Join us in celebration of the opening of Uncaged Perspectives. All are welcome to attend, no RSVP needed

Date: Thursday, March 7th

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Location: 1st floor of The Cheech

Guests will enjoy food by Ya Estufas! and music by LA DJ Smurf

About the Exhibition:

The prison functions ideologically as an abstract site into which undesirables are deposited, relieving us of the responsibility of thinking about the real issues afflicting those communities from which prisoners are drawn in such disproportionate numbers. This is the ideological work that the prison performs—it relieves us of the responsibility of seriously engaging with the problems of our society. – Angela Davis.

Through drawings, paintings, photography, and mixed-media sculptures, viewers are invited to critically examine the roots and repercussions of mass incarceration – from its historical origins rooted in racism and inequality to its contemporary manifestations within the criminal justice system and our communities. A platform for incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, and system-impacted individuals to share their stories and personal testimonies, this exhibition seeks to shed light on the ways society has perpetuated erasure and criminalization, from the earliest encounters with indigenous populations to the present-day crisis of mass incarceration.

In collaboration with the UC Riverside Underground Scholars Initiative, this exhibition was co-curated by Maryana Carreon, Fidel Chagolla, Carlos Cruz, Ismael Davila, and Luis Miranda. Uncaged Perspectives features art by 17 local artists: Mark Stanley Bey, Cisco Streetlenz, James Clark, Steve Clark, Eugene Cuypers, Dishon, Humberto Flores, Javier Flores, Miguel Magana, Luis Miranda, Gabriela Molina, Panda, Jair Torres, Arturo Valles, and Vicente Vega.

Participatory Defense

Riverside All of Us or None

UCR Underground Scholars  

Starting Over

Pictured: “Got it Bad Cause I’m Brown” and Inland Empire Carceral Landscape, Photo credit: Humberto Flores UCLA’ 19 and UCR’ 21 Alumnus, UCSB PhD Student

Riverside ArtsWalk is hosted by the Riverside Arts Council and sponsored by the City of Riverside and Riverside Downtown Partnership. Find an ArtsWalk map – here.

Join our vibrant community in celebrating the diversity of arts and culture in Riverside and the Inland Empire.

Join us for an art activity led by Cynthia Huerta (@lovewithjoyart) from @lovewithjoyartclub! Learn more about the Love With Joy Mural unveiling at the Community Settlement Association and local community resources.

* Location: The Cheech Education Classroom (2nd floor)

* Time: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

We will be joined by the following organizations!

* Partners Against Violence @partnersagainstviolence

* The Civil Rights Institute of Inland Southern California @inlandcivilrights

* Community Settlement Association @csariverside

* Planned Parenthood @pppswaction

* Grace Gonzales-Holistic Therapy

See you there!

First Sundays is a series of free programs featuring activities for all-ages at various downtown Riverside locations.

Every first Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Riverside Art Museum (Julia Morgan Building) and The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture are free and open to the public from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. No tickets are necessary.

Complete list of participating organizations, here.

If you are interested in sponsoring free First Sundays activities, please contact Valerie Found at

Artist walk-through led by Indigenous Futurism curator Denise Silva

  • Location/Time: Altura Credit Union Community Gallery from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Maya Codex Workshop with artist Stephanie Godoy, who’s work Venus Rising, 2023 is featured in Indigenous Futurism

  • Location/Time: The Cheech Education Classroom (upstairs) from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Art Activity with UCR Gluck Fellow, Johanna Nieto Rojas

  • Location/Time: The Cheech Education Classroom (upstairs) from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

“The mission of the Gluck Fellows Program of the Arts at the University of California, Riverside is to create the opportunity for the broader community to benefit from the creative, performative, and the expository talents of the graduate and undergraduate students of the Departments of Art, Creative Writing for the Performing Arts, Dance, History of Art, Music, Theatre, Film and Digital Production, and UCR Arts”.

Admission to Riverside Art Museum and The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture is free between 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. No reservations or reserved tickets needed to access both locations and exhibitions. All activities are free.

Free Portrait photography with Riverside photographer Miguel Esparza

  • Location/Time: The Cheech Auditorium (upstairs) from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Music by DJ Jesse Monstera of Succs2byou

Admission to Riverside Art Museum and The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture is FREE between 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. No reservations or reserved tickets needed to access both locations and exhibitions. All activities during Artswalk are free.

Alebrije Art Activity with UCR Gluck Fellow, Athena Sesma

  • Location/Time: The Cheech Education Classroom (upstairs) from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

“The mission of the Gluck Fellows Program of the Arts at the University of California, Riverside is to create the opportunity for the broader community to benefit from the creative, performative, and the expository talents of the graduate and undergraduate students of the Departments of Art, Creative Writing for the Performing Arts, Dance, History of Art, Music, Theatre, Film and Digital Production, and UCR Arts”.

