Fronteridades in action: UArizona center funds binational artists though Mellon Foundation grant

June 30, 2022
Government representatives from Nogales, Mexico are seen collaborating with members of the Confluencenter

TUCSON (July 13, 2022) – UArizona’s Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry has launched a third Fronteridades binational community art grant program in collaboration with Nogales, Sonora culture and arts center Imfoculta, this time seeking women artists to highlight their perspectives and experience living and pertaining to the U.S. Mexico borderlands.

“The third edition of this program really comes as a result of the last two years of our work with the arts community in Ambos Nogales,” said Dr. Javier Duran, director of the Confluencenter and principal investigator of the Fronteridades project.

Since beginning their collaboration, Confluencenter has granted over of $40,000 to 20 Mexican artists by partnering with Imfoculta. The artwork can be found all over Nogales, Sonora’s landscape, and online on the Confluencenter website.  

The artists were funded through the Fronteridades binational community-engaged initiative program, Fronteridades, supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Fronteridades is defined as an intersectional space where borders (fronteras) and humanities (humanidades) collide.

The programs’ theme, "Arte y Mujeres Fronterizas" has a mission to support women who are artists in the regions of Agua Prieta, Cananea, Naco, Sonora, and Ambos Nogales.

“There is a multitude of perspectives from those living on the border and we are grateful to support depicting the reality of border life through granting opportunities like these to its own communities,” Duran added.

Located 60 miles from the border, the University of Arizona is well positioned to nurture these human experiences and reshape public border narratives.

In this effort, Confluencenter and Imfoculta will collaborate to select the artists based on the Arizona-Sonora border to make fronteriza artwork a reality.

The artwork will be reflected in murals, sculptures, photography, street art, paintings, and more. Ultimately, the artwork will form a large part of the borderlands’ visual landscape and position the women’s perspective at the forefront.

“We are excited to showcase the talent and meaningful work of artists in Mexico and especially proud to be able to work with the University of Arizona to bring artists’ voices from our region to the forefront through collaborative programs like these,” said Nogales, Son. Mayor Juan Francisco Gim Nogales.

“We are also grateful for support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as they’ve recognized the need to amplify the stories from border communities, ” added Dr. Duran.


Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry (CCI), is a university-wide research institute within the Office for Research, Innovation, and Impact. CCI’s mission is to provide a physical and intellectual home for interdisciplinary inquiry that focuses on the grand challenges of society today. The center unites three large and robust areas – arts, humanities, and social sciences – as a point of intersection for inquiry across all disciplines. The center convenes faculty and students from across disciplines, develops collaborative research projects, funds proposals and shares knowledge in engaging ways with the broader community


2019 - 2022 Fronteridades binational artwork:

Angela Martinez