RIVERSIDE, Calif. (May 23, 2023)—The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced Riverside Art Museum of Riverside, California today as one of eight recipients of the 2023 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. Over the past 29 years, the award has celebrated institutions that are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities.
“IMLS is delighted to announce the eight worthy recipients of the 2023 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, including Riverside Art Museum,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “Riverside Art Museum integrates art into the lives of people in a way that engages, inspires, and builds community through thought-provoking exhibits and art classes that instill a lifelong love of the arts. The museum values art education as well as exhibitions and collections and aims to uplift untold stories.”
Originally formed in the early 1950s by a loosely knit group of artists, RAM is a nonprofit museum with two locations: the Riverside Art Museum, housed in a National Historic 1929 building designed by Hearst Castle and AIA Gold Medal-winning architect Julia Morgan, and The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture (The Cheech), which opened June 18, 2022. The 60-plus-year-old cultural arts institution strives to be a distinguished, yet accessible institution that serves as a cultural, collaborative, and educational focal point for its diverse community.
Selected from 30 finalists, the 2023 National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners represent institutions that provide dynamic programming and services that exceed expected levels of service. Through their community outreach, these institutions bring about change that touches the lives of individuals and helps communities thrive.
“This award is a tribute to how inspiring transformation can occur when a group of people come together with the goal to uplift and celebrate the human experience through art,” said Drew Oberjuerge, Executive Director, Riverside Art Museum. “Our Trustees and staff have prioritized community voices and community collaboration, which resulted in the establishment of The Cheech and the ongoing innovation of our organization and programs.”
Congressman Mark Takano, Representative for California’s 39th Congressional District nominated the Riverside Art Museum to receive this award. “I am thrilled to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the Riverside Art Museum on receiving the esteemed 2023 National Medal for Museum and Library Service,” he said. “This well-deserved recognition is a testament to their groundbreaking work establishing The Cheech and in showcasing Chicano art and culture, bridging gaps in representation, and fostering inclusivity within our community. The Riverside Art Museum has truly set a new standard of excellence, and we celebrate their dedication to preserving and celebrating the vibrant heritage of the Inland Empire. This award is a proud moment for the 39th Congressional District and a shining example of the transformative power of art.”
Central to the unique public-private partnership with Riverside Art Museum and the City of Riverside is Cheech Marin. “Riverside Art Museum’s decades-long work in the community, its educational mission, and the broad support of Chicano art within and beyond the Inland Empire is why I decided to gift my collection and work together with the museum to create a national center. This IMLS award is a wonderful acknowledgment to the RAM trustees, staff and supporters as well as the City of Riverside and the State of California.”
The award will be presented at a ceremony this summer in Washington, DC. For a complete list of 2023 recipients and to learn more about the National Medal winners, visit the IMLS website.
ABOUT THE INSTITUTE OF MUSEUM AND LIBRARY SERVICES (IMLS): IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
ABOUT RIVERSIDE ART MUSEUM (RAM): RAM is one museum with two locations in Riverside, California; a city proclaimed as the “City of Arts & Innovation.” Since 1967, the Riverside Art Museum (3425 Mission Inn Avenue) has been housed in a 1929 building designed by Hearst Castle and AIA Gold Medal-winning architect Julia Morgan, registered on the National Register of Historic Places ,and designated a Historic Landmark by the City of Riverside. Open since June 18, 2022, The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture aka “The Cheech” (3581 Mission Inn Avenue) resides in a renovated mid-century building that originally opened as the City of Riverside, California’s public library in 1964. At both, 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. To learn more, visit www.riversideartmuseum.org. Follow The Cheech on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
RAM ADMISSION & PUBLIC HOURS: Admission is valid for The Cheech and Riverside Art Museum (RAM). Purchase tickets at the door or reserve online at https://riversideartmuseum.org/get-tickets. Tickets are $15.95 general; $10.95 seniors, students and educators (ID required); and free admission for museum members, children under 12, and active-duty military personnel with accompanying family members. Free admission is available during October through May on the first Sundays (1-5pm) and throughout the year on the first Thursdays (6-9pm). RAM and The Cheech are open Tuesday–Sunday 10am to 5pm (closed Monday until further notice). For updates, visit www.riversideartmuseum.org or call (951) 684-7111 for more information.