Admission to Riverside Art Museum and The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture is free between 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. No reservations or reserved tickets needed to access both locations and exhibitions

Thank you for supporting First Sundays and the Riverside Art Museum exhibition Sacred Spaces: The Work and Collection of Charles Bibbs™

Collage Workshop with artist Mer Young, who’s work All My Relations, 2023 is featured in Indigenous Futurism

  • Location/Time: The Cheech Education Classroom (upstairs) from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Soundscape Meditation with artist Jeshua Viveiros, who’s work Deer Woman, 2023 is featured in Indigenous Futurism

  • Location/Time: The Cheech Auditorium (upstairs)
  • Meditation sessions run from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Admission to Riverside Art Museum and The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture is free between 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. No reservations or reserved tickets needed to access both locations and exhibitions.

The Riverside Art Alliance invites you to attend a special presentation with artist Katherine Gray.

Social hour from 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Artist presentation from 6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Gray received her undergraduate degree from Ontario College of Art in Toronto, and her MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI. Her work has been exhibited at Heller Gallery in New York City, Urban Glass in New York, and most recently in solo shows at the Craft Contemporary (formerly the Craft and Folk Art Museum) in Los Angeles and the Toledo Museum of Art. Her work has been reviewed in the New York, and in the LA Times. Images of her glasswork have also appeared in the New York Times Design magazine.

In 2017, she was the recipient of the Libenský/ Brychtová Award from the Pilchuck Glass School for her artistic and educational contributions to the field; she has also been inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Craft Council and is a Fellow of the Corning Museum of Glass. Gray can be seen in the ongoing Netflix series Blown Away as the Resident Evaluator. Her work can be found in the collections of the Corning Museum of Glass, the Toledo Museum of Art, the Asheville Museum of Art and the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA, among others. Gray has written about glass, curated and juried multiple exhibitions, and has taught workshops around the world.

Currently, she lives in Los Angeles, CA, and is a Professor of Art at California State University, San Bernardino.

No RSVP required; limited guest capacity in The Cheech Auditorium

Organized by the curators of Xican-a.o.x Body, this symposium explores networks of affectivity, collectivity, and new forms of existence that have expanded the social, cultural, traditional, and political ways of Xicanx life.

We will consider how solidarity and sense of belonging highlight beauty and ingenuity as well as countering and resisting state and gender violence, militarized deportation, structural inequality, marginalization, racism, classism, and stereotyping.

At this symposium, we will discuss how this has led to the systematic erasure of the contribution of Xicanx artists, such as their participation in the history of Pop Art, which encompasses unique expressions that incorporate popular and street culture, the critique of consumer culture, and political critique.


Doors open at 10:30 a.m.

10:45 a.m.

Welcome by María Esther Fernández, Artistic Director, The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum

11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

“Circles and Nexus: From the Barrio to the Gallery” with moderator and curator Marissa Del Toro and artists Sebastian Hernandez, Gabriela Muñoz, Gabriela Ruiz and Shizu Saldamando.

12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Lunch will be provided

1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

“Consumption and Revulsion: Xicano Pop” with moderator and curator Gilbert Vicario, artists Justin Favela, Alfonso Gonzalez, Jr. and artist Tamara Santibañez.

3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

“Violent Histories/Defiant Futurities through Aesthetic Modes” with moderator and curator Cecilia Fajardo-Hill and artists Isabel Castro, María Gaspar and Ken Gonzales-Day.

4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Exhibition Catalog Release and Signing of Xican-a.o.x. Body

Space is limited, RSVP here

Image: Maria Gaspar, Disappearance Suit (Captiva, FL), 2018. Photograph 24 x 36 in. Courtesy of the artist

All are welcome to attend, no RSVP needed.

The reception will take place at The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture in the Altura Credit Union Community Gallery (1st Floor). Our Community Gallery is free to the public.

Remarks from curators and artists will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Refreshments and catering provided by Zacatecas Catering.

Music by DJ Quilo

Michelle Téllez and Mike Chávez engage in conversation on topics related to the Xican-a.o.x. Body exhibition. Dr. Chávez wrote the essay “Los de Abajo: Lowriders, Bodies, and Rasquachismo” that is included in the exhibition catalog. He is the co-executive director and founder of the Inland Empire Labor Institute and a professor of sociology at Riverside City College. Dr. Téllez is an interdisciplinary scholar trained in Community Studies, Sociology, Chicana/o Studies and Education who writes about identity, mothering, transnational community formation, cross-border labor organizing, gendered migration, autonomy and resistance along the U.S./Mexico border.

Mike Chávez is a father, partner, and an activist who was born and raised in the Inland Empire. He has been a teacher in higher education for the last 20 years where he has taught classes in Chicanx/Latinx Studies, Gender Studies, Labor Studies, and Sociology. He earned his bachelor’s in Psychology and Ethnic Studies and a PhD in Sociology, all from the University of California, Riverside. However, he began his academic career as a student at Riverside City College, the school where he is now a sociology professor. He was recently elected as the next president of the California Sociological Association. 

