Altura Credit Union Pledges $600,000 To The Cheech Marin Center
Riverside, CA – Actor, comedian, and renowned art collector Cheech Marin visited downtown Riverside today to share in an important update of the planned Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture & Industry of the Riverside Art Museum. Marin was on hand to thank Altura Credit Union for its $600,000 pledge that helped the museum meet a key fundraising deadline needed to move the project forward.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the City, the Riverside Art Museum, and Cheech Marin stipulated that “The Cheech” project, a term coined by Marin himself, needed to raise at least $3 million by the end of May. With the contribution by Altura, a total of $3,131,547.91 was raised by the May 29 deadline, allowing the project to progress. The Cheech will be a permanent home for Marin’s more than 700 works of Chicano art, including paintings, sculptures, and photography, making up the most prominent collection of its kind in the U.S.
Supporters of “The Cheech” and friends of the Riverside Art Museum, Altura Credit Union and the City of Riverside gathered in anticipation of a special announcement about the
Marin and Altura CEO Jennifer Binkley were joined by Riverside Art Museum board chairwoman Lucile Arntzen, Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey, and Assemblyman Jose Medina (D-Riverside), who notably also announced a pledge of $22,500 from the California Legislative Latino Caucus.
“I am so excited to see how Altura Credit Union is stepping up to help bring my collection and celebration of this art here to a permanent home in Riverside,” said Marin. “It is the support from both private and public donors that is making this vision come to life, and the truth is, this is only the beginning.”
During a press conference held in front of donors and supporters at the Altura downtown branch, the credit union presented a check representing its $600,000 donation. Other recent donations that helped meet the goal include a $500,000 pledge from the Wingate Foundation and a commitment from members of the Riverside Art Museum board of directors for $160,600.
From left to right: Rusty Bailey, Mayor, City of Riverside; Assemblymember Jose Medina, (D-Riverside), 61st State Assembly district; Lucile Arntzen, Board of Trustees Chair, Riverside Art Museum; Cheech Marin, Actor, Comedian and Renowned Art Collector; Jennifer Binkley, Chief Executive Officer, Altura Credit Union; and Ofelia Valdez-Yeager, Chairwoman for “Reach for The Cheech” community campaign pose with the $600,000 check presented by Altura Credit Union.
“Making this pledge to The Cheech is another aspect of Altura Credit Union’s commitment to cultural enrichment through the arts,” said Altura CEO Jennifer Binkley. “This was an easy decision for us because we know The Cheech will be a place important to our local culture and will contribute so much to our community for many years to come.”
It was announced that later this summer, the City and Riverside Art Museum will be entering into a new MOU that will address the conversion of the library, a management agreement, and new fundraising goals.
“This is indeed a proud milestone for all of us who want to see Riverside continue as the ‘City of Arts and Innovation.’ Bringing The Cheech downtown also is a great way to honor our city’s rich Latino history,” said Mayor Bailey.
The Center for Chicano Art, Culture & Industry will be housed next door to the historic Mission Inn Hotel & Spa at a 61,420-square-foot facility, which was originally opened to the public as the Riverside Public Library in 1964. Organizers hope to open The Cheech to the public in 2020.
“On behalf of the Riverside Art Museum board of directors, I’d like to reiterate how proud we are to be working with Mr. Marin and the City of Riverside to bring this extraordinary collection here,” said chairwoman Arntzen.
Added Todd Wingate, trustee of the Wingate Foundation, “It is not often one has an opportunity to play a part in something that has the possibility to change a community for generations to come. It has been so inspiring to see so many embrace The Cheech with such passion and vigor.”
About the Riverside Art Museum
The Riverside Art Museum 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. RAM relies on the generosity of members and donors to support its exhibitions, education programs, and special events. A 60-plus-year-old, non-profit cultural arts institution housed in a National Historic 1929 building designed by Hearst Castle and AIA Gold Medal-winning architect Julia Morgan, the museum welcomes over 50,000 visitors a year. The museum is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday, noon – 4 p.m. For information on exhibits, events, classes, memberships, or sponsorship opportunities, visit www.RiversideArtMuseum.org. For information about the proposed Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture & Industry at the Riverside Art Museum, visit www.riversideartmuseum.org/cheech.
To learn more about “The Cheech” and the collection, visit https://thecheechcenter.org/.
Altura Credit Union
Based in the Inland Empire for 60 years, Altura Credit Union serves more than 123,000 Members, has $1.358 billion in total assets and operates 13 branch offices in Riverside County. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Riverside and San Diego counties; selected cities in San Bernardino and Orange counties; as well as U.S. Military, U.S. Government and Civilian employees working at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County; and retirees of the United States Armed Forces. For more information on Altura, visit www.alturacu.com, or call 1-888-883-7228.