Nestled between a mom-and-pop grocery store and a bookstore, Insurgo looks a little out of place. It’s an unlikely hub for a youth-run, grassroots organization intent on providing not only Albuquerque’s newest all-ages music venue, but an all inclusive community center.
Insurgo derives its name from the Latin root of the word “insurge,” which means “to raise oneself up.” Insurgo is the culmination of two years of hard work on behalf of the ABQCollective, a group of up-start youths in the local music scene who were tired of not having a place to see all ages shows.
Thus, Insurgo began as an attempt to collectively operate an all-ages performance space, but the group slowly began to shift its focus toward establishing a permanent and accessible space for not only all-ages music but also art events.
“It’s being run by people who actually care and are coming at it from a passionate angle and not from a ‘let’s exploit the kids and make money off of them’ mentality,” said Jacqueline Meadows, an ABQCollective member and UNM student. “I don’t think that’s ever happened in such a public way in this town.”
In addition, the ABQCollective is loosely affiliated with other, similar groups across the nation such as The Free Radicals in San Francisco, ABC No Rio in New York City and Gilman St. in Berkley, Calif.
However, at about 900-square feet, Insurgo doesn’t accurately reflect the group’s diverse and lofty ambitions.
More than anything, Insurgo is about community. ABQCollective member Cindy Hong said she hopes that Insurgo can help define “what culture, music, art and philosophy is as a way of expression, interaction and communication.
“Insurgo will open peoples’ minds, educate and inspire people and expose people to diverse culture and not just entertain people.”
Despite that Insurgo holds mostly music events, it does hold other events though, such as film events and discussion groups.
“We try to be as diverse as possible,” member Renata Castagna said.
Insurgo will present an Alternative Media Festival, featuring live music, poetry readings and film/video screenings on Feb. 25.
But, and maybe most importantly, what the people at Insurgo made clear is that everyone is welcome.
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For more information, visit Insurgo at 3904-A Central Ave.