Anyone who has attended a UCR arts event in the past six years may have a reason to thank Richard Reinis.
Since 1998, UCR has been able to showcase the talents of its students and faculty due in a large part to the generous donations of the Gluck Foundation. Reinis, a Gluck Foundation Trustee, was the key player in bringing UCR to the Foundation’s attention.
Reinis discovered UCR in 1995, because he was involved in the construction of University Village. He saw in UCR a place where the Foundation’s money could make a tremendous impact. Reinis also said he appreciated UCR’s world-class administration, the great representation of minorities on campus, and the talent, dedication, and creativity of the humanities and arts department chairs.
The experiment resulted in quick results. “The programs at UCR have paid off because they capture the essence of Gluck,” Reinis said, which is to allow the arts departments to extend their creativity into the broader community. Gluck funds two similar arts programs at University of California, Los Angeles and Julliard School in New York.
UCR was the first to involve art history, and it was the first school to involve its faculty, rather than just students. The program at UCR is also unique because the grant was awarded to the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, not just to the Music Department, and that allowed UCR to use the grant for a wider variety of visual and performing arts.
Reinis, himself, does not have a background in the arts. He studied history at Princeton University and business law at the University of Southern California Law School. Now he owns Krispy Kreme franchises in Southern California. Still, he feels arts programs are necessary to reach out to the community and encourage young people to pursue the arts.
The grants awarded by the Gluck Foundation extend for three-year periods, and have so far been awarded to UCR twice since 1996. The performances are held at schools and retirement homes in the Inland Empire, with target populations such as students, the elderly, the disabled, neighborhood ethnic groups, and youth groups.
Reinis has attended many events over the years and said that he enjoys them tremendously. One of the most memorable experiences he’s had was at a retirement home where the audience, many of whom attached to breathing machines, were still tapping their feet to the beat. The performers could see that they were reaching their audience.
“It was a great feeling to see that because it felt like it captured the essence of Gluck and the foundation was making progress in reaching out to the community,” he said.