Amid a public health crisis that has severely impacted the cultural industry, the National Association of Latino Arts & Cultures (NALAC) and the Ford Foundation have decided to launch “Reclaiming the Border Narrative,” an initiative to change the perspective and approach to migration and border issues in the country.
As announced by the organizations, the initiative consists of 27 grants to artists, cultural workers, and organizations whose work will change narratives and amplify stories in collaboration with their respective communities in the U.S.-Mexico border region.
NALAC grantees will receive $1.42 million for work that will take place over two years.
There are eight recipients in California, 4 in Arizona, 2 in New Mexico, 9 in Texas, and 3 in Mexico.
According to their press release, “Reclaiming the Border Narrative” is an effort to penetrate and shape national attention on migration and the border by supporting authentic storytelling by impacted communities about the cultures and socio-political dynamics that make up the region.
“We work to uplift the most marginalized voices within our communities because we know that art and culture is our most powerful conduit for transformative change,” said María López De León, president, and CEO of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures. “Using their artistic and cultural practice strategically to advance justice, artists and culture-makers along the southern border will create works that reflect the dignity, resilience, and beauty inherent in border communities and our histories.”
The stories of border communities, including US citizens, immigrants, refugees, indigenous peoples, and asylum seekers, are an integral part of our nation’s history and present.
“Damaging narratives about border communities have for too long dominated the national attitude towards immigrants. We are proud to support these communities to reclaim their truth, speak their stories, and craft new anthems for America that ring with the dignity, demands, and dreams of border communities,” said Maria Torres-Springer, vice president of U.S. Programs for the Ford Foundation.