Modernism Week announced that its recent 11-day festival in February 2022 and its four-day festival in October 2021 provided an opportunity for dozens of local organizations and neighborhood groups to produce events that raised significant funds from ticket sales for official Modernism Week events. These events included neighborhood tours, parties, educational talks, and other programs and enabled the organizations to contribute to local Coachella Valley charities or to fund civic improvements. During Modernism Week Fall Preview and Modernism Week 2022, participating partner organizations raised $1.81 million. This includes more than $580,000 in funds raised by local neighborhood organizations from tours. 

Modernism Week also continued to support its long-standing scholarship program by awarding seven scholarships to deserving Coachella Valley students who have chosen educational paths in the fields of architecture and design. The scholarships, which will total $35,000, include matching funds from One Future Coachella Valley, an organization that supports Modernism Week scholarship recipients in navigating the college experience to assure the students will succeed in college, career and life, ultimately, expanding and enhancing the local workforce. Since the Modernism Week scholarship program was initiated in 2011, more than $230,000 has been awarded to-date.

The students receiving scholarships this year are Irving Valdes Moreno of Mecca, studying Architecture and Design at Cal Baptist University, Stephanie Perez Ocaranza of Thousand Palms, studying Architecture and Design at California State Polytechnic University, Gardenia Gernandez of Indio, studying Graphic Design at California State Polytechnic University, Valentina Rodriguez Salinas of Thermal studying Environmental Science at University of California Los Angeles, Jorjele Quintero Meraz of Thermal, studying Environmental Science at Cal Baptist University, Karen Meza Morales of Thousand Palms, studying Architecture Design at California State Polytechnic University, and Amparo Nedina of Cathedral City, studying Civil and Environmental Engineering at California State Polytechnic University. 

In 2022, Modernism Week also provided a $500 grant to the Visual Communications Program at Nashville State City College (NSCC). The grant provided seed funding for a Student Chapter of the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts), the most lauded professional graphic arts organization nationally. Students in this program participated in a promotional poster design assignment, designing mock-up festival posters and promotional graphics for their portfolios to give the students real life professional career experience. Modernism Week was the subject of the student assignment. 

“Giving back to the community is one of the most important aspects of Modernism Week,” said Lisa Vossler Smith, Chief Executive Officer. “Our Board of Directors and staff are committed to partnering with community organizations to help them generate revenue through event ticket sales. We are especially pleased to award annual scholarships to deserving local students. Supporting talented designers from the Coachella Valley is a top priority and one of the many ways that Modernism Week invests in the community.”

Helping Neighborhoods and Organizations Raise Funds

Modernism Week works closely with local neighborhood organizations to showcase the design of iconic Palm Springs residences and other architecturally significant buildings during tours in many of the city’s 48 official neighborhoods and neighboring cities. Most neighborhood organizations reinvested the proceeds made from the tours into their neighborhoods through architectural restoration, improving infrastructure, or landscape improvements. This year 24 neighborhoods (including 3 new neighborhoods and 4 mid-valley tours) organized tours that featured approximately 120 residences, attracting more than 9,000 participants. These neighborhoods included Calypso Palms, Canyon View Estates, Chalet Palms, Cody Court, Country Club Estates, Tennis Club Villas, Historic Tennis Club, Kings Point, Magnesia Falls, Mesquite Canyon Estates, Pompeii de Las Palmas, Royal Hawaiian Estates, Sagewood, SunMor, Tamarisk West, and Twin Springs. 

“We were so incredibly pleased to partner with Modernism Week to produce the tour of our community,” said Jeremy Hunt, one of the tour organizers for Chalet Palms. “Seeing how excited people were to tour our community really drove home the importance of preservation to the city and to our property owners. It increased the pride of ownership for us all and reinforced that it is hugely important to be a part of Modernism Week.”

Many neighborhoods raised funds specifically to donate to local charities, including: 

·       Mesquite Canyon Estates contributed $500 to the Architecture and Design scholarship fund at College of the Desert

·       SunMor Neighborhood Home Tour donated about 20% of its tour revenue to the Neuro Vitality Center that is located in its neighborhood  

·       Twin Palms – It Started Here continued its sponsorship of the ongoing William Krisel’s Twin Palms Exhibit

·       Twin Springs – Wexler’s Hidden Gem donated some of the funds they raised form the tour to local charitable organizations

·       Vista Las Palmas donated the funds they raised from their annual tour to the Palm Springs Animal Shelter, the LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert, Palm Springs Modern Committee, food banks, and other LGBT, women’s health, and preservation organizations

Many neighborhoods raised funds to reinvest in their communities and their surrounding neighborhood. These included:  

·       Calypso Palms – raised funds to restore the community pool to its original state

