NALAC and Ford Foundation Team Up for “Reclaiming The Border Narrative” Grant

by Christopher Blay April 12, 2021
Shared Spaces by Ana Maria Alvarez produced by Border Arts Corridor. Photo Credit- Ammi Robles

Shared Spaces by Ana Maria Alvarez, produced by Border Arts Corridor. Photo Credit: Ammi Robles.

The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) and The Ford Foundation have announced the NALAC Border Narrative Change Grant recipients. In total, 27 grants were awarded to artists, cultural workers and organizations “whose work will change narratives and amplify stories in collaboration with their respective communities across the US – Mexico border region.”

$1.42M will be awarded over the next two years to grantees from California (eight awards), Arizona (four Awards), New Mexico and Texas (nine awards each), and three grantees in Mexico. The Border Narrative Change Grant is part of NALAC’s Reclaiming the Border Narrative initiative, in partnership with The Ford Foundation, Borealis Philanthropy, the Center for Cultural Power, and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Grantees were nominated by arts and cultural leaders in the region.

The awardees include Rubí Orozco Santos (El Paso, TX); Rio Grande International Study Center (RGISC) (Laredo, TX); Workers Defense Project (Austin, TX); Xandra Treviño (Brownsville, TX); Borderlands Theater (Tucson, AZ); and New Americans Museum & Immigrant Learning Center (San Diego, CA). For a complete list of grantees, please go here.

The outcome of the Border Narrative Change Grant program will be documented and archived by Southwest Folklife Alliance with the goal that stories from the grantees will reflect the full story of the border area.

“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,” says 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.”

States Maria Torres-Springer, Vice President of U.S. Programs for the Ford Foundation: “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.”

For more information about the NALAC Border Narrative Change Grant, please go here.


Since 1989, the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures has delivered programs that stabilize and revitalize the US Latino arts and cultural sector via funding, leadership training, convenings, research, and advocacy.

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