Cheech Marin can now add “museum benefactor” to his long list of creative accomplishments. The Associated Press reported yesterday (June 27) that California committed $9.7 million of its newly passed state budget to the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry.
The AP noted that the Mexican-American comedian, musician and actor will build the museum, colloquially known as “The Cheech,” from his own private collection of “approximately 700 paintings, drawings, sculptures and other works.” The items Marin obtained over roughly three decades include works by Gilbert “Magu” Luján, Frank Romero and Carlos Almaraz. These artists, along with Roberto “Beto” de la Rocha, formed the core of the influential Los Four Chicano art collective.
The state’s commitment adds to the nearly $3 million Marin and partner Riverside Art Museum (RAM) raised for the new center, which is scheduled to open inside RAM in 2020.
“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 told The AP. “The Riverside community has made this dream a reality.”