At opening of The Cheech, Latino culture claims the spotlight

The entry lobby, gift shop and Instagram-friendly logo for The Cheech are seen from the second floor shortly after the museum and cultural center's 10 a.m. opening Saturday. Museum staffers wear orange. (Photo by David Allen, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)
The entry lobby, gift shop and Instagram-friendly logo for The Cheech are seen from the second floor shortly after the museum and cultural center’s 10 a.m. opening Saturday. Museum staffers wear orange. (Photo by David Allen, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

Saturday was the culmination of days of buildup, including a “Chicano Gala” on Friday night. The dedication was on Thursday, which not only promoted the opening but got the speeches out of the way.

On a small stage inside the museum that day, the mayor presented Marin with an oversized, ceremonial key to the city. Marin joked: “I’d have been satisfied with half a key.”

His next remark: “So how do you like ‘stoner art’ now?” — a reference to the failed candidate who had decried state funding for

Dozens of well-wishers cheered as Cheech Marin’s convertible inched through the parking lot behind his new, namesake museum in Riverside on Saturday morning.

Mostly Latino fans snapped photos and shot video from feet away as Marin waved from the backseat of the 1962 Chevy Impala. One bystander reached out and fist-bumped him. Another fan called out happily: “Cheech, what’s going on!”

“We are!” Marin replied.

In this majority Latino city, Mexican Americans were rightly at the center of it all for a change as the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture hosted a sold-out opening day with 1,800 reservations and a long line to enter.

Artisans and vendors sold wares from booths along Mission Inn Avenue. Musicians performed on a temporary stage. Dancers from Ballet Folklorico de Riverside twirled in formation under colorful pennants strung across the avenue as hundreds watched.

Comedian and actor Cheech Marin waves to the crowd Saturday, June 18, 2022, as he arrives for the opening of the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture in downtown Riverside. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

A crowd gathers on June 18, 2022, outside the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture in downtown Riverside. The museum opened Saturday to a sold-out crowd. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

An Aztec dancer from Ballet Folklorico de Riverside performs on Saturday, June 18, 2022, during opening day festivities outside the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture in downtown Riverside. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

Comedian and actor Cheech Marin, center, takes a photo with Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson, right, and her husband Scott Dawson on Saturday, June 18, 2022, at the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture in Riverside. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

Martha Carrillo makes …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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