Barbara and Art Culver Center Mission
Exhibitions, installations, dance, music and theatrical performances, spoken word, and a foreign and independent film program: the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts explores the art of our time in a dynamic setting.
The Culver Center's ground floor houses the new permanent home of the Sweeney Art Gallery, a café, a 75-seat film screening room, and an expansive atrium gallery beneath a 40-foot high skylight. Upstairs in Culver's Media Lab, university students, faculty, visiting artists and filmmakers explore state-of-the-art digital technology while dance, music, and theater faculty and students rehearse in studios with sprung wood floors and work out performances in a black box video/sound laboratory. In the lower level the California Museum of Photography's world-treasure Keystone-Mast glass-plate stereo collection is preserved in state-of-the-art seismically isolated cabinets.
Recognizing that artists play a crucial role in society, Culver has an innovative program of lectures, symposia, community forums and dialogues with artists, filmmakers, playwrights, dancers, and musicians. The Culver Center is a presentation site that is simultaneously a major cultural presence and a deeply inclusive institution. Here you will encounter arts and artists from around the world and from Southern California.
The Culver Center was initiated with a lead gift from the Culver family. The transformation of the 1895 Rouse Department Store, one of Riverside's architectural jewels, into the Culver Center has been supported by private donors, UCR, and the City of Riverside. This adaptive reuse enlivens the city's downtown core, bridges the community and the university, and marries history and 21st century digital technology.