City of San Diego highlights Far South/Border North projects during arts, culture & creativity month

Program launches interactive, searchable map for creative work in San Diego, Imperial counties

SAN DIEGO — Far South/Border North is in full swing during Arts, Culture & Creativity Month, with hundreds of artists and cultural practitioners in San Diego and Imperial counties implementing creative campaigns to engage communities and raise awareness of our region’s most critical issues.

Far South/Border North, which the city announced in 2023, has a new interactive map to search art and culture campaigns funded through the program by location ZIP codes. Additionally, the website now has detailed information about each of the more than 70 projects, including:

  • I Am San Diego:  by Cat Chiu Phillips, using student artwork to raise awareness of San Diego’s diversity and underrepresented youth.
  • Connected Voces: by Media Arts Center San Diego, collaborating with lead artist Amada Torruella and supporting artists Edwin Cruz, Melissa Franco, and Seth Gadsden to use multimedia formats – like podcasts and animations – to highlight how COVID-19 affected San Diego’s communities, particularly youth.
  • Cuéntame: using art making to connect and tell the stories of elders in senior housing in the transborder community of San Diego.
  • Pioneering Justice: by the Imperial County Historical Society Pioneers’ Museum, collaborating with lead artist Marcie Landeros and supporting artists Elizabeth Ibarra, Susana Martinez, Alejandra Matus, Esteban Ojedam, Nissim Ouzan, Annaka Smith, and Reyes Triviso to build community pride in Imperial County by telling the stories of local historical figures through quilt-making.

In California, Arts, Culture & Creativity Month is a time to uplift the value of the arts in our cities and regions. In 2021, the California Senate also passed an additional resolution recognizing the role of artists during disasters as “second responders” who impact individuals, families and communities to inspire them to rebuild their lives.

“Far South/Border North is a perfect example of how the arts can help raise awareness of crucial issues, foster grassroots change, and allow our communities to thrive,” said Christine E. Jones, Chief of Civic Art Strategies with the city’s Arts and Culture. “I can’t think of a better time than Arts, Culture & Creativity Month to uplift the work of these amazing artists and cultural practitioners.”

The $6.15 million Far South/Border North program is funded in part by a $4.75 million California Creative Corps grant from the California Arts Council, a state agency with additional support of $1.4 million made possible by The Conrad Prebys Foundation.

Each creative campaign in Far South/Border North uses multimedia art and culture practices — including everything from writing to dance — to spread the word about critical issues, such as COVID-19-related health disparities, climate mitigation, social justice and civic engagement.

The cohort of Far South/Border North round one grantees comprises individual emerging, midcareer and established artists and cultural practitioners based in San Diego or Imperial County. Seventy-seven percent of them work or reside in an area designated as being in the lowest quartile of the California Healthy Places Index. Along with about 60 individual artists and cultural practitioners, Far South/Border North also comprises 18 San Diego County and Imperial County arts, culture and social service organizations working closely with lead artists, supporting artists, and practitioners.

“Artists and cultural practitioners can play a powerful role in amplifying community voices,” said Jonathon Glus, executive director of the city’s Arts and Culture. “We are incredibly grateful to our partners, collaborators and funders who have helped make Far South/Border North a reality.”

Far South/Border North implementation partners include Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties, San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition and San Diego Foundation. The team also comprises five nonprofit social sector organizations that serve as social impact hubs to support artists and cultural practitioners throughout their creative process, including Alliance San Diego, A Reason to Survive, Casa Familiar, Imperial County Food Bank, and RISE San Diego.

Far South/Border North is recognized as a program within the World Design Capital 2024 Community Program of World Design Capital 2024. For more information visit

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

(City of San Diego Release) n

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