Lucille Ruibal-Rivera prides herself as growing up as a north sider, east sider. Her career Denver Health kicked off and for the next 34 years, Ruibal-Rivera held the jobs of nurse aide, supervisor, business manager, ambulatory care, and the director of the Eastside Health Clinic.
Ruibal-Rivera was also instrumental in helping getting Clinica Tepeyac established by fundraising, photography. She later became an operations manager, then the HR manager for Clinica Tepeyac.
Lucille Ruibal-Rivera is a Denver native also known for her unique photography. The youngest of seven, she is a single mom with three adult children, 8 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. She has spent time with her family, community and her love of photography through the years. She adds, “I see something in everything. I can look at a twig and see a face; I can look at a building and see history. People don’t take the time to really look at their surroundings. I do, I can’t help it. The world is full of wonders and surprises and I can hardly wait to photograph it.”
Ruibal-Rivera recently placed first for her photography at a CHAC photo exhibit. She was also recently named as the Executive Director of the Chicano Humanities Arts Council (CHAC). Ruibal-Rivera says, “I believe in diversity and I believe the word “Chicano” has been lost in the mix. I plan to resurrect the term “Chicano.” She also plans to open up the gallery on Sundays. CHAC is famously known for their “First Friday” events.
Clinica Tepeyac Director, Jim Garcia says of his former manager, “Lucille will be responsible for the day to day operations of the CHAC Gallery and will work closely with staff, contractors, and artists to insure that CHAC remain a vibrant arts organization in the Denver metro area.”
Ruibal-Rivera brings creativity, strong public relations and strong cultural and artistic ties to her new position. She offers, “I feel my call in life is to be a servant, that is why I’ve worked in the non-profit world for the last 42+ years of my life. I will never forget my mother saying, “By the grace of God, there goes I.” “I’ve taken those words to heart. To serve is a blessing.”
Ruibal-Rivera wasn’t looking for open doors. She planned to retire the end of June, but a new door opened up. Ruibal-Rivera plans to establish an exhibit at CHAC in honor of her late brother, Celestino “Sal” Ruibal who created stained glass pieces for over 40 years. Ruibal-Rivera is true to her culture, her family and her community. CHAC has gained a shining light into the arts.