ART on Tap @ RAM

The Riverside Art Museum (RAM) is hosting a creative and exciting fundraiser next Saturday, August 8th at the museum.  Art on Tap: Late Night Arts Bash for Arts Education is an evening of beer tasting and art sampling where you’ll be able to view and/or participate in demonstrations from numerous artists and enjoy fun brews, food, and music.  More importantly though, this event helps to raise funds for RAM’s extensive mission to “engage, inspire, and build community through the arts”.

RAM KidsAs we face more and more cuts to arts programs in our schools, supplemental programs have an even greater importance in getting art into the lives of our youth.  The RAM Art Education program reaches over 10,000 youths through school and museum based programs.  These include programs such as First Sundays, Art-To-Go, Museum Tours, and Art Education Classes & Workshops.  The programs do not happen for free, art supplies are not falling from the sky.  The museum needs funds for the programs to continue and to grow. It is important because exposure to art is important.  To quote the museum’s website,

“Exposure to art can have profound influence on a young person’s life. Beyond what art teaches, like respect for diverse viewpoints, courage to experiment, and problem-solving skills, some of the greatest rewards come from the intrinsic value of art and the personal joy one experiences through the creative process.”

Art on TapJoin the Ransom-McKenzie Team, (the Artists Disguised as Realtors), as we support arts education and enjoy some late night art fun too! The event is on Saturday, August 8th from 9pm – 1am… (We know it’s late, but it will be fun!)  All three floors of RAM will be filled with interactive and collaborative art stations, music, food, and beer from breweries like Hangar 24 and Wicks Brewing Co.

Paint with Greg Adamson, doodle or color with Rina Gonzales, try art journaling or printmaking with Laura Ryan, get creative with some fun Weathered Feather projects with Jill Rowden, relax with some creative doodling/coloring for adults with Rina Gonzales, get a henna tattoo by Jenny Montenegro, learn about nuno felting with Charlotte Ransom McKenzie, and more!  Yes, you read that correctly, Charlotte will be one of the artists demonstrating the art at this event.  We hope you’ll come see what we’re up to and support arts education at RAM.  Tickets are only $20, and that includes a free brew! Click here to get your tickets today!  Then come visit Charlotte as she felts the night away.

Riverside REP’s Pirates of Penzance

Riverside Repertory Theater continues its reputation of producing new and innovative approaThe Pirates of Penzanceches to musical theater with the hilarious tale of pirates, policemen, a major-general and his daughters.  Gilbert and Sullivan’s hopeful farce, Pirates of Penzance, plays weekends until June 14th at the Box Theater in the Fox Entertainment Plaza, in downtown Riverside.

Every show that we have been to see this season with Riverside REP has been an incredibly fabulous production.  They truly are meeting their goal of bringing “daring, innovative and high quality professional musicals that entertain, educate and enrich” to Riverside.  This final production of the 2014-15 season will not disappoint.

When Connie was at Reed College, (years ago!) the theater group there would perform a Gilbert & Sullivan musical every year.  She always loved participating in these fun, comedic productions.  We can’t wait to see what original twist Riverside Repertory Theater will put on this production.  Charlotte & Connie are going tonight- we can’t wait to see this show!  If you’re not familiar with Gilbert & Sullivan musicals, here is a synopsis of the plot with some information from the Riverside Repertory’s press release:

Pirates 2Pirates of Penzance follows young Frederic, an orphan who has mistakenly been apprenticed to an ineffectual but raucous band of pirates.  He disavows the pirates’ way of life and falls for the beautiful Mabel.  When the Pirate King discovers Mabel’s father, General Stanley, has lied about being an orphan to keep the pirates from carrying off his bevy of beautiful daughters, an “ingenious paradox” may prevent the budding romance and lead to the death of “The very model of a modern Major-General.”  In a fresh new staging by Riverside Rep, director John Blondell highlights the wonderful music of Sir Arthur Sullivan, the quixotic book and lyrics of W. S. Gilbert, and the intoxicating performance abilities of a multi-talented cast.  “Audiences were thrilled with the Rep’s 2014 innovative approach to Fiddler on the Roof and this production will add a similar ground-breaking slant on the classic musical, ” says Rep Artistic Director Matt Neves.