·       Canyon View Estates: Krisel & Fey the Design/Build Duo of Canyon View Estates – used the funds to convert some of the community’s grass to more desert-friendly landscaping, reducing water usage 

·       Canyon View Estates: The Finale – funds will be used for landscaping, lighting, creating a monument sign, and other community improvements

·       Chalet Palms: The Chalet Palms Experience – will use the funds to secure official preservation status, conduct historic research, and provide funds for long-term maintenance of the property

·       Cody Court aka Tour of Historic Cody Homes – purchased vintage umbrellas and paid down the cost for the replacement the complex’s cobble stone road 

·       Country Club Estates, 1965 – will use the funds for landscaping projects, and pay for the process of applying for historic designation 

·       El Rancho Vista Estates: Plans to use the funds to help offset the cost of burying the current above ground power lines on the three Wexler original streets

·       Hidden Cody Tennis Club Villas – tour funds were designated for landscaping renovations and upgrades, lighting upgrades, and preservation of the midcentury infrastructure

·       Historic Tennis Club Tour of Homes – used the funds to create a new website for the neighborhood, a new logo, and new neighborhood blade signs 

·       Indian Canyons Neighborhood Organization earmarked Modernism Week tour funds for neighborhood enhancement including website design, landscaping, lighting, and contining working with the IC Golf Course to enhance course locations

·       Kings Point, A Blueprint for Modern Living – will use the funds for an important water saving project including creating a xeriscape landscaping project on the fringe of the property using drought-tolerant and native plants

·       Magnesia Falls Cove – the tour funds will be applied to funding continuing education and advocacy programs for architectural history and preservation on behalf of the Rancho Mirage community 

·       Mesquite Canyon Estates – money raised will allow the neighborhood organization to implement infrastructure and landscaping upgrades to preserve the historic integrity of the neighborhood and hire a professional to assist with the Historical District Application

·      Park Imperial South utilized Modernism Week tour funds to enhance and preserve the architectural integrity of the intentions of architect Barry Berkus by repairing structural elements and enhancing the drought-tolerant landscaping

·       Pompeii de Las Palmas – tour funds were used to cover the cost of a stucco and paint improvement project for the community

·       Royal Hawaiian Estates Neighborhood Home Tour – tour funds helped offset the costs of the complex’s recent restoration project, which included replacing structural beams, repainting the exterior using a color palette based on a forensic study that confirmed the original 1961 Donald Wexler/Richard Harrison color scheme, and restoration of the “tiki apexes,” “flying sevens,” and roofline “teeth,” and “ladder extensions” 

·       Sagewood – 50th Anniversary Celebration of Donald Wexler’s Sagewood – will use the funds to transform some of 18 acres of grass into desert landscaping

·       Seven Lakes Country Club – earmarked the funds for its Long Range Planning Committee that will hire a consultant to do a community survey about the ultimate goal of restoring the historic Cody Clubhouse

·       SunMor Neighborhood Home Tour – purchased new and redesigned blade signs, and painted the wall that wraps a part of the neighborhood on Civic Drive with “Sunmor Branding”

·       Tamarisk West – A Visit to S. Charles Lee’s Tamarisk West – repaired elements of the complex including repainting and desert landscaping

·       Twin Springs: Wexler’s Hidden Gem – purchased pool umbrellas, painted the clubhouse, and improve the landscaping of the community

·       Vista Las Palmas: used the funds to help pay for neighborhood social events and projects to help promote a sense of community and drive membership 

In addition to working with neighborhoods, Modernism Week, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, also helps various local organizations raise funds to further support their efforts to preserve and promote modernist architecture throughout the community. Ticket proceeds for official Modernism Week events these businesses and organizations produced in 2021-2022 generated more than $1.3 million for various local partner organizations which included: Palm Springs Historical Society, Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs Modern Committee, Palm Springs Preservation Foundation, Sunnylands, The Lautner Compound, Palm Springs Cultural Center, Historical Society of Palm Desert, and the Palm Springs Public Library.

“Modernism Week has a long-standing history of enabling other organizations to raise funds,” said William Kopelk, Modernism Week Board Chairman. “We are delighted that our neighborhood and partner organizations use their fundraising for preservation, education, civic improvements or to reinvest back into the local community. The tours and events produced by partner organizations not only provide them with the ability to raise funds, but also allow them to showcase their neighborhoods and organizations to national and international visitors.”

Later this year, Modernism Week will offer its annual Modernism Week – October event from October 13-16, 2022 (tickets go on sale September 1 at 12 p.m. PST) and will stage the 2023 Modernism Week event February 16-26, 2023 (tickets go on sale November 1 at 12 p.m. PST). For more information about future Modernism Week events, visit modernismweek.com and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.