A Shithole City: Pueblo Colorado is referred to as many things, Home Town, Home of Heroes, Steel City, Pue Town, The Blo, and currently “The Lo”. The Lo-Down, Down-Lo, home of heroin, Steal City. Where we gangbang for little-league, play chicken in these streets, dark figures appear in allies repeatedly, and the dragon chasers create waves for us all to ride.
Sticky fingers gain reputations, hard work in the opposite directions. GTA state champs(nationals champion hopefuls)IRL. Shoplifters, home invaders, then armed robbery as the pinnacle is reached before the fall. Free stuff becomes freedom behind razor wire vacations resorts. A community in shackles unaware of the ways which we are both literally and figuratively imprisoned
We incarcerate at rates as high as such rates do go. Almost 20 prisons in the region assure that future families will be short of one parent or the other. Parentless children will keep the cycle going so that criminal enterprises continue to be the career of choice for all the brave young souls.
School systems based on ancient and outdated texts where the educated rule the poor based on a few paragraphs not shared with the teachers. The rich stay rich and our culture remains right as rain. Illiterate illegitimates get thrown to the wolves for yet one more generation. The lack of learning about of the lack of learning is why we don’t lack at being the lowest of the low. Welcome to “The Lo”.
The Renegade city, where the moves being made are by those who take what they want and prefer yes over no and an almost permanent basis, without fail. Criminal minded, mastered, ignorance runs rampant, art forms emerge; in the natural order, so be it.
The poverty creates fractions, sub-cultures, identities. Common interests form friendships and brotherhoods and sisterhoods. We feel the strength in numbers then sub-cultures emerge. All with their own characteristics. In “The Lo”, these subcultures embrace the anarchy, the disdain for authority, a bit of violence, and always a good time. Always has been, always will be, Pueblo is founded by these fractions, built by these fractions. Subcultures within a city a struggling to survive in any way they can.
We welcome you one and all to MISFIT CITY.
A movement, a voice of change is arising, it has been growing. Our streets are being painted, the visuals that for years have been laid to rest and decay are coming back to life. These walls have been talking and they have been telling a tale of decay. So we begin the change, and everyone else joins in. See it before it is all gone!!!
The arts are the future of Pueblo. Creative solutions to all problems will begin to emerge. First by acknowledging the problems then taking ownership of them. No longer expressing regrets for our current and past, but expressing tolerance and providing the education necessary for us to move on. Then we can heal these wounds which have been inflicted upon us, our culture, our streets, our homes, our children, and our lives.
That is what the Down-Lo is about. It is about taking ownership of who we are, and no longer fearing our bad reputation but rather embracing it and making it the thing that is great about us.
Down -Lo is about the transmutation of energy from being negative to positive, about honesty and moving forward. Accepting our faults and taking pride in who we are the key steps for growth.
If we acknowledge our problems, face our fears, take responsibility for who we are then we can move forward. If we accept our heritage, our failures our shortcomings, then we can begin to learn and grow.
Let us take this fear and turn it into excitement for the greatness we can accomplish. We are all in this together so we should fear not. If we come together and start taking care of things in a reasonable manner then before you know it many of our problems will subside and new great things will emerge.
The way forward is to tell our story, accept our past then begin writing a new story. A story that begins with the acceptance of the truth, and ends with the triumph of a community coming together. A tale of reversing poverty and finding love for humanity strong enough to propel us forward as a culture. Towards a brighter future where fewer people struggle and no one suffers.
Down_Lo is about truth and honesty, embracing the culture of Pueblo and celebrating our achievements. Most importantly adding the element of art to all of these topics in an effort to try and heal.
Honestly, we are starting in a rough place, but over time, with the efforts of us all, Down-Lo will no longer be the place where fear lives. Down-Lo is to be where love and creation thrive.
Down-Lo Down-Lo, come Down-Lo and experience the truth. We are not what the people say. We are kind loving and generous. We don’t endorse violence or crime, but we are tolerant of peoples differences, we accept the struggles of our fellow humans and we work together to raise each other up. To help one another.
Misfits accepted bottom dwellers get love too!!!!
Through projects like Down-Lo I hope to initiate conversations which will lead to solutions to the problems, and most importantly I always aim to produce and encourage the production of art.
If we work together we can raise the hundreds of thousands of dollars necessary to make Pueblo and art capital of the state. But we can do it through collaborative efforts like these.
Sales from these shirts support my work in bettering the city of Pueblo with art. If you feel the urge to donate without the shirt you can donate here..
The Shadows is an art therpay program aimed at helping the world to learn to express and let go of the dark parts of ourselves through art and creative processes. Donations help to further the video project, work with inmates and youth, and create art of my own to share the message.