PiratesThe talented ensemble cast is led by Rep veterans Nicholas Sloan, as Frederic, who was last seen as Riff in the acclaimed production of West Side Story, and Michaelia Wade, as Mabel, who performed in the Rep’s La Cage Aux Folles and Fiddler on the Roof.  Matt Dallal (Action in WSS) will portray the Pirate King and Travis Rhett Wilson plays the police sergeant, following up his award winning performance in the Rep’s Assassins.  New to the Rep, Inland Empire locals, Jamie Snyder and Sarah Horn, will bring to life Major-General Stanley and Ruth, respectively.

Pirates of Penzance performs until June 14th, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm.

Tickets can be purchased at
or by calling 909-228-0046

Student rush tickets are available for $20 at the door.

RAM’s Riverside Art Make: The 52 Project

52 Logo PictureThe Ransom-McKenzie Team is proud to be a sponsor of Riverside Art Museum’s “52 Project”.  If you know us, you know that we are “Artists in Disguise as Realtors”.  While the Realtor thing does take a lot of our time, we always enjoy making time for the arts.

As sponsors, we will be actively participating in the “52 Project” which is the brainchild of our good friend, Sue Mitchell. Sue’s journey as an artist through her extraordinary “52” Exhibit which took place at RAM October – December 2013, has inspired us to participate in the “52 Project”.  The goal is to bring artists and artist “wanna’ bes” from across the city and beyond together in a “52 week, self directed journaling adventure”.  The beauty of this project is that anyone with creative aspirations in any the creative arts can join in the fun.  This means YOU! Don’t be scared to try it out, everyone will be working together to support one another and help to get the creative juices flowing. We believe that art is an important part of our existence, don’t let it go by the wayside.

“The 52 Project”, a part of RAM’s Riverside Art Make, is about getting a group of creative people together to find inspiration and motivation from one another while working on a 52-week, self-directed art journaling project. The goal is to help you develop the habit of capturing your ideas and being more artful on a regular basis.

The first meeting of the minds is Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 so you have plenty of time to sign up.  We’re encouraging our friends to join us and have fun!  As sponsors The Ransom-McKenzie Team is privileged to have the opportunity to invite some of our friends to join us as our guests.  Let us know if you might be interested in this opportunity and joining us in the journaling adventures. Send us an e-mail and let us know you’re in!

How Does “The 52 Project” Work?

Option 1:

A 52-week, self-directed art journaling adventure. The journal you keep can be any style, size, and be kept daily, weekly, or monthly. What we ask is that you make this journal an “EVERYTHING BOOK” capturing all of your creative ideas as if it were a scrapbook, sketchbook, daily planner, diary, and journal.

Option 2:

For those of you that feel a creative idea developing along the way, e.g., a short story, dance piece, one-act play, art exhibit, etc., we will help you learn (at the October meeting) how to write an exhibit/project proposal to submit to the museum. The museum will jury the proposals and select a variety of projects for 4-day exhibitions/performances to be held during the Summer of 2016. (You do not need to decide if you want to participate in Option 2 until the October meeting. It has no additional cost.)

Journal Picture

Enrollment in the “52 Project” is open to museum members and non members alike.  There will be four general “meetings” or workshops where participants will gather to review ideas, offer support, present proposals, and generally discuss how your journaling adventure is going. The dates for these meetings are:

  • Sunday, May 3, 2015, 1:00 p.m.: KICK-OFF MEETING | Q&A | View “52” Documentary | Journaling demos.
  • Sunday, October 4, 2015, 1:00 p.m.: MID-YEAR MEETING | Journaling and proposal writing workshops.
  • Sunday, March 5, 2016: NO MEETING | PROPOSALS DUE by 4:00 p.m. if you opted for Option 2.
  • Sunday, May 1, 2016, 1:00 p.m.: FINAL MEETING | Share art journals | Announce projects selected.

For more information on this project and other RAM Riverside Art Make events taking place, visit the RAM website. You can sign up for the “52 Project” online.

