Artists + Practitioners + Organizations

Meet the artists, practitioners, and organizations! Far South/Border North awarded funding to support artists and cultural practitioners working in disciplines from performing arts, visual arts, music, film and media, and literature to multidisciplinary and socially engaged forms.

Far South/Border North Round I Grant Recipients

Our Round I grant recipients include about 60 artists and cultural practitioners from San Diego and Imperial counties. Round I grant recipients began developing their campaigns in June 2023, and are now implementing those campaigns through May 2024.

Johnny Bear Contreras

San Diego County

"From the ocean to the desert and everything in between" is how Johnny Bear Contreras answers the question of what influences his work. He works in the medium of sculpture, specializing in bronze, aluminum, and stainless steel and combining all three with resin. A critical component in his work is the representation of indigenous peoples within the arts industry, sharing that "our work is our belief system on display for the whole world to see."

Armando de la Torre

San Diego County

Armando de la Torre work has a long-time involvement in social justice and outreach projects through visual art and teaching practices. These projects - including participatory events at Bread & Salt and The Front and participation in the Best Practice exhibit "Rosas Y Nopales" - entwine with place, borders, and identities. His works often reflect the dichotomy of the San Diego-Tijuana region in its complex environmental and social problems. He is a multidisciplinary artist who is deeply impacted and shaped by these political and environmental forces, and he has learned to turn this into cultural content, continuing to develop work that can inform a broader narrative of inclusion in the San Diego -Tijuana region.

Sandra Carmona

San Diego County

Sandra Carmona is of Wixárika descent, Chicana, daughter of farmworkers, and a muralist for over 20 years. She is a well-known leader in her community and a longtime activist for farmworkers and Indigenous rights. She founded Calpulli Omeyocan, a grassroots Indigenous dance collaborative, and her project, Maijawee Divine Serpent, is a transborder art piece that served as a political statement in solidarity with the Kumeyaay Nation and Indigenous people’s struggle over sovereignty on the U.S.-Mexico border. Sandra’s art intends to amplify the voices of her people and showcase their culture, contributions, struggles, and vibrancy. To her, art is medicine.

Jordan Verdin

San Diego County

Jordan Verdin is a visual artist, portrait photographer, and storyteller passionate about promoting social awareness. He uses a camera to build bridges, and since receiving a degree in negotiation, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding from California State University, Dominguez Hills, Verdine combines photography and storytelling to dismantle stereotypes and stigmas and humanize people by sharing their stories. Jordan intends that everyone sees the shared humanity we all have. His focus is to bring attention to the issues faced by people experiencing homelessness and marginalized communities while advocating for sustainable solutions. Through his work, he has photographed and interviewed over 700 people experiencing homelessness in San Diego County, which paved the way for him to found Humanity Showers. Humanity Showers provides mobile showers for communities in Southern California.

Angelica "Babay L. Angles" Tolentino

San Diego County

Babay L. Angles, aka Bomba Brown (Angelica Janabajal Tolentino), is a Pilipinx interdisciplinary performance artist, DJ, joy and rest practitioner, educator, and community organizer from San Diego, CA (Kumeyaay Territory), Okinawa, Japan, and Olongapo, Philippines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies from the University of California San Diego and a Master of Arts in Urban Education and Social Justice with a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Social Studies. She practices deep listening and channels movements to express the inherited resilience of the Pilipinx psyche and is moved by funk, bass, percussion, environmental sound, breath, and land memory. Angles blends decolonial hxstorical research, ethnography, trauma-informed facilitation, movement, installation, adornment, sound, and ritual to heal and get FREE. Weaving connections between the strength of Pilipinx of the diaspora, BIPOC, womxn, LGBTQI+ communities, and those at the margins. She builds community through the shared creation of holistic artistic resistance and wellness.

Miki Vale

San Diego County

Miki Vale is an international Hip Hop performing artist and U.S. cultural ambassador, teaching artist, Old Globe-commissioned playwright, and founder of SoulKiss Theater, an arts education organization for queer Black womxn. Her work serves to amplify community consciousness around relationships, wellness, and justice. Vale has performed and participated in panels at landmark venues and festivals in the US and internationally, from Hollywood and Washington D.C. to Mumbai and Cairo. For her contributions to Hip Hop culture, Vale has earned a San Diego Hip Hop Honors Award, a Female Perspective Award, and the 2021 San Diego Music Award for Song of the Year for "Bad Wolves," a song condemning anti-Black racism. For her work within the LGBTQIA+ community, she was awarded the 2017 Bayard Rustin Civil Rights Honor.

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Far South/Border North Round II Grant Recipients

Our Round II grant recipients include 18 San Diego and Imperial County organizations. In fall 2023, they hired artists and cultural practitioners and began working alongside them to develop their campaigns, they are implementing through August 2024.

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