Latino Education and Advocacy Days (LEAD)

"The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum"

"The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum"
Latino Education and Advocacy Days (LEAD)
"The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum"

LEAD Exclusive - Behind-the-Scenes

Extra exclusive content, like behind-the-scenes footage, be it back-stage, behind the curtain, or out of view of the general public.
"The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum"

Season 12 (2021)

An exclusive behind-the-scenes tour by LEAD planners and CSUSB delegates of the forthcoming Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum. Located in the Inland Empire, city of Riverside-California, The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture, nicknamed “The Cheech,” is a public-private partnership between the Riverside Art Museum, the City of Riverside, and comedian Cheech Marin.
Cheech Marin, LEAD XI Padrino de Honor, is one of the world’s foremost collectors and advocates of Chicano art. In the mid-1980s, he began developing what is now arguably the finest private collection of Chicano art. In addition to artwork loans to numerous institutions, this notable collection has been featured in over a dozen exhibitions produced and shown at more than 50 museums in the U.S. and Europe to date, including the Smithsonian, LACMA, and the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Comprised of mostly paintings, followed by drawings, prints, and mixed-media artworks, then sculptures and photography, his collection (which currently numbers approximately 700 pieces) will serve as the core of The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum. A long-term goal of The Cheech is to supplement and expand the collection with Chicano artists, media, and subject matter not currently included through acquisitions and donations from artists and their estates, art collectors and dealers, and institutions.
The concept for the new space and guiding principles of the design by nationally recognized architect and historic preservation expert Page & Turnbull and premier museum designer WHY were developed through a series of community outreach workshops, which engaged a diverse cross-section of stakeholders from the city, including artists, educators, activists, business owners, and local residents. The sessions were a chance for stakeholders to articulate their hopes about what The Cheech could be, as well as discuss key concerns and ensure that the design allowed for uninhibited expression of Chicano culture.
The beginning of construction by Hamel Contracting Inc. was recently officially commemorated in May 2021, and the 61,420-square-foot facility, which was originally opened to the public as the Riverside Public Library in 1964, is currently an active construction site. When completed, the cultural center will be the perfect adaptive reuse of this mid-century building and the historic and vintage aspects will all be preserved in its metamorphosis from a library to a museum. The Cheech will be the global center for Chicano art and culture, and not only for painting, but for sculpture, photography, and video arts. The center will house hundreds of paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures by artists including Patssi Valdez, Sandy Rodriguez, Carlos Almaraz, Frank Romero, and Gilbert “Magú” Luján. A significant portion of Cheech Marin's large collection will always be exhibited and can continue to be toured at venues across the nation and throughout the world.
The Riverside Art Museum (RAM), which manages The Cheech, integrates art into the lives of people in a way that engages, inspires, and builds community by providing high quality exhibits and art education programs that instill a lifelong love of the arts. Once renovated, the site in its entirety will convey the spirit of The Cheech, with outdoor spaces encouraging art programming, impromptu performances, and experiences of all types, from lowriders, to quinceañeras, to outdoor sculpture. The semi-circular entry steps draw the visitor towards the building, and the open “front porch” podium will feature large-scale sculptures to be rotated according to new programming and exhibitions. The building’s entry lobby is envisaged as a zócalo or open town square, a central gathering space that will connect the four main galleries and offer amenities such as a gift shop and, eventually, a cafe.
One of the most striking features of the space will be the visual connection to the upper galleries, highlighted by the installation of a newly commissioned work of lenticular art by brothers Einar and Jamex De La Torre. The monumentality and dynamism of the installation will generate a central source of energy for The Cheech, encouraging visitors to explore the different galleries. Accessed by a restored mid-century stairway, the second floor will feature exhibition and community art galleries, a multi-purpose video space, staff offices, and artist-in-residency studios where visitors can witness the next generation of Chicano art as it emerges.
In August 2021 María Esther Fernández was selected to serve as Artistic Director, RAM's top leadership position at The Cheech. As the inaugural Artistic Director of The Cheech, Fernández will lead the curatorial vision and programming direction for the national center. The Cheech opens to the public on Sunday, May 8, 2022. While details of opening activities are still being finalized, please save the date. Festivities leading up to the public opening include a fundraising gala on Friday, May 6, 2022, at the Riverside Convention & Visitors Center.
For information about The Cheech, visit
Find The Cheech on Facebook (, Twitter (@thecheechcenter), and Instagram (@thecheechcenter).
  Tour Delegates:
- Patricia Aguilera, Student Services Professional IV, Financial Aid & Scholarships, Enrollment Management, and LEAD Projects Hospitality Director, CSUSB
- Rob Garcia, Interim Assistant Director of Information Technology Services at PDC, and LEAD Media Associate Producer and Production Design, CSUSB
- Sara Vega, Research Associate, PRAXIS Initiative, CSUSB
- James Trotter, Assistant Director, Academic Technologies & Innovation, Information Technology Services, and LEAD Media Producer and Director, CSUSB
- Jaquai Patterson, Videographer, Academic Technologies & Innovation, Information Technology Services, and LEAD Media First Assistant Director and Production Manager, CSUSB
- Dr. José Angel Gutiérrez, Attorney, Author, Chicano Rights Leader, Professor Emeritus of political science and founder of the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas-Arlington, and LEAD 2019 Padrino de Honor
- Dmitriy Astakhov, Instructional Designer, Academic Technologies & Innovation, and LEAD Media Graphics Design, CSUSB
- Christian Valdez, Student-Art Major, UC-Riverside
- Dr. Monica Alejandre, Associate Vice President for Operations, Director for Advancement Services, CSUSB
- Dr. Enrique G. Murillo, Jr., Professor of Education, Executive Director & Founder of LEAD Projects, and Faculty Director of the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership Program, CSUSB
  Interviewees / Tour Guides:
- Todd Wingate, Director of Exhibitions and Collections, Riverside Art Museum
- Ofelia Valdez-Yeager, Community Advocate & Educator, Riverside Latino Network, and Chair of "Reach for The Cheech" Community Campaign
This segment is date/time stamped: August 6, 2021, 10AM PST

Brought to you by ENRIQUE G MURILLO JR of Latino Education and Advocacy Days (LEAD)