Michelle Téllez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mexican American Studies at the University of Arizona. She is the author of “Border Women and the Community of Maclovio Rojas: Autonomy in the Spaces of Neoliberal Neglect” (2021), winner of the 2023 National Association of Chicana/o Studies Book of the Year Award. She co-founded the Chicana M(other)work Collective, the Arizona Binational Artist in Residency Project and is co-director of the Memorias en Movimiento Exhibit now showing at the Centro Cultural de la Raza in San Diego.

Event has reached RSVP capacity. There will be limited access available at the door.

This Plática will take place at The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture in the Cheech Auditorium (located on the second floor)

Pura Pachanga at The Cheech
Sunday, June 18, 2023 @ 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Celebrating the first anniversary of The Cheech, Altura Credit Union and The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum presents Pura Pachanga, a free, family-friendly outdoor festival for the community featuring art and music. More than 30 artisans and about a dozen food vendors will share their wares, along Mission Inn Avenue between The Cheech and RAM (from Lime St. to Orange St.). Artist demonstrations will take place at The Cheech on its outdoor Zocalo.

On stage, enjoy dance performances by Orgullo Mestizo Ballet Folklórico, Tradición Alegre Ballet Folklórico, and Ballet Folklórico de Riverside and music by Inland Empire musical sensations QUITAPENAS, El Santo Golpe, MILPA, Deladeso, and deejay music throughout the day by the female duo Las Chicas Tristes.

Artisan vendors include CJs Angels, a family of artists – Jose, Annette, and Theresa Armas – who create original fine art and handcrafted art based on Mexican traditions. Man One and Pablo Damas are among the artists who will paint live outside of The Cheech. Food vendors include Tacollynn, which specializes in tacos de canasta, also known as “basket tacos” or tacos sudados. Common in Mexico City, but originating in Tlaxcala, this popular Mexican street food consists of tortillas bathed in oil and filled with various stew fillings (papas, chicharrón, frijoles, adobo), then steamed.

Pura Pachanga is sponsored by Altura Credit Union with support from Bank of America, Itzen Bishop Financial and U.S. Bank. The event is co-produced by artist, curator, and community partner Cosmé Cordova.


5:30 PM to 7:00 PM – QUITAPENAS

4:00 PM to 5:00 PM – El Santo Golpe

3:15 PM to 3:45 PM – Orgullo Mestizo Ballet Folklórico

2:00 PM to 3:00 PM — MILPA

1:15 PM to 1:45 PM – Deladeso

12:40 PM to 1:10 PM – Tradición Alegre Ballet Folklórico

12:00 PM to 12:30 PM – Ballet Folklórico de Riverside (Aztec blessing)

Deejay music between band sets – Las Chicas Tristes

TICKETS & INFORMATION: Festival admission is FREE. Reservations can be made online for FREE admission to The Cheech and RAM (limited supply). No additional tickets will be available the day of the event, reservations are required to enter the museums. For museum news and event updates, follow @thecheechcenter and @riversideartmuseum on social media and join the museum mailing list by clicking the button below:

QUITAPENAS is one word – all caps, four syllables – all claps, which gives you a taste of the group’s rhythmic contagion. This tropical Afro-Latin combo was born under the warm California sun. They borrow aesthetics from the radical 60s, 70s and 80s. Each song echoes a remix of history and invites one to engage in the liberating evenings of Angola, Peru, Colombia, Brazil and beyond. The name means “to remove worries.” Everybody has a “pena” and the mission of QUITAPENAS is simple: to make you dance and leave you without a worry.

El Santo Golpe translates best to “The Mighty Hit” – that feeling when one experiences a powerful sense of joy, an unexpected punch of happiness when connecting with a song, a rhythm, movement, art, and an experience that brings peacefulness and alegria! This artist collective was created to introduce an original take to the fun world of “Afro-Latin” music, as they borrow influences of rhythms, sounds, traditions, and Folklore from the Afro Latin Diaspora around the world.

MILPA is a collective of multi-instrumentalist, composers, poets, and cultural artist from the Inland Empire (San Bernardino/Riverside) the band explores the world of folkloric rhythms from Jarocho to Conga, Caribe to Angola, Pacífico beats, and tropic rodas. Milpa’s diverse energy has remained rooted to Afro-Indigenous music, poetry, dance, and community since 2009.

Deladeso is the art persona created by Richie Velazquez. Based out of Riverside California, he has been developing his Digital Death and Grime art aesthetic since 2012. As the originator of grime art, he pays homage to those that have molded himself into the “Spookek” that he is today!

