mr wash artist

55 Things to Do in April

April is music festival month in the desert anchored by Coachella and Stagecoach, but don't forget the WhiteParty Palm Springs and SoundCheck Earth in Joshua Tree.

Amelia Rodriguez Attractions, Current Guide

mr wash artist

Mr. Wash poses in studio with his painting Targeted Insurrection. Below: Devin Reynolds’ painting on panel Hanging by a Thread.

Outburst Artist Residencies: Through July 3

Painter Fulton Leroy Washington, better known as Mr. Wash, has a goal for his residency at the Palm Springs Art Museum: go big.

Wrongly convicted and incarcerated in 1996 for nonviolent drug offenses, Mr. Wash honed his skills as a portraitist, painting fellow inmates. He became a working artist after then-president Barack Obama commuted his sentence in 2016. “For decades, I could only paint pictures that would fit inside my locker,” Mr. Wash recalls. “Now I’m doing 48- by 60-[foot canvases].”

His new sized-up portraits will match the typically massive-scale pieces of fellow Outburst resident Devin Reynolds, whose work combines the sights and symbols of his youth in Venice, California, with imagery from post-WWII advertising.

While Reynolds dabbled in surfboard painting and notebook decorating as a kid, it wasn’t until college, when a surgery grounded him from usual pursuits like skating and rugby, that he really began to focus on art. His pieces for the residency grapple with the desert in a way that will likely resonate with Coachella Valley residents. “The biggest compliment I can get is, ‘Whoa. I feel like I was walking down the street in my neighborhood when I saw your piece,’” he says.

Mr. Wash shares Reynolds’ interest in establishing a connection with those who view his work. “One side of [creating art] is trying to reach the audience and say, ‘I feel you,’” Mr. Wash shares. “The other side [is asking], ‘Do you feel me?’”


Flannery Exchange in the heart of uptown Palm Springs is partnering with the Humane Society of the Desert and hosting a dog adoption event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Located outside on Flannery Exchange’s downstairs patio in front of Café La Jefa, the Humane Society of the Desert team will bring 4-6 adoptable dogs to Flannery Exchange that day. the event is free.

Naathan Phan:Through April 2

You might recognize Naathan Phan from Superbad, where he partied alongside Jonah Hill’s character. That comedic acumen is clear in his shows at Marvyn’s Magic Theater in La Quinta, where he combines mind-boggling illusions with opera songs.

Glow in the Park: Through April 29 

This immersive after-dark event at the Living Desert features intricate animal- and nature-themed light installations decorated with traditional handcrafted Chinese lanterns. Enjoy plenty of memorable photo opportunities each night from 6:30 to 10 p.m.

El Paseo Cruise Night: April 1 

A rainbow of classic and exotic cars parades up and down El Paseo in Palm Desert during this monthly meetup for automotive enthusiasts. Grab a patio dinner and watch the procession or join the autocade in your own ride.

Community Investment Golf Championship: April 1 

Tee up to help build safe and sustainable communities in the eastern Coachella Valley. Proceeds from this amateur tournament at Classic Club in Palm Desert support local nonprofit Pueblo Unido CDC.

Indian WellsArts Festival: April 1–3

Unleash your inner curator and add to your art collection at the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens, where more than 200 artists from around the world gather to show off and sell their work.


Tyler Henry

Tyler Henry: April 2

Hollywood Medium star Tyler Henry appears at Agua Caliente Casinos Rancho Mirage, sharing the clairvoyant capabilities that drew in celebrity fans like Megan Fox, Chad Michael Murray, and the Kardashians.


Faux Fur Ball

Faux Fur Ball: April 2

Don a groovy get-up and get ready to boogie with fellow animal lovers at Palm Springs Air Museum. A fundraising event for Palm Springs Animal Shelter, the bash features craft cocktails, tasty eats, two auctions, and a dance floor made for doing the twist.

Palm Springs Vintage Market: April 3

Whether you’re seeking a striking painting for above the dining table, a vintage film camera in great condition, or the perfect pair of retro cutoffs, you just might end your search at this monthly market at the Palm Springs Cultural Center.

Skiing the Dream Line: April 4

In 2018, Hilaree Nelson and Jim Morrison became the first people to successfully complete the “Dream Line,” a notorious — and dangerous — ski run on the world’s fourth-highest mountain. Nelson shares stories and images from the descent in this special National Geographic Live! event at McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert.

June of 44: April 7 

The members of June of 44 originally hail from influential 1990s rock bands Lungfish, Hoover, Codeine, and Rodan. The group formed in ’94 and shook up the scene with four albums before splitting five years later. Their reunion tour makes a stop at The Alibi in Palm Springs.


Community Sound Bath

Community Sound Bath: April 7

Gather at Joshua Tree Retreat Center to experience the benefits of musical instrument–induced meditation, which include lowered anxiety, heightened focus, and better sleep.

