Riverside, California, is home to a rich culture with an emphasis on the arts. Residents and visitors alike will enjoy exploring the artistic talents that Riverside has to offer. Here are some of the city’s notable art and cultural organizations and events.

The City of Riverside’s Arts & Cultural Affairs Division (ACAD)

The City Council of Riverside formed the Arts & Cultural Division with the purpose of making Riverside a center for education, culture, arts, and entertainment. It was formed between 2005 and 2006. The key objectives of the organization are to enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors of the city and build a strong local economy with a basis in arts and culture. The ACAD is responsible for overseeing, developing, and planning Riverside’s art programs and cultural activities. It also oversees the development and management of scholarships and grants. In addition to these responsibilities, ACAD also negotiates contracts for the city’s arts and cultural facilities.

Riverside Children’s Theatre

The Riverside Children’s Theatre, also known as the RCT, is a non-profit organization and Riverside’s leading children’s theatre. It began in 1957 and has since introduced thousands of children to the world of theatre through drama instruction and performance opportunities on and off stage. The RCT program is available for children from kindergarten through 8th grade. Students in 9th grade and above can participate in a tech class where they learn production skills, make-up lessons, and stage crew skills. RCT has two musical productions each year and relies on the help of volunteers, including parents, to help the productions go smoothly.

The Riverside Community Players

The Riverside Community Players began with a group of amateurs in 1925 that wanted to produce plays. The audience and actors both showed so much interest that in 1926 they became their own organization called the Community Players. The group features productions throughout the season that blend mystery, comedy, drama, and music. The group offers season tickets and individual tickets to its productions as well as daytime performances for school field trips.

Riverside Dickens Festival

The Riverside Dickens Festival is an annual celebration of the life and times of the famous author, Charles Dickens. Each year the festival features a wide variety of events that pay homage to the legacy of the author and take visitors back to the place and time that Dickens lived. Festival attendees will delight in seeing the elaborate costumes that portray the historic era. There are plenty of activities to attend at the festival including Mr. Fezziwig’s Ball where the event’s dance master instructs attendees through waltzes and polkas. Other events such as the Victorian Fashion Show, Grand Dickens Parade, and the Trial of Jack the Ripper all serve to engage the audience of festival attendees.

The Riverside Artswalk

This community event occurs every first Thursday of the month in Riverside. It serves to celebrate the diversity of culture and art in the area. Over 20 venues participate, including art galleries, museums, studios, and the local library. There are plenty of restaurants along the walk to stop and grab a bite while you enjoy the event. The Artswalk is hosted by the Riverside Arts Council.

By: Chris Purcell

Attorney Chris Purcell is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara College of Law. He exclusively represents the victims of personal injury and wrongful death. Chris was part of the team that won California’s largest-ever wrongful death judgment – a $150 million verdict for a family devastated by a tragic trucking accident. In 2011, he received the Top Gun Award given by the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association.