No Chong, No Problem: State Budget Funds $10M For Cheech Marin Cultural Center

Source: CBS Los Angeles/AP

“For too long, the story of Latinos and their contributions to the arts have been overlooked,” Medina said. “The Cheech will help bring the real stories and rich history of the Latino community to all Californians.”

Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a $139 billion general fund budget that includes $9.7 million to support the development of the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry of the Riverside Art Museum, also known as “The Cheech.”

The Cheech will reside in the city of Riverside and be a permanent home for Cheech Marin’s more than 700 works of Chicano art, including paintings, sculptures, and photography, making up what organizers say is the most prominent collection of its kind in the U.S.

The funding from the state legislature — championed by Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside) — pushes the fundraising effort known as “Reach for the Cheech” close to $13 million, which will be used to transform Riverside’s existing Main Library into an arts facility.

The Riverside Art Museum already had raised about $3.2 million, including an initial $1 million allocation of state funds that was announced last year.

“For too long, the story of Latinos and their contributions to the arts have been overlooked,” Medina said. “The Cheech will help bring the real stories and rich history of the Latino community to all Californians.”

“I have dreamed for many years of finding a home for the hundreds of pieces of art that I have spent much of my life collecting, protecting, and showing, when possible, at major museums around the world,” Marin said. “The Riverside community has made this dream come true and I am overjoyed that this incredible center will open in the heart of a community I have come to know and love.”