Job Opening: Artistic Director for The Cheech

Riverside Art Museum (RAM) Artistic Director of the Cheech Marin Center for
Chicano Art & Culture
of the Riverside Art Museum

  • Position: Artistic Director of the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum
  • Department: The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum
  • Reports to: Executive Director
  • Salary type: Full-time, exempt, aligned with the American Alliance of Museum’s Salary Survey Guide
  • Benefits: Health care, three weeks of vacation
  • Schedule: Traditional work week, however, flexibility required due with the anticipation of frequent weekend and evening hours
  • Location: onsite in Riverside, CA (however, due to COVID-19 restrictions, it is currently and temporarily a remote assignment)
  • Organization Mission: The Riverside Art Museum (RAM) 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. The Riverside Art Museum will administer and program the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum (The Cheech Center), which is a public-private partnership with Cheech Marin and the City of Riverside. The Cheech Center is slated to open in late 2021 and will be located in the City of Riverside’s former main library, which is one block away from the Riverside Art Museum.
  • To apply: Interested candidates should submit a single PDF attachment that includes both a cover letter and resume to The subject line of your email should be: Artistic Director of The Cheech/your name. Thank you in advance for your interest in the Riverside Art Museum. Due to the volume of applicants, only candidates invited to interview will be contacted. Position is open until filled. Deadline to apply is March 30, 2021.
  • Desired start date: June–July 2021

RESPONSIBILITIES include, but are not limited to:

As founding Artistic Director of The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum, work closely with RAM leadership and community partners in consultation with Cheech Marin to make the vision for this dynamic center come to life. As Cheech Marin states, “It will be the center of Chicano art, not only painting, but sculpture, photography, and video arts.” With a deep understanding of contemporary and historic Chicana/o/x art practices, develop collection, exhibition, interpretation, and research strategies for the center. Strengthen relationships with universities and other educational institutions, identifying collaborative projects to enhance mission-driven work. With an entrepreneurial spirit, work with a small but dedicated team to build upon successes to expand base of supporters and community partners and sensibly scale-up programming. Collaborate with RAM’s exhibition, education, development, finance, and facility rentals departments as well as community groups to leverage existing programs and resources to uplift center’s values of collaboration, equity, inclusivity, dialogue, and resourcefulness. It is envisioned that this position’s role and responsibilities will grow with RAM and The Cheech Center.


  • With an understanding of the evolving role of museums, in partnership with RAM leadership and in consultation with Cheech Marin, develop and drive a long-term vision for The Cheech Center with significant attention to engagement and relevancy;
  • Devise strategies for expanding and sustaining connections with RAM’s and The Cheech Center’s constituencies through exhibitions and programs that will connect the center to diverse art audiences who want to engage with The Cheech Center through a fusion of art, music, food, play, and social experiences;
  • Deepen the center’s relationships with the Chicana/o/x art world, cultivate relationships with artists, collectors, and potential partner institutions;
  • Speak at events, conduct presentations, and represent RAM and The Cheech Center through attendance at conferences and workshops;
  • As a member of the executive leadership team, advocate for the center’s mission within the wider goals of the institution, building strong intradepartmental working relationships to help balance institutional priorities; participate in the collection of and reflection upon institutional data to guide programmatic and long-range institutional planning;
  • Provide reports to the Board of Trustees as needed; participate on board committees such as Collections and Acquisitions;
  • Steward, cultivate, and involve The Cheech Marin Center Advisory Council; and
  • Lead, mentor, and manage direct reports to implement the center’s vision; set goals for performance and deadlines; organize workflow and ensure employees understand duties and delegated tasks; monitor employee performance and provide constructive feedback and coaching.


  • Working with the RAM curatorial team, set strategic priorities related to the safe storage, cataloguing, display, conservation and interpretation of RAM’s permanent collection, in particular, the Cheech Marin Collection;
  • With the Board of Trustees’ Collections and Acquisitions Committee and Cheech Marin, develop a sensible collecting strategy to expand and diversify the institution’s holdings in accordance with RAM’s Collection Policy, taking into consideration the evolving nature of artistic practice, as well as storage issues that may be inherent in proposed works; and
  • With RAM’s higher education partners, develop and implement a program to support the scholarly research of the Cheech Marin Collection, to ensure that the center meets its goal to serve as a catalyst for the expansion of the scholarship of Chicana/o/x art and provide opportunities for in-depth study and increased awareness.


