The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture & Industry of the Riverside Art Museum has received a $750,000 philanthropic investment from Bank of America. This comes as museum fundraising for the campaign is nearing its winter deadline. The grant is the bank’s single largest award to an organization in the Inland Empire.
Nicknamed “The Cheech”, the museum will be one of the first dedicated to Chicanoart, featuring approximately 700 paintings, drawings, sculptures and other works Mr. Marin has collected over 30 years. The collection is considered the largest private collection focused on Chicano art. It will be housed in a refurbished 61,420-square foot building next door to the historic Mission Inn that opened as the Riverside Public Library in 1964. Bank of America’s contribution brings the total amount raised to date to nearly $14 million.
“I am very grateful to Bank of America for its commitment and for seeing the promise of The Cheech,” says comedian, actor and collector Cheech Marin. “This significant leadership gift from a major corporation known worldwide signals how much this Center is needed not only regionally, but nationally and internationally.”
“The Cheech is estimated to generate over $20 million annually for the region, which is another demonstration of the power of the arts in helping our local economy thrive, while educating and enriching our community,” said Al Arguello, Bank of America, Senior Vice President, Market President, Inland Empire. “This philanthropic capital investment is aimed to spur capital campaigns to attract the remaining funds needed to make Riverside the next world class arts destination.”
In addition to the Bank of America grant, The Cheech continues to draw the interest from individual donors across Southern California. Since June 2018, nearly 500 individuals and 43 organizations have invested in the project and/or various Cheech fundraiser events.
Bank of America is a leading corporate supporter of the arts. Among its many programs is the Art in our Communities® program, through which local museums and nonprofit galleries can borrow complete exhibitions at no cost from the bank, including several Latino shows such as the recent “Luces y Sombras,” helping them increase traffic and revenue. Bank of America has also supported the restoration and conservation of dozens of art works by Latino artists through the Bank of America Art Conservation Project.
The city of Riverside will go out to bid for renovation contractors this winter, with project renovations slated to begin Fall 2020 and an estimated opening date in Fall 2021.
“We look forward to The Cheech becoming a major addition to our arts and culture corridor in downtown Riverside,” Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “This world-class institution will give people yet another reason to come to the downtown of Inland Southern California while boosting the economic fortunes of our existing businesses.”