Las Chicas Tristes consists of Latinx deejays Brittney Carranza (Benny) and Leticia Calderón (Leti) who are “bound by sound.”

Steinbeck Remixed: Inventing the Californias in Classic Hollywood is a three-part event exploring representations of California history in John Steinbeck film adaptations. The indoor afternoon panel includes screening trailers and features leading film scholars discussing Steinbeck film adaptations and his home movies. Catherine L. Benamou, Anthony Macias, and Laura Isabel Serna, will reflect on historical narratives affixed to Alta and Baja California—as ripe with resources and opportunities, and how these narratives have overdetermined our understanding of California. Following the film panel is a dedicated gallery tour by two of the curators of the 2022-2023 MexiCali Biennial exhibit Land of Milk & Honey, a traveling multidisciplinary arts and culture program featuring works by over 40 artists whose works focus on concepts of agriculture in the regions of California and Mexico. The day’s program culminates in an outdoor screening of artist Emmanuel Ramos-Baraja’s video installation of Steinbeck films remixed to a live soundscape by a live DJ set by Chulita Vinyl Club.

2:30–5:30 pm    Scholar Panel & Curator-led Gallery Tour  (Registration Required)

6:30–8:00 pm    Outdoor Screening Installation (Open to the public)



Borderless Cultures, founded by Emmanuel Ramos-Barajas and Annette M. Rodríguez, has hosted film screenings and discussions with independent indigenous and Latinx film makers. We greatly appreciate the support of the University of Texas at Austin’s Department of History and we are grateful for the invitation to participate in the 2022-2023 MexiCali Biennial. We offer thanks to our many collaborators, including MexiCali Biennial curators: Ed Gomez, Luis G. Hernandez, Rosalía Romero, and April Lillard-Gomez, Enid Baxter-Ryce; The Cheech staff: María Esther Fernández, Artistic Director of The Cheech Center, Maryana Carreon, and Annery Sanchez; also, the participating scholars, and The Chulita Vinyl

Saturday, June 17, 2023 | Doors open at 7:00 PM

Riverside Municipal Auditorium, 3485 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside, CA 92501

Celebrating the first anniversary of The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum, two Grammy® Award-winning East Los Angeles groups La Santa Cecilia and Quetzal combine efforts to present Music From Below: Quetzal together with La Santa Cecilia

As two of the most important groups to emerge from the Chicanx community, Quetzal and La Santa Cecilia are uniquely positioned to present this night of songs and multimedia history highlighting important, yet under-recognized, contributions of Chicanx musicians and songwriters in the landscape of popular music and social justice movements. 

This historic concert and collaboration promises to offer stories and songs past and present that originated along and across imaginary and physical borders. The diverse repertoire represents and spans the history of US/Mexico relations, featuring important compositions from artists such as Don Tosti, Lalo Guerrero, Lydia Mendoza, Los Lobos, Alice Bag, and Las Hermanas Herrera, to name a few. Sponsors include Altura Credit Union, Bank of America and US Bank.

Concert tickets start at $32 and proceeds benefit The Cheech.

QUETZAL is a relentlessly innovative Grammy® Award-winning ensemble that narrates the social, cultural and political stories of humanity. The band’s influences have been described as Chicano rock, rhythm and blues, JB funk, Cuban batá, punk, and Motown soul. Dr. Alex Chavez states that the band “has worked to fight forms of oppression in the communities“ to which they are connected, “and in pursuit of forging these creative and political bridges, you hear artists who are at the epicenter of the transnational world of Son Jarocho.” Quetzal’s live shows are filled with moments of tenderness, fervor and vivid storytelling that transport the audience into a world of affirmation and belonging. For 30 years, they have graced stages across the US, Canada, Asia and Mexico. Recognized by notable institutions such as the Library of Congress and The Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian’s traveling exhibit “American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music” featured Quetzal as leaders and innovators of Chicano music. Founded by Quetzal Flores, current members also include Martha Gonzalez, Tylana Enomoto, Juan Perez, Quincy McCrary, and Alberto Lopez. Listen to Quetzal’s music on Spotify.

LA SANTA CECILIA exemplifies the modern-day creative hybrid in an era and city in which Latin culture has given birth to many musical fusions. A recipient of a Latin GRAMMY and a Grammy® Award, La Santa Cecilia draws inspiration from all over the world, utilizing Pan-American rhythms including cumbia, bossa nova, rumba, bolero, tango, jazz and klezmer music. Their unique sounds and the experience of their colorful, passionate performances captivates both loyal fans and new listeners. Named after the patron saint of music, La Santa Cecilia is composed of accordionist and requinto player Jose “Pepe” Carlos, bassist Alex Bendaña, percussionist Miguel “Oso” Ramirez, and vocalist La Marisoul whose haunting voice accentuates the band’s sound, delivering messages of love, loss, and everyday struggles. Now celebrating its 15th anniversary, the band has become the voice of a new bicultural generation in the United States, fully immersed in modern music, but always close to their Latin American influences and Mexican heritage. Their eighth album titled Cuatro Copas, Bohemia en la Finca Altozano (Four Drinks, Bohemia at the Altozano Estate) was released in 2023. Listen to La Santa Cecilia on Spotify.

