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Cheech Marin’s Chicano Art Collection Will Get a Permanent Home in Riverside

11:43 AM PDT on June 29, 2018

Cheech courtesy of The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art

[dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap] project for a Chicano art center to house the art collection of legendary Chicano actor and comedian Cheech Marin just received an allocation of $9.7 million from the state budget, allowing it to move forward and eventually rise in Riverside.

Governor Jerry Brown made the allocation in the budget he signed this Wednesday for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, a brainchild of Marin’s dating back to the mid-80s, is scheduled to open 2020 in Riverside, 60 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, in a 61,420-square-foot facility at 3581 Mission Inn Avenue, where the city’s 54-year-old Main Library currently stands.

“I have dreamed for many years of finding a home for the hundreds of pieces of art that I have spent much of my life collecting, protecting and showing, when possible, at major museums around the world,” Marin said in a statement Wednesday. “Chicano art is American art. My goal is to bring the term ‘Chicano’ to the forefront of the art world.”

Richard Marin, known primarily as just “Cheech,” rose to fame in the late 70s playing a Chicano stoner from East LA with his comedy partner Tommy Chong. He has since been an ambassador of sorts for Chicano art, a term used to identify politically and socially engaged Mexican-American culture.

Marin will bring to the museum his collection of 700 works of Chicano art, including paintings, sculptures and photography, according to the city. The collection includes works by Carlos Almaraz, Gaspar Enríquez, Margaret García, CiCi Segura González, Leo Limón, Gilbert “Magu” Luján, Frank Romero, Ricardo Ruiz, Jaime “Germs” Zacarias, and Vincent Valdez.

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“Our residents and our business community will benefit from the addition of a major cultural amenity that drives a wave of new visitors to our hotels, restaurants and shops,” Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey said in a statement Wednesday.

The city had already raised 3.1 million, including an initial $1 million from the state, through its #ReachForTheCheech online donations campaign.

“The Riverside community has made this dream come true,” Marin said Wednesday. “And I am overjoyed that this incredible center will open in the heart of a community I have come to know and love.”
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