By Sabrina Hornung
The High Plains Reader had the opportunity to catch up with artist, musician and community builder Anjali Karna about Parachigo, Fargo Moorhead’s newest and most exciting creative space and all-ages venue.
High Plains Reader: Can you tell us a bit about Parachigo?
Anjali Karna: There are three spaces on the main floor that come with sinks, counters, and doors! They are larger spaces and will functionally be storefronts for private artists. There are 10 spaces on the top floor that range in size — some are cubicles, some are lockable, and are larger rooms. We have 18 renters total at the moment.
On top of that we have two community rooms. One on the main floor that will be designated for community events like open mics, private events, community meals, etc. Upstairs we have a stage for music that we hope to move to the basement once we evaluate how possible adapting that area into a venue would be.
The main floor also has a large room that will be a storefront on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. All local artists are welcome to submit art to sell in this space and it will be open to the public.
HPR: How did the name come to be?
AK: I am Indian and in my family's village language the word 'Parachi' is slang for "loudmouth" or "little stinker". Parachigo is the way you say it plurally, so it basically means "a group of little stinkers". I thought it was suited because the Fargo art scene thrives on its outwardness and open expression.
HPR: How long has Parachigo been in the works and how did it come into fruition? I know the FM music scene has been pining for an all-ages venue for a while!
AK: Parachigo happened kind of quickly! Initially I was hunting for a location for the non-profit I work for, Plants for Patients, but it became clear that it could serve the art community pretty fast. We fully solidified the plan in February and it's been a really enjoyable sprint from there.
HPR: What is the capacity of the venue?
AK: It depends on the space! I'd say 30 is the ideal amount but I'm sure it could fit more and also wouldn't feel empty with less. If we can get the basement space up and running (no promises, but fingers crossed), that is a huge game changer and greatly expands our capacity.
HPR: How successful have your calls for volunteers/materials been – I imagine folks are excited to get involved!
AK: It has been so easy to get supplies. Our paint was fully crowd-sourced, our tools have been so far. I ordered our cleaning supplies but elsewise we're going strong. We're definitely still in need of some help with music supplies and the material calls will continue to be posted, but we really haven't been concerned about missing any ingredients for the space, thanks to the people donating horizontally.
HPR: How did your involvement with Red Raven shape your vision for Parachigo?
AK: I grew to love community in my time at the Raven. I got to understand what people enjoy and what people need. I learned my own love for community. It has made me believe in people and care.
HPR: Can you tell us a bit about the Sleep Talk ZIne? I understand the grand opening is also a launch for that as well?
AK: Sleep Talk Zine is made by Sleep Talk Skate, who is an F-M initiative with affiliation to “Skate Like A Girl.” Every Monday they host a free ladies and queers skate at the Hawks Nest. They also do great things for the community and function on similar principles. It seemed apt to team up!
HPR: Is there anything else you'd like to add? Are there any other big events coming up that should be on our radar?
AK: If you sell art, we want you to sell it with us! Tune into our socials to learn how. Our first show was on April 20 and was a fundraiser for us. Next show is Tenci on April 25. Opening Day for the shop is the big one and that is on May 5– It's also our birthday party so it will have lots of treats in store.
We’re excited to see everyone fill the space with all of the F-M’s rampant creativity!
YOU SHOULD KNOW
Parachigo is located at 512 1st Ave N, Fargo, ND 58103.
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