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Altura Donates $600,000 to ‘The Cheech’


Helping Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture & Industry
Meet Key Fundraising Deadline

(Riverside, Calif.) June 11, 2018 – Altura Credit Union made a $600,000 donation to the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture & Industry of the Riverside Art Museum last week, helping the project meet a key fundraising deadline. Actor, comedian and renowned art collector Cheech Marin was on hand to accept the donation from Altura CEO Jennifer Binkley at a gathering of donors and supporters at the credit union’s downtown Riverside branch.

“The Cheech,” a term coined by Marin himself, will be a permanent home for Marin’s more than 700 works of Chicano art, including paintings, sculptures and photography, making it the most prominent collection of its kind in the U.S.

Best known as part of the comedy duo Cheech and Chong, Marin said, “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. 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.”

“Making this pledge to The Cheech is another aspect of Altura Credit Union’s commitment to cultural enrichment through the arts,” said Altura’s 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.”

The terms of memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the City of Riverside, the Riverside Art Museum, and Cheech Marin stipulated that “The Cheech” project, needed to raise at least $3 million by May 29. The donation by Altura put the project over the top with a total of $3,131,547.91 raised by the deadline, allowing the project to move forward.

Marin and Binkley were joined by Riverside Art Museum board chairwoman Lucile Arntzen, Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey, and Assemblyman Jose Medina (D-Riverside), who also announced a pledge of $22,500 from the California Legislative Latino Caucus.

“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.

“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.

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.

Todd Wingate, trustee of the Wingate Foundation said, “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.”

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 previously the Riverside Public Library. Organizers hope to open The Cheech to the public in 2020. Later this summer, the City and Riverside Art Museum will enter into a new MOU that will address the conversion of the library, a management agreement and new fundraising goals.

A brief video of event highlights can be viewed here.

Photo Caption
Altura Credit Union presents its $600,000 donation to The Cheech, helping the project reach a key fundraising goal toward the creation of a permanent home for Cheech Marin’s 700-piece collection of Chicano art in Riverside, Calif. From left: Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey; Assemblyman Jose Medina, (D-Riverside 61st District); Riverside Art Museum Board of Trustees Chair Lucile Arntzen; Actor, Comedian and Art Collector Cheech Marin; Altura CEO Jennifer Binkley; and Ofelia Valdez-Yeager, Chairwoman for “Reach for The Cheech” community campaign.

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.

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. Find us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/riversideartmuseum), Twitter (RAMRiverside), Instagram (@riversideartmuseum), and Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/ramarts).

To learn more about “The Cheech” and the collection, visit https://thecheechcenter.org/. Follow the Center on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TheCheechCenter/), Twitter (https://twitter.com/thecheechcenter) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/thecheechcenter/).