“Artistas Fronterizas, through travel and live performances, aim to serve as ambassadors of border life.”
The lovely and talented members of Artistas Fronterizas are Anishka Lee-Skorepa (Soprano), Eva Monroy (Mezzo Soprano) and Olena Galystka (Piano), and they are on a mission:
“Closing the divide with bridges of song.”
I asked Anishka Lee-Skorepa, one of the founders of Artistas Fronterizas, a few questions about the group.
How and when did you meet, who had the idea to form Artistas Fronterizas ?
“We all met in Tijuana circa 2015. We’ve all collaborated and performed as part of different concerts for various arts organizations in Tijuana. Eva and I originally started with just the two of us and contracted pianists in different cities. We quickly saw that we needed a local pianist and Olena was an obvious choice- not only a talented and skilled artist, but someone who through conversations about music and performance, we quickly discovered was a kindred spirit and looking for a similar outlet for self expression. “
What was the idea behind forming the group Artistas Fronterizas?
“Eva and I were inspired to create a project that would be artistic and musical in nature, but that also had some social relevancy. We both felt like the process of performing had lost some of its satisfaction. We would work hard on the music, be well polished but not feel satisfied post-performance. We wanted our music making to have greater purpose, and possibly create some social change. We also felt compelled to find and create performance opportunities for ourselves. Rather than sit around and hope that our careers took off, we wanted a project that inspired us, took us out of our comfort zones and created opportunities to perform for new audiences.
We saw that what brought us together was our existence on the border- and that became the inspiration, to go out and represent the unifying nature rather than divisive narrative that so often dominates conversations about the border.”
Q: Anishka Lee-Skorepa, how does living near and with the border effect you as an artist ?
A: “The border has had a profound impact on who I am, and thus on my art as well. I grew up connecting with people who were different from me. It felt very normal to go between two countries, two cultures, two economic realities, two languages. As an opera singer I’m always looking for that connection, for new audiences, for that exchange of culture and I have an awareness of a world outside of the traditional white, upper class opera audience because of this constant duality.
I almost feel like I don’t even know where to begin when answering the question… I stay in San Diego because of Tijuana and the border. If it weren’t for the proximity to another fascinating culture and world, I would have had to leave San Diego a long time ago. I can simultaneously exist in two worlds, challenge my brain and comfort levels on a regular basis… and I think this keeps me aware and more dynamic as an artist as well.”
More about artistas fronterizas
All photos : © Stefan Falke