by Office of Strategic Communications
University of San Bernardino
Richard Anthony Marin, better known as Cheech Marin, will be the honorary chair/padrino de honor for the 2020 Latino Education & Advocacy Days LEAD Summit XI, set for March 26 at Cal State San Bernardino.
Each year the summit, which is open to the public and free to attend, brings together teaching professionals and educators, researchers, academics, scholars, administrators, independent writers and artists, policy and program specialists, students, parents, civic leaders, activists and advocates – all sharing a common interest and commitment to education issues that impact Latinos to help them definethe future.
The theme for the 11th annual summit is “Movimiento y Compromiso: 50 Years of Challenges, Possibilities, and the Quest for Educational Equity.” The summit programs will revisit and commemorate social movements from the last 50 years, including the birth of Chicano-ethnic studies, the school walkouts/blowouts, bilingual education and the Chicano Moratorium.
“Our audience/membership will be a perfect fit with all the efforts with the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry of the Riverside Art Museum, and this opportunity would serve to share the tremendous economic impact the Cheech Marin Center will have on the Inland Empire and how the museum in our region will elevate us in the art world,” said Enrique Murillo Jr., LEAD executive director and CSUSB professor of education. “Cheech Marin will share how the renovation project is progressing, what types of programs we can expect to see at the ‘Cheech’ and how we can be part of the incredible effort.”
Marin is probably best known as half of the comedic “irreverent, satirical, counter-culture no-holds-barred duo of Cheech and Chong,” as his website states. But he also is an actor, director, writer, musician, art collector and humanitarian.
Born in South Central Los Angeles, Marin met Tommy Chong in Vancouver, British Columbia. Once they moved back to Los Angeles, the duo rocketed into fame, with six of their albums going gold, four of them nominated for Grammys, with the album “Los Conchinos” awarded the 1973 Grammy for Best Comedy Recording. They also appeared in eight feature films.
Marin appeared his own work, written and directed by him, “Born in East L.A.” in 1987. He also appeared on TV, including the crime drama “Nash Bridges” with Don Johnson from 1996-2001, as well as the voice of several animated film characters, including Ramone in “Cars” and Banzai in “The Lion King.”
Off screen, Marin is known as a strong advocate for Chicano art, and began developing his collection in the mid-1980s, according to his website bio. “Much of it formed the core of his inaugural exhibition Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge, which broke attendance records during its groundbreaking 15‐city tour during 2001‐2007 to major art museums across the United States,” the website says. “He states, ‘Chicano art is American art. My goal is to bring the term “Chicano” to the forefront of the art world.’”
The portions of his collection have toured more than 50 major art museums in the United States and Europe. In the Inland Empire, Marin has entered into “a partnership with the city of Riverside and the Riverside Art Museum to create the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry (aka ‘The Cheech’),” Marin’s website says. “Slated to open in 2021, The Cheech will become the permanent home for his more than 700 works of Chicano art, including paintings, sculptures, and photography; collectively, the most renowned Chicano art collection in the United States.”
Registration for LEAD XI, which is free, may be done online at the LEAD Summit XI website at leadsummit.csusb.edu. LEAD Summit XI will take place from 8 a.m. to about 4 p.m. at the university’s Santos Manuel Student Union.