Counterculture icon at San Bernardino County Museum

Photo credit: Allen Amato

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– The San Bernardino County Museum’s 2018 Dome Talks series continues on Wednesday, May 16, with a sold-out presentation and book signing by Cheech Marin. Lillian Vasquez, host of KVCR’s Lifestyles, will facilitate Marin’s interview.

Marin, actor, comedian, and art collector, is the author of Cheech is Not My Real Name, But Don’t Call Me Chong, published in March 2017. Publishers Weekly said, “this memoir is a fun, wacky look inside Marin’s imagination.” During the evening, the book will be available for purchase and signing at the museum store.

Marin came of age at an interesting time in America, making his name as a self-made counterculture legend with his other comedic half, Tommy Chong, producing several comedy albums and feature films, like Up in Smoke, in the 1970s and 80s. Cheech Marin has since spent decades in a solo directing and acting career co-starring in Nash Bridges, Spy Kids, Tin Cup and others, and as a successful voice-over actor in Disney films, The Lion King, the Cars series, Coco and Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

His early interest in Chicano art has resulted in his amassing reportedly the finest and largest private collection in the world. The impact of his years-long advocacy for the recognition of Chicago artists as an American art genre will soon benefit the Inland Empire cultural scene with the future development of the Cheech Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry being planned in downtown Riverside at the site of the former main library

Museum Director Melissa Russo said, “we’re thrilled to feature Mr. Marin at our Dome Talks in May. In the pantheon of American philanthropists and art collectors, he is in a league with Peggy Guggenheim and Alice Walton, bringing a fresh aesthetic perspective and introducing a new genre to the nation. His visionary collecting has a tremendous impact on how we define American art, and it’s a terrific boost to Chicanx/Latinx artists seeking recognition from an arts market that has previously ignored this corner of our American culture.”

Dome Talks start at 6:30 p.m. with light refreshments provided by the San Bernardino County Museum Association. Talks begin promptly at 7 p.m. with book sales and signing following. Although Marin’s appearance is sold out, tickets are still available for the final Dome Talks speaker in the 2018 series, Chip Colwell, author of Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits, on June 21.Individual tickets are $25; Museum members can purchase tickets for $18. Tickets may be purchased at the Museum’s welcome desk, by calling the Museum at (909) 798-8608, or online at Advance ticket purchases are recommended because seating is limited.

The San Bernardino County Museum’s Dome Talks feature leading authors and thought leaders discussing topics relevant to the past, present, and future of our Inland Southern California region. This year’s lineup emphasizes the seismic shifts, social changes and environmental forces that have affected the lives of Californians. Dome Talks and other exciting Museum events and programs reflect the effort by the Board of Supervisors to achieve the Countywide Vision by celebrating arts, culture, and education in the county, creating quality of life for residents and visitors.

The San Bernardino County Museum is at 2024 Orange Tree Lane, at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. Parking is free. For more information, visit The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.

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