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Riverside Art Museum awarded $50,000 U.S. Bank Foundation

Riverside Art Museum awarded $50,000 U.S. Bank Foundation

The Riverside Art Museum awarded $50,000 U.S. Bank Foundation grant for artist-in-residence work led by Juan Navarro

Funding is part of the U.S. Bank Foundation Market Impact Fund $1 million investment to support emerging leaders and community-led solutions to address economic disparities across the nation

The Riverside Art Museum (RAM) is one of 20 nonprofit organizations across the country selected as a recipient of this year’s U.S. Bank Foundation Market Impact Fund award.  RAM received a $50,000 grant for its Artist-in-Residence Program, a community revitalization initiative led by local artist and Riverside native Juan Navarro. Through this year’s Market Impact Fund awards, U.S. Bank Foundation will invest $1 million with 20 nonprofits nationwide, highlighting exceptional emerging leaders who are creating community-centric solutions to longstanding economic and social challenges in their communities. His work brings Riverside residents, business owners, and local artists together to rejuvenate store fronts in a way that promotes economic enterprise and reflects neighborhood culture in Riverside’s Eastside, adjacent to the museum.

“U.S. Bank is listening to those with lived experience and supporting their ideas of how to address racial and economic inequities to create lasting and meaningful change,” said Rockette Ewell, vice president and community affairs manager at U.S. Bank in the Inland Empire. “It is our honor to support the work of the Riverside Art Museum and Mr. Navarro’s remarkable leadership, artistry, and skill in community organizing. Public art has the power to make community possible by fostering a sense of pride and facilitating social engagement.”

Since taking residency in 2019, Navarro has emerged as a local community leader, and businesses, churches, and city departments reach out to him for his expertise and cultural competency. His broader residency includes creating murals, leading arts activities at neighborhood happenings, and supporting activation of RAM’s Taylor Family Gallery. U.S. Bank Foundation’s award specifically supports Navarro’s Park Avenue Project, which will help numerous Eastside business owners, many of whom are still recovering from the economic impact of the pandemic, by providing resources for painting, landscaping, and signage.

“My commitment to service-based leadership and my passion for art-making has led me to become an emerging social-practice artist, dedicated to creating visual art projects that uplift, unite, and represent the Eastside community,” says Navarro. “Public art influences how people see and connect with places and provides a mechanism for understanding other cultures and perspectives, reinforcing social connectivity while supporting artists and other creatives by validating them as important contributors to the community. Representation matters, and it is our hope that all Riverside residents will see themselves reflected in this work and feel a sense of pride in where they live.”

RAM, as a 501c3 nonprofit organization, has been governed and funded throughout its more than 50-year history by committed community members. Today a board of 25 Trustees, primarily people of color, from various industries throughout the Inland Empire, including Crecencio Sepulveda of U.S. Bank, work alongside staff and community members in a robust committee structure to make decisions about RAM’s strategic direction and assess its mission-impact, to ensure the museum is effectively serving the diverse Southern California region. The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum, slated to open May 8, 2022, is the direct outcome of a board-approved, strategic initiative to better engage the Latino community through innovative programs like Navarro’s.

About Riverside Art Museum (RAM)

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. RAM relies on the generosity of members and donors to support its exhibitions, education programs, and special events. A 60-plus-year-old, non-profit cultural arts institution, RAM is housed in a National Historic 1929 building designed by Hearst Castle and AIA Gold Medal-winning architect Julia Morgan. For information on hours, exhibits, events, classes, memberships, ways to donate, and more, Find RAM on Facebook (, Twitter (@RAMRiverside), and Instagram (@riversideartmuseum). 

 RAM manages The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum, set to open on May 8, 2022. A public-private partnership between RAM, the City of Riverside, and comedian Cheech Marin—one of the world’s foremost collectors of Chicano art—The Cheech will be the “center of Chicano art, not only for painting, but for sculpture, photography, and video arts.” The 61,420-square-foot center will house hundreds of paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures by artists including Patssi Valdez, Sandy Rodriguez, Carlos Almaraz, Frank Romero, and Gilbert “Magú” Luján. For information about The Cheech, visit Find The Cheech on Facebook (, Twitter (@thecheechcenter), and Instagram (@thecheechcenter). 

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