Thank you to our benefit concert sponsors:

Saturday, May 6, 2023, 6 p.m.–9 p.m.

Chicano art, music, and literature played a role in capturing the spirit of an entire community which propelled, nourished, and sustained the Chicano Civil Rights Movement. Artists that embraced Chicano and Chicana identities at that time addressed pressing social justice concerns such as educational and economic inequality, farmworker rights, and other forms of state violence and oppression in the United States.

The oral tradition of spoken word in music or storytelling has been the way that our history and culture has endured and persevered. Poetry is an extension of that oral tradition and is the sister spirit of music. It gives voice to our struggles and allows us to work towards a collective consciousness for our gente as we maintain our cultural identity and fight for political power and place in an ever-changing world. Poets continue to be the voice of our community.

Join us at The Cheech for an evening of powerful poesía in hosted by Cultura con Llantas.

Click here to register!

Wendy L. Silva is a queer, Latinx poet from Santa Maria, California and the proud daughter of Mexican immigrants. She did her undergraduate studies in creative writing at UC Riverside and received her MFA in poetry from the University of Idaho. In 2010, she won the Judy Kronenfeld Award in poetry, and in 2013 she received the Academy of American Poet’s Prize. She currently teaches English at Riverside City College. Her most recent work can be found in Line Rider Press, The Packinghouse Review, and the Acentos Review.

Bernice “bere” Espinoza (she/her/they/them) poet/activist/advocate.

She is a first generation American and college attendee, a Xicanx/Latinx Civil Rights lawyer. Her lifelong dedication to social justice has led to her activism, advocacy, a career in law, and even poetry -all of which center on the social justice issues close to her heart (particularly immigration, racial justice, and criminal justice reform). She has been writing since age 10, and has three published poems. 

Sonia Gutiérrez is the author of Spider Woman / La Mujer Araña and the recipient of the Tomás Rivera Book Award 2021 and the International Latino Book Awards 2022 for her novel, Dreaming with Mariposas. She is currently a Finalist for the Book into Movie Awards. Presently, she is working on her bilingual poetry collection, Paper Birds: Feather by Feather / Pájaros de papel: Pluma por pluma and her first illustrated book, The Adventures of a Burrito Flying Saucer.

Margaret Elysia Garcia is the author of the short story collection Graft, the chapbook Burn Scars, and soon to be release the daughterland poems. She’s the co-editor of the anthology Red Flag Warning: Northern Californians Living with Fire out on HeyDay Books in 2024. She writes about family, culture and surviving climate change disasters.

Ceasar K. Avelar is the current Poet Laureate of Pomona. He is the writer in residence of Cafe con Libros Press, and the founder of Obsidian Tongues open mic. Avelar writes through the sociological lens of a blue-collar worker. He is the author of God of the Air Hose and Other Blue-Collar Poems due to be released this year (El Martillo Press 2023). Avelar will graduate this summer from Cal Poly Pomona with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology.

David A. Romero is a Mexican-American spoken word artist from Diamond Bar, CA. Romero is the author of My Name Is Romero (FlowerSong Press, 2020). Romero has received honorariums from nearly a hundred colleges and universities in thirty-four different states in the USA and has performed live in Mexico, Italy, and France. He is the co-founder of El Martillo Press. Romero is the nephew of Frank Romero, and the cousin of Sonia Romero, both artists whose works are on permanent display in The Cheech. 

Donato Martinez was born in in small pueblo, Garcia de la Cadena, Zacatecas, Mexico and immigrated into USA at six years old. He teaches English composition, Literature, and Creative Writing at Santa Ana College. He has also taught classes in Chicano Studies. He has a self-published collection with three other Inland Empire poets, Tacos de Lengua. His full collection of poetry, Touch the Sky, will be published in May by El Martillo Press.

Paul S. Flores is a San Francisco artist of Mexican and Cuban-American heritage that has built a national reputation for interview-based theater and bilingual spoken word. He integrates Latino and indigenous healing practices to tell the stories of real people impacted by immigration and systemic inequalities. His first book of poetry, “We Still Be” will be published by El Martillo Press.


Cultura Con Llantas

Los Cinco

Latino Network

Friday, April 21, 2023 @ 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

The MexiCali Biennial presents a full-day symposium dedicated to highlighting the artistic and cultural innovations of its programs. Since 2006, the MexiCali Biennial has promoted the shared regions of California and Baja California as a site of unique aesthetic production. This symposium will bring together three panels of artists, curators, and scholars to discuss past and present exhibitions. Each panel will address broader issues and key themes defining contemporary art in both Californias over the last few decades, including biennials and art institutions, exhibition models, conceptualism, border activations, and colonial mythologies and the decolonial. These conversations will shed light on the place of the MexiCali Biennial in broader histories of Chicanx-Latinx, American, Mexican, and U.S.-Mexico borderlands art. 

