The California city of Riverside has approved plans and funding for the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture, and Industry.
Comedian and actor Cheech Marin is a man of many interests—though you wouldn’t know if from his monomaniacal love of weed as one half of the legendary comedy duo Cheech and Chong. He is also an avid trivia player (he won the first Celebrity Jeopardy! tournament) and art collector, having put together a 700-work collection of Chicano art, which is thought to be the largest of its kind in the world.
Now, after years of planning, the long-awaited Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art and Culture of the Riverside Art Museum in Riverside, California, has finally received the green light from the city.
The Riverside City Council voted last week to approve plans to renovate the former city library to house the center, and to provide $1 million in annual funding to cover operating costs under a 25-year contract.
Three council members did not take part in the unanimous vote, including Chuck Conder, who called the contract a “betrayal” to taxpayers due to the city’s financial struggles, and “a lot of money to spend on a museum that wasn’t supposed to cost us anything,” according to the Press-Enterprise.
A city-funded management fee has been part of the deal since initial 2017 agreement between the museum and the city, a representative of the center told Artnet News in an email. (Conder abstained, while two other members who own nearby businesses or property recused themselves.)
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