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Actor Cheech Marin Moves Closer To Opening Chicano Art Center In Riverside

Cheech Marin, top left, during a recent Zoom event in affiliation with the Riverside Art Museum.
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Cheech Marin (Cheech & Chong, Born in East L.A.) is one step closer to opening a center dedicated to Chicano art in Riverside.

State officials announced in 2017 that it will commit $10.7 million to the project, and late last week, the City Council approved a management agreement and a bid for the construction company.

Marin is one of the world's leading collectors of Chicano art, and his collection will be the anchoring exhibit at the Cheech Marin Center, planned to open down the road the Riverside Art Museum this Fall.

Drew Oberjuerge, the museum’s executive director, said that while construction is underway on the center and museum doors are closed during the pandemic, Marin’s project has been active online. The actor has been hosting public Zoom conversations, including a recent event with Carlos Santana.

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“Cheech is talking to these artists and these creative people to get a deeper understanding about their art, what's motivated them in the past,” Oberjuerge said. “We've also had [talks with] photographers who documented the protests around the Chicano moratorium.”

Marin has spoken on the Riverside Art Museum’s Instagram about why he's drawn to the artists in his collection.