The Riverside Art Museum was recently awarded an $800,000 California Arts Fund grant by the James Irvine Foundation. New California Arts Fund grantee-partners are selected through an invitation-only process.
The purpose of the California Arts Fund grant is to advance the kind of sustainable organization transformation that leads to expanded arts engagement. Impressively, the Riverside Art Museum (RAM) is one of six California arts organizations and the only one from the Inland Valley region to be awarded this grant.
When he learned of the award, Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey remarked, “Thanks to the Riverside Art Museum for bringing this investment and recognition to our city,”
The grant is designed is to help non-profits move arts engagement to the core of who they are and what they do. Specifically, the funds will support the museum‘s engagement work over a three-year period. This includes incorporating lessons learned from the popular Riverside Art Make engagement project into “core” programs such as art education classes, art exhibitions, and collections stewardship.
The Riverside Art Make project brought hands-on art making projects to a variety of Riverside neighborhoods, provided lessons on which type of art practices can facilitate collaboration, participation, and broke down the misconception of “I am not an artist.” During the Riverside Art Make, the museum served 9,533 individuals. Nearly one-half had never been to the museum, yet 92.5 percent said they would attend future RAM events. Survey data indicated the top, most enjoyable aspect of the Riverside Art Make was “participating in creating something.”
“This grant is an amazing help. However, RAM will still need to pursue our revenue generating activities to keep our core operations ongoing,” said RAM Executive Director, Drew Oberjuerge. “We hope with some of our new strategies that we are implementing, we will open up new revenue streams.”