This event is organized in conjunction with the exhibition MexiCali Biennial: Art, Actions, Exchanges that is currently on view at the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture. Support for this program comes from the Mellon Foundation and the ACLS Sustaining Public Humanities grant.

This event is at capacity. Please check back to see if there are any cancellations and spots become available.


10:00am                      Welcome Remarks

10:15am                      Introduction and Overview of Panels

10:30-11:30am           Anti-Biennial: (De)Constructing Exhibition Models

Speakers: Ed Gomez (MexiCali Biennial and CSU San Bernardino), Israel Ortega (Centro Estatal de las Artes, Mexicali), Alejandro Espinoza (Universidad de Baja California, Mexicali)

Moderated by Joseph Daniel Valencia (Vincent Price Art Museum)

11:30-12:30pm           Readymade Border: Conceptualism on the Line

Speakers: Luis G. Hernandez (MexiCali Biennial and SDSU Imperial Valley), Omar Pimienta (UC San Diego), Guillermo “Memo” Estrada (Artist)

Moderated by Selene Preciado (Independent Curator and Getty Foundation)

12:30am-1:30pm       Lunch Break

1:30-2:30pm               Colonial Mythologies of California: Decolonizing Border Art

Speakers: Daniela Lieja Quintanar (REDCAT, Los Angeles), Carmina Escobar (Artist), Emmanuel Ortega (University of Illinois Chicago)

Moderated by JV Decemvirale (CalTech)

2:30-4:00pm               Closing Reception

Thursday, March 2, 2023, 6 p.m.–9 p.m.

The MexiCali Biennial and The Cheech present a performance by Rancho Shampoo and Indian Dub Orchestra. Rancho Shampoo will perform March 2 during Riverside Artswalk at 7:00 pm. Events and activities are FREE!

Also at The Cheech, artist Fred Brashear will be leading a paper making demonstration and activity! Participants can decorate squares of handmade paper with wildlife stamps which echo themes in the artist’s solo exhibition currently on view at the San Bernardino County Museum, a special project of the Mexicicali Biennial’s program Land of Milk & Honey titled Handle with Care.

Rancho Shampoo and the Indian Dub Orchestra (Guillermo Estrada, Rubén Alonso Tamayo, Rodo Ibarra, Julián González, David Bautista Toledo) is a group of “Aliendígenas” from the border regions of California and Mexico. This experimental musical performance explores identities through the concept of aliendigenismo, or the shifting/transcendance of a person or group through real and spiritual borders, territories, physical bodies and realities.

See you there!

Saturday, February 25, 2023, 6 p.m.–9 p.m.

Please join us for the opening reception of Land of Milk & Honey and Life Logistics.

This event is at capacity.

January 14

Tour the Collidoscope Exhibit with the de la Torre brothers before the exhibit leaves for a nationwide tour.

Tours will be offered on Saturday at 10:00 a.m.


Friday, February 3, 2023, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Co-presented by the UCR Department of Creative Writing / the Tomás Rivera Lecture Series and The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture, please join us for a joint reading and conversation with Dr. Ricky Rodríguez, author of A Kiss Across the Ocean, and Kid Congo Powers, author of Some New Kind of Kick. Audience Q&A, reception, and book signing to follow.

Hosted by Professor Alex Espinoza and moderated by author and professor Michael Jaime-Becerra, this event will showcase these memoirs and the affinity shared by both Rodríguez and Powers as pioneering Chicanx figures.

Rodríguez’s book is a genre-melding work that is a part academic text, part memoir about growing up immersed in the 1980s British New Wave music. The book transcends the usual conversations about Latinx punk and post-punk fandom by showing how, across space and time, Latinx culture actually helped shape the work of artists such as Siouxsie and the Banshees, Soft Cell, and Bauhaus, among many other influential groups.

For the last four decades, Kid Congo Powers has been widely known in underground music circles as a musician in bands such as The Gun Club, The Cramps, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, as well as for leading his own group, The Pink Monkey Birds. His long-awaited memoir tells a story of acceptance and community through his experiences as a young, queer Chicano in Los Angeles’s nascent glam and punk rock scenes.

Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Free and open to the public. Advance registration is required.


Sunday, January 15, 2023, 12 p.m.–5 p.m.

Join The Cheech and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino for ¡Descubra!, a fun-filled afternoon of activities for families and visitors of all ages. This special celebration features The Cheech exhibition, “Collidoscope: A Retro-Perspective,” which closes Jan. 22.

