Expanding on the Miné Okubo Collection, history and the arts, and social justice in the Inland Empire…

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Exciting December Events at the Center!


The Center will be screening David Weissman’s documentary, We Were Here: The AIDS Years in San Francisco on December 4th in honor of World AIDS Day as part of the Artswalk film series.  Nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary, We Were Here offers a hauntingly beautiful tribute to an era of tremendous suffering, loss, and resilience.  It will be screened at 6:00pm and again at 7:45pm in the Center’s media vault.  Admission is free but seating is limited, so please call 951-222-8846 or email socialjustice@rccd.edu to reserve your spot!

This documentary is one of the first to reflect on the impact of AIDS in San Francisco. We get a glimpse of how the city and its people were affected by, and how they responded to, the epidemic. While the documentary is based in San Francisco it also extends beyond San Francisco and beyond AIDS itself. It speaks to our capacity as individuals to rise to meet difficult challenges, and to the incredible power of a community when it comes together with love, compassion, and determination.

The Artswalk film series continues in the New Year, celebrating Black History Month on February 5th with Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed, and Women’s History Month on March 5th with a screening of Women of ’77.

okubo_commercial_BASF Christmas card_1555 (cropped)

On December 7th we will be hosting a holiday card-decorating party for kids and families from 1:00-4:00pm as part of the First Sundays program offered by downtown museums and cultural institutions. This is an excellent opportunity for families to engage in art and get in the holiday spirit!

Cards printed with a template of one of Miné Okubo’s own charming holiday prints will be available for decoration with crayons, markers, stickers, feathers, and more! It’s a great opportunity for kids to employ their imagination and families to enjoy some creative fun and holiday tunes. Admission and supplies are free.

First Sundays is a seasonal series of free family programs featuring different activities for children and teens at seven locations in downtown.  Sponsored by the Riverside Arts Council.

This post was written by Cynthia Mosley.


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A Busy Start to November!

The Center started November off with a series of fun events for families and art lovers. On November 2nd, as part of the downtown-wide First Sundays program and in conjunction with the Dia de los Muertos festivities at White Park, the Center hosted more than 240 kids and adults in a mask-making party. Dozens of children made their own sugar-skull masks with markers, stickers, feathers and more, then wore their creations as they toured the ofrendas in the park and listened to bands like Quetzal as part of the city-sponsored festival. Great job City of Riverside!

Dia de los Muertos 2_Release

On Thursday November 6th, more than 30 visitors attended the Center’s Artswalk Film Series screenings of the Inland Empire premier of Hidden Legacy: Traditional Japanese Performing Arts in the WWII Internment Camps. As a special treat, the film’s Creative Director Shirley Muramoto-Wong participated in an audience Q&A following the 6pm showing and then gave a truly stirring performance on the koto, a traditional Japanese stringed instrument. Tea and refreshments were provided by the Riverside chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League. Thanks for sharing your terrific film with us, Shirley! Copies of the DVD are available for purchase at: jcalegacy.com/hidden-legacy-film-2/.

Hidden Legacy Koto 2

These free public programs would not be possible without the assistance of the Center’s wonderful and dedicated volunteers. To show the District’s gratitude to those who so generously give their time to the Center, a volunteer appreciation event was held at Alumni House on Saturday November 1st. All volunteers and student workers were given free tickets to the upcoming performances of Shrek The Musical by Performance Riverside on the RCC Campus, courtesy of Dean Scott Bauer of RCC’s School of the Arts. Several volunteers also received awards for exceptional service, including Chance Douglas, Danielle Sanchez, and Monica de Atley for volunteering the greatest number of hours, and Elliott Kim and Judy Lee for their efforts to publicize and support the Center and recruit more volunteers and visitors. Thanks so much to these wonderful volunteers for your commitment to the Center!

Watch this space, sign up for our email newsletter, or follow us on social media for more on our upcoming events, including a First Sundays Christmas card craft and the December Artswalk screening of We Were Here: The AIDS Years in San Francisco.