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Arts and Culture

18 Nonprofit Organizations to Receive $2.52 Million in Far South/Border North Grants

Text: Announcing the Round II Organization Grant Recipients

To help raise awareness about social issues through the arts, 18 regional arts, culture, community and social service organizations will receive over $2.52 million in grants for Far South/Border North. Each grant of $140,500 will be used to hire artists and cultural practitioners who will create artistic content to raise local awareness of public health, energy and water conservation, climate mitigation, civic engagement and social justice in San Diego and Imperial counties.

This is the second round of grants for Far South/Border North and focuses on job creation to enhance public work opportunities and participation for artists and cultural practitioners. The grants will support mentoring, professional development and jobs that offer artists and cultural practitioners a livable wage.

The Far South/Border North program consists of $6.15 million in funding. This includes a $4.75 million grant from the California Creative Corps through the California Arts Council (CAC), a state agency, and an additional $1.4 million from The Conrad Prebys Foundation. It is a unique program implemented through a bi-county collaborative led by the City of San Diego in San Diego and Imperial counties as part of the CAC’s California Creative Corps program.

"This exciting step in our California Creative Corps program, Far South/Border North, marks the beginning of a year-long collaboration,” said Christine E. Jones, Chief of Civic Art Strategies with the City’s Arts and Culture. “I am eager to see the positive outcomes of artists and cultural practitioners collaborating with organizations on public awareness campaigns and the impact we will have on promoting healthy communities."

The Far South/Border North round two grant opportunity was implemented through a regional call for proposals and an evaluation process involving an assessment of eligible applications by a panel of volunteers from the arts, culture and social sectors. Applications were considered based on the organization's capacity and readiness, project design and implementation capabilities, experience in community building and public engagement, and creative and technical skills to support health equity and accessibility.

“The organizations were chosen out of more than 60 applications that represent a dynamic group of organizations hailing from Oceanside and Brawley to National City and Imperial; this group is ready to boldly address the urgent needs of our time and expand opportunities for San Diego and Imperial artists and cultural practitioners,” said Felicia Shaw, San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition Executive Director.

In the initial round of funding announced in June, grants were awarded to 60 individual artists and cultural practitioners to develop public awareness campaigns in collaboration with communities residing in the lowest quartile of the California Healthy Places Index in San Diego and Imperial Counties. For the second round, smaller groups of artists and cultural practitioners will work alongside nonprofit organizations to create similar campaigns.

“What sets Far South/Border North apart is that it draws on the strength of all of us for the arts and culture community,” said Megan Thomas, President and CEO at Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial counties. “By uniting public dollars, philanthropic funds and community organization expertise, the program provides a strong platform for artists and cultural practitioners to build a sustainable practice. This sustainability is critical for our economy and ability to express ourselves as a region.”

The implementation partners for Far South/Border North include Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties, San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition and San Diego Foundation. Five nonprofit social sector organizations also serve as social impact hubs to support grant recipients throughout their creative process. These organizations include Alliance San Diego, A Reason to Survive, Casa Familiar, Imperial County Food Bank and RISE San Diego.

The City of San Diego advances and drives an equitable and inclusive creative economy and cultural ecosystem by investing in the work of artists and creatives and the institutions and systems that amplify creative work and experiences. To learn more, visit