The day will include art demonstrations, fun activities, music, dancing, and featured activities from ¡Descubra! national collaborator, the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Bring the family and participate in hands-on activities that will include making your own lenticular, making your own Aztec calendar, and an interactive installation with James Rojas and John Kamp.

Tours of the Collidoscope exhibition will be offered throughout the afternoon, by the de la Torre brothers Muralist Jesus Castañeda will be painting a community art wall reflecting on being bicultural in the United States and building community on both sides of the border. 

Admission is FREE!

Walk-up tickets are available at the front desk.

The Collidoscope traveling tour is made possible by (or supported by) the National Museum of the American Latino.

Join us for an exciting artist talk with artist, Beatriz Cortez in conversation with Collidoscope guest curator, Selene Preciado.

This event will take place on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, 6:30-8:00 P.M. in The Cheech Auditorium.

Register here!

Artist Bio:

Beatriz Cortez is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in El Salvador and based in Los Angeles. Her work explores simultaneity, life in different temporalities and versions of modernity, the untimely, and speculative imaginaries of the future. She has had solo exhibitions and has participated in group exhibitions nationally and internationally. She has received numerous awards, including the Borderlands Fellowship by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School and ASU (2022-2024); Atelier Calder Artist Residency in Saché, France (2022); California Studio Manetti Shrem Artist Residency at UC Davis (2022); Longenecker-Roth Artist Residency at UCSD (2021); Artadia Los Angeles Award (2020); Frieze LIFEWTR Inaugural Sculpture Prize (2019); Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant (2018); and California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists (2016), among others. Cortez holds an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and a doctorate from Arizona State University. She teaches in the Department of Central American and Transborder Studies at California State University, Northridge.

Photo credit: Beatriz Cortez, Glacial Erratic, 2020. Steel. Installation view at ICA San Diego, North Campus. Courtesy of the artist.

November 25, 2022 | 5 p.m.–8 p.m.

Get into the holiday season with fun art projects in front of The Cheech Center during the Riverside Festival of Lights!

We will have merchandise from our gift store outside for purchase, so you can grab those early Christmas presents! You can also pick up some information on upcoming exhibits, talks, classes, and more in our Artifacts newsletter. It’s going to be a fun evening!

Please keep in mind that entry into The Cheech Center on November 25th will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

October 29, 2022, 12:00 p.m.

Join us in honoring the ancient tradition of Día de los Muertos at The Cheech! 

We are honored to have Mujeres de Maiz construct our first altar for Día de los Muertos. 

On Saturday, 10/29, members of the community can participate and bring a photo, momento, or name of a departed loved one. We ask that you please bring a copy as we will be unable to return the items. There will be a short program with Mujeres de Maiz to bless the altar and discuss these important days and traditions in Mexican culture. Free with admission.

If you cannot make it out on Saturday, we invite you to be a part of the community altar by submitting a photo to Please email your photo by Friday, Oct. 28th. 5 PM PST. 

Mujeres de Maiz (women of the corn) Is a women of color holistic artivist group founded in 1997 in East LA. Their mission is to bring together and empower diverse women and girls through the creation of community spaces that provide holistic wellness through education, programming, exhibition and publishing.

As an inter-cultural, intergenerational and interdisciplinary collective they have made that space from the stage to the page, the gallery to the streets, and ceremony and wellness world by sharing their own specific blend of mind, body, spirit and cultural work.

October 20, 2022, 8:30 a.m.–12 p.m.

Come dance and support our community!
On Saturday, October 22, join us for a Zumbathon and food drive from 8:30 a.m.–12 p.m.! Start off the morning right outside The Cheech Center and dance into the afternoon. Admission is free with the donation of canned veggies, 1lb bag of rice, or 1lb bag of beans!

October 15, 2022, 6–8:30 p.m. PT

Please join us for a celebration and reading of an important new book by the author Otilio Quintero, The Sign Catcher, just released by Arte Público Press.

The book covers Quintero’s real-life journey and evolution from his humble origins as a poor, at-risk youth in the California San Joaquin Valley, to his brush with incarceration in the New Jersey prison system, to his later life achievements as a youth and community violence prevention activist engaged with historic social justice leaders, including United Farm Workers Co-Founder Dolores Huerta, legendary actor and human rights activist Harry Belafonte, and the late peace activist and California senator Tom Hayden.

This community event will feature important Latinx celebrities including actress Elipidia Carrillo (“Predator” and “Nine Lives”), actor Jesse Borrego (“Colombiana” and “Vida”), Richard Montoya (Culture Clash), and Daniel Villarreal (“Stand and Deliver” and “American Me”). Henry Ramos will serve as Master of Ceremonies!


Food service and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided at no charge.

Tickets are open to the public and free to the first 150 individuals that sign up.

Please join us. You won’t want to miss it!

