RAM Announces New Executive Director
The Riverside Art Museum (RAM) is pleased to announce the appointment of Drew Ellyn Oberjuerge to the position of Executive Director of RAM, which became effective March 13, 2012.
"We are pleased and excited to have such a talented and energetic new director and look forward to working with Drew as she helps us maintain and grow our outreach to the community through our education programs and exhibits," said Board President, Sue Simonin.
Ms. Oberjuerge brings with her professional experience at nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Riverside. Most recently, she started Jefferson Transitional Programs’ Art Works project, which brings the creative arts to hundreds of individuals throughout Riverside County who carry a mental health diagnosis. Under her leadership, Art Works received recognition for its innovative approach to engaging participants and educating the community about effective mental health policies.
“I am very gratified that our search committee conducted a nationwide search and selected the right candidate to lead this grand institution into a bright future,” said Greg Adamson, Interim Director. “Drew has the training, strength, leadership, and creativity to build on RAM's past success with fresh programming that will engage the community in a variety of new cultural experiences. I am beyond thrilled to have her on board.”
Oberjuerge was born and raised in the Inland Empire and is a graduate of Redlands High School. She holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy, as well as two bachelor’s degrees from the University of California, San Diego.
“As more research demonstrates the integral role that the arts play in community and economic development, it underscores the importance of RAM’s continued engagement with diverse audiences throughout the Inland Empire and the creation of programs that serve the public,” said Oberjuerge. “The legacy of the Julia Morgan-designed building provides a great framework for these activities. Morgan was a pioneering architect who created iconic private residences like Hearst Castle, but also created a large body of work dedicated to the public – like the YWCA that now houses the Riverside Art Museum.”
Oberjuerge’s goal is to use the six-week statewide celebration, “Julia Morgan 2012,” kicking off this October, as a platform for celebrating this source of civic pride, as well as building awareness of the need to sustain it.
“I look forward to working with the RAM Board of Directors and staff, increasing the number of benefactors, and making sure that the museum is a thriving, integral part of the community for many years to come,” said Oberjuerge.
The Riverside Art Museum wishes to announce the
resignation of MJ Abraham as the
Dear RAM members, supporters, artists, and community members:
The Riverside Art Museum wishes to announce the resignation of MJ Abraham as the Executive Director of the Riverside Art Museum, the largest private, non-profit art museum in the Inland Empire.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, Board President Susan Simonin states, “we are very grateful for the leadership and commitment Abraham has shown as the Museum’s Director over the past three years. The Board will appoint a committee to conduct a national search for Abraham's replacement and will strive to find someone as capable, energetic, and dedicated as MJ to continue the work underway.”
Abraham states, "I am very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. Serving as Director of the Riverside Art Museum has been an amazing experience which has allowed me to see first-hand the serious challenges that non-profit arts organizations face today. It is rewarding to know that I have contributed to advancing the museum’s mission and helped create opportunities for local arts and culture to flourish”.
During her tenure at RAM, Abraham worked closely with the staff, board, volunteers, artists, and community leaders to move the museum forward during the worst economy since the great depression. In true Abraham style, new and creative ideas and partnerships were created and implemented. Her leadership and entrepreneurial skills has been instrumental in generating new sources of income, retaining savings, and producing diverse and highly-acclaimed exhibitions and programs. Strategic thinking, collaborations, and innovative partnerships have clearly established the Museum as a leader for the arts in the region.
Although Abraham’s museum responsibilities end November 30, as a Life Member of the museum she intends to continue to support its mission. MJ will truly miss the museum and states, "I have confidence in the Board of Trustees to create a solid vision for the Museum, and in the dedicated and talented staff and volunteers who will work to make this vision a reality.”
RAM Is Awarded A Local Bank Of America Grant For The Third Year In A Row!
RAM is once again the recipient of a local Bank of America Grant, awarded in support of the RAM-BofA “Art Reaches & Teaches Students” (A.R.T.S.) project. Designed to support cutting-edge arts education programs in schools that need it most, the A.R.T.S. project is a collaboration that successfully provides vital arts experiences in our underserved, Title I local Elementary Schools.
Last year, the RAM-BofA A.R.T.S. project successfully sponsored over 105 art programs, reaching over 2,540 students with multiple-session Art-To-Go and Art & Science Connection classes. When counting up the multiple classes each program series offered, the A.R.T.S. project was responsible for providing over 7,083 exposures to the arts, exposures that provided hands-on art creation, opportunities to increase observation, dexterity, and critical thinking skills, and shared moments that empowered, intrigued, and delighted.
“The feedback from this program has been extremely positive; students and teachers have repeatedly expressed their gratitude and excitement for the opportunities this project has brought to their classrooms. We are truly appreciative of this partnership with Bank of America that allows a project of this magnitude and impact to become a reality for the community.” states Sue Simonin, RAM Board President.
This year, Bank of America has renewed its commitment by providing a $15,000 grant to hold an additional 60 Art-To-Go programs in RUSD’s Title I Elementary Schools. RAM is currently working to schedule and provide these programs, which are expected to reach almost 2,000 of our youngest students locally.
For more information on this grant, please contact Denise Dailey at DDailey@RiversideArtMuseum.org or if you are a teacher in one of RUSD’s 20 Title I schools and are interested in participating in this program, please contact Tracie Lents at RAMeducation@RiversideArtMuseum.org.
ARTventure Tour: Faces on Camera!
Check out all of the great faces and art from RAM's ARTventure Spring Break Tour.
Want to be part of the fun next time around?
The Riverside Art Museum is pleased to announce the tour of its Permanent Collection exhibition, Floating Worlds, to the La Sierra Senior Center.
A brand new, state-of-the-art community facility, the La Sierra Senior Center is proud to host Floating Worlds in their Multi-Purpose Room through the month of April.
Supported by the City of Riverside and the James Irvine Foundation, Floating Worlds continues RAM's mission to promote cultural awareness in underrepresented districts of Riverside, and also upholds an emphasis on Asian art and culture. RAM will host a free-to-the-public talk and presentation about the exhibition and RAM's mission on Thursday, April 21, at 12:45 p.m.
Museums on Us
Riverside Art Museum is participating in Bank of America's Museums on Us program. On the first full weekend of each month, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders get in free to participating museums across the country.
The E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation Awards RAM a $20,000 Grant
The E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation recently awarded the Riverside Art Museum (RAM) a twenty thousand dollar grant.
“The Carpenter Foundation’s long-standing support and friendship over the last 10 years has been invaluable,” states RAM Board President Sue Simonin, seen below receiving the grant check from Frank Vasicek, Division Manager of The Carpenter Co. “We can’t thank them enough for all they have done for RAM and the arts community.”
The Carpenter Foundation’s most recent grant will allow RAM to begin essential restoration of the Museum’s façade masonry, with an emphasis on the columns, windows, rooftop terrace, and entryway areas. “Our Julia Morgan-designed building is RAM’s largest asset and a valued work-of-art in its own right,” states MJ Abraham, Executive Director. “This grant will help us repair and restore the Museum to its original grandeur."
RAM’s building is on the National Register and is a designated City Landmark, City Structure of Merit, and a key District Contributor for the Mission Inn & 7th Street National Register Historic Districts.
With strong local partners such as the Carpenter Foundation, RAM will preserve this building’s legacy for future generations.
To explore additional ways to support RAM, please click here or contact Donna MacDonald at (951) 684-7111 x306.