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Far South/Border North grants $2.6M to artists in Imperial, San Diego counties

Posted at 5:14 PM, Jun 05, 2023

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Sixty artists in San Diego and Imperial counties will receive a total of $2.6 million in Far South/Border North grants to develop artistic content focused on climate, public health, and social justice, it was announced Monday.

Far South/Border North is a California Creative Corps arts program for the counties, led by the city of San Diego and implemented through a bi-county regional collaborative, according to the city.

"With over 250 submissions in the first round from artists and cultural practitioners representing San Diego and Imperial counties, we are thrilled to see the overwhelming response," said Christine E. Jones, chief of Civic Art Strategies for the city. "The grants are aimed at promoting healthy communities through creativity, and we look forward to supporting the grant recipients with the development and implementation of campaigns over the next year to bring awareness to urgent issues shaping our region today."

Each grant will be provided to "develop artistic content that increases local awareness of public health, energy and water conservation, climate mitigation, civic engagement and social justice within Imperial and San Diego counties."

For the round one funds, each recipient will receive $43,333, which includes $35,000 for artist and cultural practitioner fees and $8,333 to advance their campaign, a program statement reads. Grantees selected reflect a "broad spectrum of diverse artistic practices," with 77% working or residing in an area designated as being in the lowest quartile of the California Healthy Places Index.

"The Far South/Border North round one cohort reaffirms the unique artistic and cultural perspectives and practices thriving in our region today -- from social practice artists and cultural practitioners working in Oceanside to Calexico and across San Diego and Imperial counties," said Felicia Shaw, San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition executive director. "As an implementation partner, we collectively see this regional, open-call grant process as an opportunity to catalyze visionary artists and cultural practitioners in intersectional work that fuels positivity and contributes to health equity within our most disproportionately impacted communities."

The round one grants were administered through a regional review process involving an evaluation of eligible applications by a panel of San Diego and Imperial County-based arts, cultural, and social field volunteers.

Round two of the Far South/Border North grant program will open on June 13. That round will focus on grant applications from organizations and local and tribal governments to hire artists and cultural practitioners.

The Conrad Prebys Foundation recently committed $1.4 million to Far South/Border North, boosting the $4.75 million California Creative Corps grant from the California Arts Council, a state agency, to a total of $6.15 million for the program.

"We believe a great arts community celebrates and lifts its artists and turns to them for inspiration and hope," said Prebys Foundation CEO Grant Oliphant. "Artists bring an invaluable perspective to the urgent health, climate, and democracy challenges that define our times and will shape our shared future, and we are delighted to support them in that work."

Far South/Border North implementation partners include Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties, San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition, and the San Diego Foundation. The team also includes five nonprofit organizations, Alliance San Diego, A Reason to Survive, Casa Familiar, Imperial County Food Bank, and RISE San Diego.

More information about the program is available at visit