Learn more about The Sign Catcher

Meet our featured celebrities for this event:

Elipidia Carrillo

Jesse Borrego

Daniel Villarreal

Richard Montoya

September 8, 2022, 6:30-8:00 PM

Join us for an exciting conversation between Einar and Jamex de la Torre and artists Carlos Castro Arias and Rubén Ortiz Torres with guest curator, Selene Preciado. 

Capacity is limited.

Click here to register

For more information on these artists, visit the links below:

Carlos Castro Arias

Rubén Ortiz Torres

de la Torre Brothers

This exhibition was developed in partnership between The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum and the National Museum of the American Latino.

Additional support provided by California Humanities.

Images (from left to right): Encuentro, Carlos Castro Arias; Feminencia, Einar and Jamex de la Torre;  Power Tools, Function & Power Tools, Form, Rubén Ortiz Torres

Saturday, June 18, 2022, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.

Join us for an exciting day featuring great art, music, dance, lowriders, and food as we celebrate the public opening of The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum. With appreciation for the overwhelming community support of The Cheech, and in collaboration with community partner Cosme Cordova, the Riverside Art Museum is co-hosting an art fair along Mission Inn Avenue featuring amazing local artisans, food vendors, and more! In addition, get creative in the zocalo in front of The Cheech by making art with featured artists from all over Southern California and the Inland Empire.

Entry to the Art Festival is free. Admission into The Cheech on opening day is sold out and limited to ticketholders only. ! Click here to buy admission tickets for the summer today.

Entertainment lineup:

5:30 p.m. Pachuco Jose Y Los Diamantes

5:10 p.m. BFDR Danzas Aztecas

4:10 p.m. El Santo Golpe

3:55 p.m. Las Pequenas Raices del Señor

2:55 p.m. Vicky Tafoya and the Big Beat

2:40 p.m. Las Pequenas Raices del Señor

1:40 p.m. Cherry Bomb Revival

1:25 p.m. Ballet Folklorico De Riverside

12:25 p.m. Los Rockin Slugs

12:10 p.m. Las Pequenas Raices del Señor

11:10 a.m. Mariachi Juvenil de Riverside de ( ARR ) Riverside Arts Academy

10 a.m. Ballet Folklorico De Riverside Aztec Blessing

Thank you to our opening day sponsors:

Celebrating the Opening of The Cheech!

Friday, June 17, 2022, 6 p.m. SOLD OUT!

Riverside Convention Center, 3637 5th St., Riverside

After nearly five years of collective community effort, we are opening the doors to the nation’s premier center for Chicano art and culture! A public-private partnership between the Riverside Art Museum, Cheech Marin, and the City of Riverside, The Cheech will welcome 100,000+ visitors annually to explore exhibitions and engage in educational opportunities. 

With an expected attendance of 900, including Cheech Marin and friends, the Celebrando Chicano Art Gala, presented by UNIDOS, will include a VIP cocktail reception for sponsors, dinner, awards, live performances, and both live and silent auctions.

Emceeing the gala is Culture Clash, with entertainment by Trio Sol de Amores, plus other surprises!

The highlight of the program is the awards recognition of our comunidad. The awards recognize individuals and organizations who exemplify the spirit of The Cheech, honoring those who have blazed a trail that continues to endure, inspire, and enrich our community through art and culture.

The 2022 awards and their respective honorees include:

  • Chicano Art Award: Yolanda Lopez (posthumously)
  • Chicano Culture Award: Chicano Student Programs of UC Riverside
  • Chicano Art Advocate: Eduardo Diaz
  • Community Award: Dr. Ernie Garcia
  • Special Acknowledgement: Michelle Ouellette
  • Special Acknowledgement: Ofelia Valdez-Yeager

We invite you to join us for this extraordinary evening as we celebrate the opening of The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture. Thank you for your support in making this possible.

Tickets to the gala are $250/person. Tickets are now sold out. Tickets are nonrefundable. Cocktail attire; black tie optional. To purchase your ticket in support of The Cheech, click here.

Thank you to our gala sponsors:

Saturday, May 7, 2022 | Doors open at 6 p.m.

Riverside Municipal Auditorium, 3485 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside

After nearly five years of collective community effort, we are opening the doors to the nation’s premier center for Chicano art and culture on Saturday, June 18, 2022! A public-private partnership between the Riverside Art Museum, Cheech Marin, and the City of Riverside, The Cheech will welcome 100,000+ visitors annually to explore exhibitions and engage in educational opportunities. We invite you to celebrate with us at one or more of the exciting events we have planned!

First up, a benefit concert for The Cheech headlined by Grammy-Award-winning Chicano rock band, Los Lobos, with “East L.A. Chican@ rock group” Quetzal opening!

Tickets start at $32. All proceeds go to The Cheech!

To purchase tickets, click here!

Thank you to our benefit concert sponsors: