wilson. Her team is currently working on fixing up three homes on the blighted block, and a large open yard at the corner of Glendale Avenue.

Wilson says, "Getting the yard done so we can have concerts and get the community engaged, that's a big thing." She enlisted the help of Lowe's to get it done. The hardware store's Heroes project volunteers will install sod, sprinklers and a stage for open mic nights, all free of charge.

Cage Martinez, 13, lives nearby and has been helping clean up the Pueblo House properties. He says, "It's good for our neighborhood to keep the kids out of gangs and drug-related activity, so none of the kids get hurt. We have a community-based system here to where everybody feels equal."

"Unless we give back and engage our kids," Wilson adds, "as long as they keep taking art and music out of the schools, we're going to become more popular because I think there's still a huge need for that."

Wilson hopes to keep expanding in the years to come. In two years, all three houses will be up and running, complete with a radio station, daily activities and community projects.

"It's probably going to be visited by a lot of kids," predicts Chacee Martinez, 9. "I hope that."

The Pueblo House team is still looking for a plumber and electrician to help fix up two of the houses. The Lowe's crew will arrive Wednesday to fix up the yard. Wilson expects to open the space in mid-August, when they will start hosting open mic nights Friday and Saturday.

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