AfroNoon in White Park Commemorates New I.E. Museum and Cultural Center, Celebrates Diversity and Inclusion
The Charles A. Bibbs African American Museum and Cultural Center (The Bibbs) welcomed more than 500 community residents for its first AfroNoon celebration and mini-museum exhibition launch in White Park earlier this month. Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) was thrilled to join the city of Riverside as a sponsor, supporting The Bibbs and its mission to cultivate, collect and showcase expressions of African American arts and culture in the region.
AfroNoon served the community as a Black arts festival, highlighting local talent from various artistic elements: music, traditional arts, food, live performances, and craft vendors.
Also featured, pieces by the center’s namesake Charles A. Bibbs, an internationally renowned contemporary visual artist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist whose work is found in museums, galleries, organizations and homes of many collectors, including Riverside City Hall.
“The AfroNoon in White Park was successful!” said Bibbs. “The highly attended event was strongly indicative of the interest and cultural impact the Charles A. Bibbs African American Museum and Cultural Center will have on the community. Many people participated in the event to learn more about the upcoming museum and others came with excitement and support.”
“Our presentation of our mini-museum exhibit, featuring the art of local award-winning artists Maurice Howard, Diana Shannon and Charles Bibbs provided a small taste of what is to come when The Bibbs finds a gallery space of its own,” added Bibbs.
For IEHP, partnering with The Bibbs represents an opportunity to enhance cultural connections.
“Inclusivity is just as critical as medicine is to healing and inspiring the human spirit,” said Michael Deering, IEHP vice president of Innovation Acceleration and Diversity. “The Bibbs is a beacon to our community’s ongoing dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion and also provides space to actively facilitate, honor and celebrate that commitment on the level it deserves.”
In addition to sponsorship, the health plan served on the AfroNoon planning committee, provided giveaways and volunteers to support various booths.
Once a permanent location is secured, The Bibbs plans to continue their work to promote permanent and revolving world-class collections from Mr. Bibbs and other African American artists, providing inclusive spaces for community expression.
“The Bibbs will be a cultural destination in Riverside. It will be a ‘voice of empowerment’ wherein established, emerging and youth African American artists will be able to showcase their work in every discipline. For the community it will be a place for individuals and families to collaborate and connect with others in an enjoyable, inclusive environment of creativity and culture,” said Bibbs.
The Bibbs is currently working on a collaboration with Riverside’s Mission Inn Foundation to install a fine arts exhibition before November’s Festival of Lights, in addition to beginning a capital campaign to build its permanent home.
To learn more about The Bibbs, visit thebibbs.org