Gluck Summer Arts Program

Are your children interested in Theater, Music, Dance, Writing or ….. Super Heroes?  This year’s Gluck Fellows Program of the Arts Summer Camp might be something of interest to you.  The theme this summer is SuperHumanities: When Art Powers Collide. Sounds like fun, right?


The Gluck Program of the Arts is a FREE summer camp for mature 14-18 year olds.  The one week camp takes place on the UCR campus from June 15-19, 2015. The goal of the Gluck Summer Camp of the Arts is to provide mature teenagers with an intensive educational experience in the arts and to expand their understanding of the history, theory and application of the various arts disciplines that emphasize individual growth. Students participate in workshops which are led by an energetic crew of UCR Gluck Fellows.

This year’s program features four workshop sessions which run from 9:00am until 3:30pm.  The workshops are as follows:

Monday, June 15th – Thursday, June 18th :

9:00 – 10:00      MorningMixer games and icebreakers for all camp members with a Morning Workshop
10:00-12:00    Morning Workshops (choose Spoken Word Creative Writing OR Physical Dance Theatre S.P.L.A.T.)
12:00-12:30    Lunch break (bring your packed lunch or buy lunch at the HUB)
12:30-1:30       HomeRoom – Art, music and dance activities for all participants on ARTS Lawn near Gluck Office
1:30-3:30      Afternoon Workshops (choose Hip Hop Hooray OR Karaoke Kamp)

The entire program culminates with a performance event on the last day of camp where the students participate in a final performance event. (Friday, June 19th)

Here is a snippet of activities from a past Summer Camp showing just  a few of the fun activities that took place during the “HomeRoom” sessions:

This year’s HomeRoom sessions will feature workshops where the students will be creating superhero costumes using a “rags to rad” philosophy. The “costumes” might be used for the final performance event or they just might become the next fad on campus, who knows?

This program offers a fabulous opportunity for mature teens who are interested in the arts to participate in college level workshops with like minded peers.  Being on campus at UCR also offers the college experience to the participants encouraging and preparing them for attending college or University.  For information on this program, visit the Gluck Summer Camp website.  Detailed information about the classes and application forms are available there.  The deadline for applications is Friday, May 20th.

The Gluck Fellows Program of the Arts at UCR is made possible through the generosity of the Max H. Gluck Foundation

“Something Like a Sabbatical”


The Ransom-McKenzie Team is excited to be sponsoring the screening of Sue Mitchell’s “52” Exhibit Documentary film “Something Like A Sabbatical” at the Riverside Art Museum on Sunday afternoon.  The screening event starts at 4:00pm and will also feature a discussion with Sue and the award-winning documentary filmmakers Pamela Breere Briggs and William McDonald.  There still may be a few seats left for this exciting event.  Click here to make your reservations.

Hopefully we’ll see you there.

Centennial Plaza Becoming a Reality

If you haven’t noticed there are some major changes taking place on the Northwest corner of Magnolia and University Avenues.  This is the future location of Riverside Community College District’s Centennial Plaza which will open in 2016 and “will mark the debut of a major arts, cultural and education resource for our region.”

The buildings you are seeing under construction are the Henry W. Coil, Sr. and Alice Edna Coil School for the Arts and the RCC Culinary Arts Academy & The Office of the Chancellor.  These two buildings are currently being raised together with a large parking garage.  They will join the existing Center for Social Justice & Civil Liberties  The sites have actually been under construction for over a year, but everything being done prior to January this year was happening underground. When working with historic locations you never know what you’re going to find once you start digging around. This project was no exception to that rule. According to Chris Carson, RCCD Chief of Staff & Facilities, they found numerous historic artifacts, a gasoline storage tank, and a deep cavern which extended underneath University Avenue.  All of this contributed to a few delays, but now completion for the $80 Million plus project is slated for March 2016 in conjunction with RCC’s Centennial year.

The city will also have two additional facilities to add to it’s Arts & Innovation program. The Culinary Arts Academy which will boast  professional quality teaching kitchens, a bakery, class-rooms and a public dining room while the School for the Arts will feature state-of-the-art instrumental labs, recording rooms, and classrooms.  The upper floors will also house the RCCD district services offices.

