Riverside Art Museum Recommended for $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
Grant will help fund artist-driven program in Riverside’s Eastside
Riverside CA – National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $30 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement is a recommendation for a Challenge America grant of $10,000 to the Riverside Art Museum (RAM) for Activating Alleys; Building Community (AABC). The Challenge America category supports primarily small- and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations—those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.
“The arts are for all of us, and by supporting organizations such as the Riverside Art Museum, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts,” says NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Whether in a theater, a town square, a museum, or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer.”
“The NEA Chairman has approved RAM for a grant in the amount of $10,000,” says RAM Executive Director Drew Oberjuerge. “We look forward to working with the NEA to finalize the grant paperwork and are appreciative of the agency’s support for our Activating Alleys; Building Community project.”
Thanks to the Challenge America Grant, RAM is moving forward with AABC, an artist-driven program focused on transforming blighted sites in Riverside’s Eastside community through art. A collaborative project between RAM, the City of Riverside’s Community and Economic Development Department, and neighborhood residents and organizations, artists will work with residents to activate alleyways and blighted lots, transforming them from vacant to vibrant, and providing opportunities for residents of all ages to participate in hands-on art-making activities and to share oral histories.
The first of AABC’s series of programs to launch is Project Bici: Stories from the Eastside with artist Cynthia Herrera. Additionally funded by Bank of America and an Artists Activating Communities Grant from the California Arts Council, Project Bici workshops will be set up in vacant lots and alley ways via a bicycle book “library” on loan to Herrera from Antena, a language justice collaborative.
The first wave of workshops (February 4, 11, 18, & 25) will focus on storytelling and photography, where participants envision the future of the community and screen print posters of residents’ artwork to introduce the project.
During the second set of workshops (March 4, 11, 18, & 25), community members will tell, write, and archive histories by creating books, sharing stories, and performing live readings as a form of empowerment.
Finally, on April 1 and 8, pop-up exhibits in the vacant lots and alley ways will help residents reclaim these spaces as places for the community to gather and enjoy. The project will conclude with a pop-up exhibit at RAM (date TBA) that shares the stories of Eastside participants with the broader Riverside community and gives voice to this disenfranchised neighborhood.
For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.
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, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, 12:00 noon – 4:00 p.m. For information on exhibits, events, classes, memberships, or sponsorship opportunities, visit www.RiversideArtMuseum.org.
AABC/Project Bici is funded by: National Endowment for the Arts – Challenge America Grant, California Arts Council – Artists Activating Communities Grant, Bank of America