Center Offers Variety to Las Cruces Teens

Article excerpt

Las Cruces, N.M., wanted to do something different with its teen center when it opened in 1996. One of a few such centers run by municipalities in the country, more than 1,500 teens attend Club Fusion each month, taking advantage of a large variety of programs.

Club Fusion was designed and is run by teens. While adults provide supervision, teen employees and volunteers are the driving force in the creation and implementation of programs at the center.

The center received first place in the Christina Mattin Arts Awards for Programs Reaching Youth At Risk, given by the United States Conference of Mayors earlier this year.

Located in a building once seized by the federal government for illegal drug sales, Club Fusion gives Las Cruces teens a safe place to practice social skills and a number of avenues to express themselves.

DJ Training Schools give the kids a chance to learn to be a disc jockey. Teens can also practice playing an instrument at Jam Night or participate in individual dance. An inside wall of the center has been dedicated to a mural project for center participants.

The "No Confusion Dance Team" uses dance to deliver messages. Its first public performance addresses teen pregnancy, combining a popular song and stating teen pregnancy facts with a choreographed routine.

Club Fusion also provides classes, live concerts, special events and other programs. …