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Pueblo welcomes creative corridor

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Creative Corridor logos are spray painted on sidewalks throughout downtown to highlight attractions. Photo from Kara Mason.
October marks the beginning of the Pueblo Creative Corridor that runs along Main St., Union Ave., and the Mesa Junction, which runs along Abriendo Ave. across from the library.

The mission of Pueblo Performing Arts Guild, the group in charge of the corridor, is to promote production, enjoyment, and collaboration of the arts for the purposes of economic development and an enriched quality of life in Pueblo. According to the PPAG website, art contributes over $14 million to the economy in Pueblo annually.

The organization also said on its website that the PPAG use the arts as an economic development tool for the revitalization and investment catalyst for Pueblo’s downtown business district.

The corridor covers creative hotspots downtown like the Sangre de Cristo Art Center as well as the route of the First Friday Artwalk, the once-a-month art show that takes place in various locations on Main St., Union Ave., Abriendo Ave.

The Creative Corridor is continuous rather than one day per month and caters to economic growth Pueblo, the PPAG said.

“The three districts have started Summer Sundays once a month and have gotten more involved in the First Friday Art Walk. There are now pop-up galleries where there are empty buildings for lease so each district has really increased their work on revitalizing the Pueblo downtown area,” said a spokesman with the PPAG.

Oct. 5, marked the official start of the corridor with several local artists showcasing their work in galleries along the route. Music performances were also spread out through the corridor. Much like the First Friday Artwalk, performers and musicians will be a major aspect of the corridor.

“We fully expect that the Creative Corridor will become an attraction to CSU-Pueblo students who are looking for interesting and engaging activities 24-7,” said Susan Fries, executive director with the PPAG.

PPAG, the Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority, and the city of Pueblo all helped to form the Creative Corridor. PPAG is the administrator of the corridor and is also responsible for calling meetings and communicating with the community.

Pueblo was first named a prospective creative district by Gov. John Hickenlooper in March. At the time of the nomination, the city received $8,000 to attract artists and potential business that would enhance the Creative Corridor.

In September, the Pueblo Creative Corridor received a Creative District Leadership Award from the Boettcher Foundation. The $25,000 award allowed for planning and operations.

Beyond enjoying the activities that the Creative Corridor will offer to students, Fries said that students could contribute through their creative writing program, showcasing their art, and performing music.

“Both the music department and art department have been invited to participate with gallery performances and pop-up gallery shows,” Fries said.

CSU-Pueblo has featured shows in the Fine Art Gallery on First Friday Artwalks, but have yet to feature a pop-up art show.

“With an influx of student ideas and talents into the Corridor the more successful we will be at matching the needs of the student population,” Fries said.