NEA Visits UCR ARTSblock

By Laila Rashid, CHASS Dean’s Office Student Intern
>March 23, 2015

On Feb. 20, National Endowment for the Arts Chair, Jane Chu, visited the Culver Center of the Arts in downtown Riverside to tour the area and speak about the NEA and its programs.

The event was made possible in conjunction with the Riverside Arts Council, a non-profit agency partnered with the California Arts Council. It’s service area covers the entire county of Riverside and it provides support to other arts organizations in areas of grant writing, board development, strategic planning, and through one on one consultations. Patrick Brien, executive director of the Riverside Arts Council expressed delight over working with the university and ARTSblock.

“I’ve had a lot of opportunities to hold events at the Culver Center and they are excellent partners—they recognize the importance of an event like this and bend over backwards to make it happen,” he said. “Jane’s visit was a great way to put ourselves into the national spotlight so people will become aware of what great things happen here at the local level.” He hopes that it will also encourage more local organizations to apply for funding through the NEA.

Tyler Stallings, artistic director of the UCR Culver Center of the Arts, and director of the UCR Sweeney Art Gallery, has been working at ARTSBlock for eight years and led the tour. “The NEA's visit to Riverside and the Inland Empire is an indication of both the recognition in the leaps forward that the region has taken in the arts and also a recognition that it is an underserved community by the NEA, meaning that the NEA's new chair, Jane Chu, wanted to tour the area personally,” he said.

“It was also a pleasure that the NEA chose UCR's Culver Center of the Arts as the location to meet the public and her opening comments reflected a surpassingly intimate knowledge of the impact that UCR ARTSblock has made on the community, an indication of an awareness of our efforts on a national level.”

Recently, Stallings submitted a major proposal to the NEA for a project that will take place at the Culver by UCR Art Department assistant professor,Yunhee Min, called "Yunhee Min & Peter Tolkin's 'Red Carpet in C.'"—what he describes as an “ambitious installation” that will take over the entire two-story atrium. The last NEA funded project at Culver was a 2010 grant for "Lewis deSoto & Erin Neff: Tahquitz," which included working with various UCR professors in the California Native American Indian studies program.

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