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Azul Arena is a non-profit, multifunctional gallery and programming space that serves both sides of the border by providing a platform for local artists and writers to showcase their work; offering paid artistic opportunities; and presenting a nuanced depiction of the border through the eyes of its inhabitants.

Azul Arena was founded in direct response to the needs of the artistic communities in Ciudad Juárez and El Paso, and to the negative and sensationalized narratives about life on the border. By providing the artistic and financial infrastructure for artists to realize their ideas, Azul Arena helps build a counternarrative to the widespread misconceptions about our region, all through the eyes, actions, and works of those who live here. Ultimately, the organization helps to humanize our communities and sensitize those with the power to structurally improve the borderlands.

The organization mounts three to four exhibitions annually, with a focus on
research-based, socially engaged projects, and provides a space for multicultural, multigenerational, and multimedia collaborations between artists, guest curators, writers, academics, and producers. Each exhibition is rigorously documented through critical texts, audiovisual registration, artist talks, and more, all publicly available on the organization’s website. Azul Arena’s online archive makes possible the exchange of knowledge and dissemination of ideas, identities, and cosmologies amongst our communities and to the outside world.
Alongside exhibitions and an online archive, Azul Arena designs and implements educational and community outreach programs, ensuring its work is accessible to diverse communities and its space is welcoming and safe. Programs include workshops, talks, and tours, and are realized through partnerships with schools, shelters, and community centers, with program facilitators and artists paid for their collaboration. Azul Arena has collaborated with cultural institutions across the region and beyond and has worked with hundreds of local artists, activists, and academics, creating a network of trust within our bicultural community.

The organization serves its communities from a modular, multifunctional, 2,000-square-foot building in Ciudad Juárez, strategically positioned a few miles from two international crossings. Azul Arena’s home is in an area that has recently experienced a sociocultural resurgence, surrounded by businesses and artistic projects and in one of the most walkable neighborhoods in the city. The organization is led by Edgar Picazo, Founder and Artistic Director, with support from Anaid Fornelli, Community Engagement Director.

You can learn more about Azul Arena: Cultura Fronteriza at www.azularena.org or by contacting the organization at [email protected]
Edgar Picazo, Founder and Creative Director, is from the border, currently splitting his time between Juárez and El Paso. With an educational background in Multidisciplinary Studies, Edgar has worked in the artistic field as an interdisciplinary artist, curator, and producer. He has collaborated extensively with local, national, and international artists as well as with many institutions and organizations across the border.
Anaid Fornelli, Community Engagement Director, is a native of Ciudad Juárez, where she currently resides and works. With an educational background in Sociology and Public Action, her working experience has orbited around pedagogical research, language, art teaching, and non-governmental organizations with a focus on social programs.


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