The School for the Arts will also feature the Inland Empire’s first mid-size concert hall (450 seats), suitable for individual artists, quartets, ensembles or even full orchestras.”  This modular space is “made out of wooden slabs and heavy curtain. These wooden slabs can move around and be removed, as well as the curtain, to provide a desired acoustic effect, and can go from completely wooden, to all curtains, to open air.”

The Center for Social Justice & Civil Liberties is already open to the public.  It is fast becoming a popular event location.  Visitors to the center can enjoy the Mine Okubo Collection, Multi-Media archives and a children’s education zone.  The building is currently open to the public on Saturdays from 10:00am to 4:00pm.  You can also set up an appointment for additional visits.

The project should be fun to watch as these beautiful buildings start to take shape.  This portion of the downtown corridor is going to look fabulous when construction is complete.

The City of Arts & Innovation

Riverside, the City of Arts & Innovation.  Since the selection of this tagline, the city of Riverside has strived to live up to their mission: to “champion and advance Riverside as The City of Arts & Innovation in the broadest economic and social context possible”

Studies have shown that a vibrant Arts & Culture base provide strong economic benefits for cities.  Riverside has depended on this as the Mayor and City Council continue to support more Culture and Arts related projects throughout Downtown.

The Box is located above the Showcase Space between The Fox and the parking garage.

The Box is located on the upper level of the Fox Entertainment Plaza.

One notable recent project which supports this mission, has been the Fox Performing Arts Center and the adjoining Fox Entertainment Plaza.  Upon completion of the historic Fox Theater’s rehabilitation, the City worked to complete the Entertainment Plaza.  This space includes a Showcase Venue for large public events and gatherings, The Box, a black box theater, The Promenade at the Box and a parking garage.

While controversial prior to completion, Riverside’s Arts community has eagerly embraced and is using this performance venue extensively.  The Box venue is a location for producing and promoting local performing arts groups, as well as presenting traveling professional performances.  The box is available for local theater groups such as Riverside Repertory Theater, Gestalt Theater Project and even local Schools that need theater space.  With seating up to approximately 200 patrons, this venue is a great size, and the black box format means that shows can be presented in a multitude of configurations- proscenium, thrust, round, and more- The Box brings state of the art technology to the local theater community.

The Promenade is also available for events.

The Promenade is also available for events.

Right now is a great time to go check out the box for yourself.  RiversideREP’s performance of West Side Story opens tonight, Friday, January 30th.  You’ll see a fabulous production which uses the black box space in creative and exciting ways.  Tickets are available at  We’ll see you at The Box!

We are in LOVE with RIVERSIDE!

Heart RaincrossLet us count the ways! With Valentine’s Day this week, we thought it would be fun to highlight all of the things we love about the quality of life we enjoy in Riverside.   We’ll be adding a new story each day for the next several days on this Blog Riverside! page.  The countdown starts today! We could not decide on our absolute FAVORITE thing about Riverside, so these are in no particular order.  (Although, you all know we love the Arts!)

Our First Love is Riverside’s Rich History

Riverside's Fox Theater is one of our City's finest historic landmarks.

Riverside’s Fox Theater is one of our City’s finest historic landmarks.

Riverside has a long history – for California. More importantly, the people of Riverside have a willingness to preserve history. Native cultures, early Hispanic settlements, frontier immigrants from the Midwest and east as well as immigrants from Europe, China and Japan add to the fabric of Riverside.

The Gage and Riverside Canals were instrumental in setting our agricultural importance.  The first section of the Gage Canal was constructed in 1885 at the peak of our Citrus Industry boom.  Without the resources the Gage Canal offers our City, we would not be where we are today.  The City’s citrus boom would have been bust.

The Gage Canal Company building on Duffrin Ave.

The Gage Canal Company building on Duffrin Ave.

