Melissa Richardson Banks
Arts PR & Marketing Specialist, Podcast Host, and Photographer
Melissa Richardson Banks is an arts and PR marketing specialist who has managed Cheech Marin’s notable Chicano art collection since 2005. In addition to handling his speaking engagements, community events, and professional commitments, she has worked with Cheech to organize, market, and tour more than 13 exhibitions of works from his collection to over 50 museums nationwide and in Europe.
She specializes in public relations, strategic marketing partnerships and innovative, cost-effective solutions that produce results — from raising funds to raising awareness. In addition to Cheech, through her firm CauseConnect — which specializes in projects tied to the arts, the environment, and education — she has worked with notable corporate and nonprofit clients in California, Texas, and across the U.S. CauseConnect celebrated its 20th anniversary of “doing business by doing good” in October 2021.
Known for her photography of the Arts District of Los Angeles and now Houston as @DowntownMuse, Melissa is also an independent cultural producer. She plans, creates, funds and executes events, programs and projects such as museum exhibits, community festivals, virtual and in-person speaker series, classical music concerts, influencer dinners and salons.
To date, Melissa has produced, marketed, managed, and/or funded over 100 museum exhibits, and managed several national tours of traveling exhibits and art shows.