“Fronteridades: Nurturing Collaborative Intersections in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands” program at the University of Arizona is aimed at collecting and sharing the stories and art of people at the U.S.-Mexico border while creating new learning opportunities. The program, supported by an $800,000, two-year grant from the Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities program of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is part of the University’s larger aim to become the leading institution for borderlands scholarship, deemed its Border Lab initiative.
Through its program activities, Fronteridades seeks to achieve two major goals: (1) Narrate the Border: Collect, understand, and share the narratives, stories, art and effects of those from and crossing through the US-Mexico border, for local and non-local audiences. (2) Expand Border Learning: Create opportunities for experiential learning in, on and of the US-Mexico border for scholars and interested people across fields and disciplines. The dual goals of narration and learning are embedded in the 3 programs that make up Fronteridades: Border Community Storytelling, the Creative Scholars program, and El Intercambio Conferences.
The strengthened connections with the people and organizations on the ground at the border will not only foster an environment of intellectual and artistic autonomy in border communities, but it will also create new possibilities for dialogue and allow for previously nonexistent opportunities of student learning, research, and collaboration.