Frank Miller, builder of, and keeper of, the Mission Inn, was a leader who invested in our infrastructure (canals and parks) and the notion of international relations. He championed the rights of minorities and immigrants.  His leadership still resonates today as the City fosters relationships with eight sister cities throughout the world.

The Municipal Auditorium was just given a facelift & a retrofit.  This magnificent building was first built as a Veteran Memorial.

The Municipal Auditorium was just given a facelift & a retrofit. This magnificent building was first built as a Veteran Memorial.

Riverside has been forward thinking regarding preserving the historic architecture as well as our agricultural history. Travel along Magnolia Avenue or Victoria Avenue and enjoy the changing seasons – the blossoming trees and roses.

The Julia Morgan designed YWCA is now home to RAM.

The Julia Morgan designed YWCA is now home to our Riverside Art Museum.

Visit the Mission Inn, Heritage House, the Riverside Metropolitan Museum, the Harada House, the Riverside Art Museum or the Municipal Auditorium. These are only a few of the notable historic landmarks which have been preserved in Riverside.

The line of palm trees, and blooming roses is loved by hikers, bikers, and commuters throughout the city.

The line of palm trees, and blooming roses along Victoria Avenue is loved by hikers, bikers, and commuters throughout the city.

We are proud of our city and the historic heritage that has been preserved here.  The rich history, and pride in our city’s historic roots is one of the things that we LOVE about RIVERSIDE.

Culver Center Free Concert!

Labrynth & Teslim: Free Concert
Thursday, October 18, 8:00pm

Featuring original compositions and traditional music from Greece and beyond.  This free concert is part of UC Riverside’s Voices of Change series which is dedicated to the “lively exploration of art, artist, and self, one event at a time.  Free events like this are another reason that we enjoy such a great quality of life here in Riverside.

Revered Crete-Based composer-performers Ross Daly and Kelly Thoma of Labrynth join the exploratory string duo Teslim (Kalia Flexer and Gari Hegedus) in a mesmerizing evening of instrumental music inspired by the modes and odes of Greece.  The quartet displays astonishing skill at presenting instrumental songs wrung through impossibly complicated rhythms rooted in the musical traditions of the Mediterranean and Near East.

The concert will take place  at the Culver Center of the Arts on Tomorrow Night at 8:00.  The doors open at 7:00pm and seating is on a first come, first served basis.  For more information on the artists, visit UC Riverside Presents’ information page.

Help spread the word about this free event.  Share our blog with your friends & family so that everyone has a chance to enjoy these events!

Fox Entertainment Plaza


The City of Arts & Innovation is preparing to celebrate the opening of yet another venue to support the arts, entertainment and growth downtown.  The Fox Entertainment Plaza is close to completion!

Construction is moving along quickly on the parking structure (right), Entertainment Plaza (center) and Black Box Theater.

The complex will include a 400 space parking structure, 10,000 square feet of exhibit space for the Riverside Metropolitan Museum, and 12,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space.  The restaurant occupant has not yet been confirmed but the City says they are in talks with numerous options.  In addition to the retail and parking, there is going to be a 4,000 square foot Black Box Theatre.  A black box theater is a flexible space that can be reconfigured to accommodate different types of performances.

The Fox Entertainment Plaza connects to Route Six of the City’s Seizing our Destiny plan.  This route is titled Around the City, Around the Year, Around the Clock.  This route states:

Riverside buzzes with an unmatched array of nationally recognized and regionally distinctive destinations delighting people of diverse interests, age groups and lifestyles by providing a mix of popular venues for dining, shopping, entertainment and socializing.

When the Fox Entertainment Plaza is complete, and the space is full, it will most certainly add to the diverse venues available Downtown.

Artist’s rendering of the Fox Entertainment Plaza’s front facade along Market Street.


The City is asking our residents to help out with the naming of the Black Box Theater and the Exhibit Hall portion of the Plaza.  You can cast your votes up to October 22, 2012 by clicking on the “Vote Here” link below.  If you don’t like the name options given in the survey, you even have the opportunity to add your own suggestions.  As we anticipate the arrival of this venue, it is fun to have the opportunity to participate in the project one last time.


Let us know what you think!  Keep the conversation going Riverside.