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 A total of 18 regional arts, culture, community and social service organizations will receive more than $2.52 million in grants for the California Creative Corps program, Far South/Border North, San Diego officials announced Tuesday.

In the second round of funding for the initiative, each grant of $140,500 goes to hire artists and cultural practitioners who will “create artistic content to raise local awareness of public health, energy and water conservation, climate mitigation, civic engagement and social justice in San Diego and Imperial counties,” a statement from the city reads.

“This exciting step in our California Creative Corps program, Far South/Border North, marks the beginning of a year-long collaboration,” said Christine Jones, chief of civic art strategies for the city. “I am eager to see the positive outcomes of artists and cultural practitioners collaborating with organizations on public awareness campaigns and the impact we will have on promoting healthy communities.”

The Far South/Border North program consists of $6.15 million in funding, city records show. This includes a $4.75 million grant from the California Creative Corps, a state agency, and an additional $1.4 million from The Conrad Prebys Foundation. The second round of grants announced Tuesday is focused on job creation for artists.

“The organizations were chosen out of more than 60 applications that represent a dynamic group of organizations hailing from Oceanside and Brawley to National City and Imperial; this group is ready to boldly address the urgent needs of our time and expand opportunities for San Diego and Imperial artists and cultural practitioners,” said Felicia Shaw, San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition executive director.

Applications for the second round of funding were considered based on the organizations’ capacity and readiness, project design and implementation capabilities, experience in community building and public engagement and creative and technical skills to support health equity and accessibility.

“What sets Far South/Border North apart is that it draws on the strength of all of us for the arts and culture community,” said Megan Thomas, president and CEO at Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial counties. “By uniting public dollars, philanthropic funds and community organization expertise, the program provides a strong platform for artists and cultural practitioners to build a sustainable practice.”

In the initial round of funding announced in June, grants were awarded to 60 individual artists to develop public awareness campaigns in collaboration with communities residing in the lowest quartile of the California Healthy Places Index in San Diego and Imperial counties.

–City News Service