  • Lead the direction of a dynamic exhibitions program at the center, working with Cheech Marin and the RAM curatorial team, looking for synergies between exhibitions at the center and exhibitions at the art museum where exhibitions draw from RAM’s survey collection;
  • Develop, implement, and manage in-house and loaned exhibitions at the center, including the design, installation, and production of interpretive materials, and consult on exhibitions curated by others as appropriate; and
  • Seek opportunities for different and innovative approaches for presenting exhibitions and related material that will incorporate art connoisseurship within an innovative approach to visitor experience and engagement that includes highly participatory opportunities.

Arts Education and Community Engagement:

  • Oversee arts engagement specialist staff member to implement a dynamic series of intergenerational programs and activities that enhance collection and exhibition interpretation;
  • Present public talks and tours and other activities as developed;
  • Participate with Cheech Marin, the RAM education team, and school district representatives to establish a film program for high school students;
  • Participate in an ethnic studies task force, identifying and implementing programs that enhance community-based ethnic studies learning;
  • Advise the RAM Education team on content for inclusion of the Cheech Marin Collection into RAM’s Art-to-Go program, Walk and Wonder program, and on-site classes, which reach a large segment of students in the region;
  • Work with community partners and organizations to implement community-driven ideas such as Unidos’ En Diálogos Zoom talks and Cultura con Llantas’ annual Pachuco Ball;
  • Maintain a high-level of coordination with the RAM Art Education Department who will be organizing school tours of the center and organizing art classes for youth and adults on-site at the center; and
  • As the City of Riverside is a partner in this project, promote and ensure the availability of center facilities and participation in city-wide initiatives or events.


  • Manage administrative matters such as contracts associated with such projects;
  • In collaboration with RAM Finance Department, develop and oversee the center’s annual budgets; ensure compliance with institutional financial policies and practices;
  • Participate in development of the annual fundraising strategy with RAM’s Development Department; advise on fund development opportunities as they relate to the center; cultivate collectors and donors as appropriate; participate in ongoing stewardship; regularly contribute ideas and content for grant applications;
  • Work with the Marketing Department per Marketing plan and policies to promote exhibitions, programs, and acquisitions; provide content for Museum communications as needed;
  • Understand all programs and revenue generating aspects of the center; identify and pursue opportunities for increased revenue through programs and resources;
  • Maintain a high level of coordination with the RAM Finance Department who will oversee front desk and center store operations;
  • Maintain a high level of coordination with the RAM Facility Rentals Department to ensure coordination of facility rentals such as corporate events, weddings, and receptions; and
  • Other duties as assigned.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Deep understanding and knowledge of Chicana/o/x art historical and current practices with evidence of prior practice and/or scholarship;
  • Demonstrated experience working with living artists;
  • Five or more years of progressive experience of artistic leadership;
  • Demonstrated cultural competence and dedication to diversity, inclusion, access, and equity;
  • Bilingual English-Spanish;
  • Demonstrate ability to conduct original research, to write clearly and in accessible language, and to communicate effectively to diverse audiences;
  • Strong knowledge of American Alliance of Museums’ best practices;
  • Mastery of Microsoft Office including Excel is required;
  • MA required; commensurate experience in lieu of MA may be considered;
  • Knowledge of financial budgeting and reporting;
  • Ability to balance and navigate between high-level strategy (with a big-picture perspective) and daily tactical needs;
  • Experience working with a nonprofit organization in a paid or non-paid position;
  • Prefer experience implementing new systems and procedures while an organization experiences rapid growth;
  • Proficiency with collections management software;
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively;
  • Ability and interest to work collaboratively with internal and external curators, conservators, artists, and educators;
  • High level of emotional intelligence and ability to develop constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, building connections across museum departments, stakeholder groups, and center constituents;
  • Intellectual and artistic curiosity;   
  • Self-motivated with sense of urgency and initiative;
  • Ability to manage and prioritize multiple responsibilities while achieving high-level results; and
  • Must have a successful background check.

The Riverside Art Museum is an equal opportunity employer.