The British Invasion Years: April 7

The Desert Symphony brings the songs of the 1960s to the McCallum. Hear the biggest hits from artists who crossed the pond to shake up the States’ music scene — plus ditties by bands like The Monkees and The Beach Boys, who epitomize the era’s American sound.

We Are Family: April 7

The family that sings together … gets a shoutout in this musical revue at Vicky’s of Santa Fe in Indian Wells. Enjoy dinner while jamming out to live hits by such sibling acts as The Pointer Sisters and The Jackson Five.

American Documentary and Animation Film Festival: April 7-11

Opening night will be at the Camelot Theatres at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, featuring a new biopic of Hollywood legend, Roger Corman, who influenced the "New Hollywood" that launched the careers of such legends as Ron Howard, Steven Spielberg, and Francis Ford Coppola. One of the festival highlights will be the West Coast premiere of Still Working 9 To 5, which chronicles the importance of the seminal 1980 film 9 To 5 and featured Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton.

Dana Daniels: April 7–9 & 14–16 

Dana Daniels magicked his way to the Judge Cuts round of America’s Got Talent’s 10th season, performing alongside his purportedly psychic green parrot, Luigi. Daniels hypnotizes audiences live at Marvyn’s Magic Theater in La Quinta.

Celtic Thunder: April 8

Singing group Celtic Thunder bring the Emerald Isle to the McCallum Theatre with their signature elaborate stage sets and a backing band playing traditional Irish instruments.

Chris Rock: April 8

Eddie Murphy offered Chris Rock his first film role after seeing the comedian perform in a New York club. Rock went on to win three Grammys and four Emmys. See his standup spot at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio.

Razzle, Dazzle, Shine! April 8–10

Take your seat at Annenberg Theater in Palm Springs for a night of Broadway and film favorites — plus a selection of Queen songs — with the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus.

Chris Botti: April 9

Chris Botti and his trumpet spellbind McCallum Theatre showgoers. The jazz-pop virtuoso has collaborated with industry greats including Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, and Joni Mitchell.

Zeppelin USA: April 9

This tribute group forgoes costumes and wigs to focus on replicating the sound and spirit of Plant, Page, Jones, and Bonham. Join the Orange County–based band on the “Stairway to Heaven” at Agua Caliente Casinos Rancho Mirage.

Jesse & Joy: April 10

Siblings Jesse and Joy Huerta Uecke borrowed instruments from their father’s church to pen songs as teens. The Grammy winners perform hits from their five studio albums at Fantasy Springs.

Paint Night at the Brewery: April 13

Sip locally crafted ales, porters, and IPAs from La Quinta Brewing Co. while painting a masterpiece at the brewery’s Palm Desert taproom. Artist Lauren Avitia walks you through each step of decorating your canvas.

Back to Business Expo: April 14

This expo at Agua Caliente Casinos Rancho Mirage offers valley visitors and residents a one-stop spot to shop local. More than 80 desert businesses and restaurants show off their products and services and hand out tastes of their freshly made eats.


Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival: April 15–17 & 22–24

It’s baaack! The three-day festival at Empire Polo Club in Indio features headliners Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, and Ye (the artist formerly known as Kanye West), as well as local artists like Giselle Woo & The Night Owls.

Waring International Piano Competition: April 18

Each year, musicians age 18 to 31 compete for the top spots in the Waring International Piano Competition. The winners will display their skills at McCallum Theatre.

Third Thursday Cocktail Party: April 21

Rancho Mirage boutique Rancho Relaxo hosts this monthly shindig, where you can sip, shop, and meet some of the creative minds behind the store’s handmade products, which include macramé décor and statement earrings.

Jonathan Neal & Liane: April 21–23 & 28–30

Neal and his partner, Liane, blend choreography and music with mind-boggling illusions at Marvyn’s Magic Theater in La Quinta.

Black Market Trust: April 22–23

Channeling Frank Sinatra, the Rat Pack, and other midcentury crooners — and pairing that with a “gypsy campfire” vibe, this jazz-pop quintet promises a lively dinner show at the Purple Room in Palm Springs.

David Feherty: April 22–23

Sports broadcaster and former professional golfer David Feherty proves he’s up to par as a comedian in this side-splitting one-man show at the McCallum.


SoundCheck Earth.

SoundCheck Earth: April 22–23

This site-specific immersive acoustic concert composed by Kennedy Verrett for 17 musicians takes place along the half-mile walking path at Cap Rock in Joshua Tree National Park. Audience members will have the chance to stroll through the concert and even become part of it as their presence adds to the soundscape.

Community Sunday: April 24

Get creative with a free afternoon of performances and hands-on art activities outdoors from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Artists Center at The Galen in Palm Desert.

Storytime in the Park: April 27

La Quinta Public Library invites preschool-age kiddos and their caretakers to sing songs, repeat rhymes, and hear stories in the sunshine at the La Quinta Civic Center Campus Park amphitheater.

Shen Yun: April 28–30

You may recognize Shen Yun’s name from the 2019 meme playing off the show’s eye-catching advertising. The Chinese music and dance spectacle appears in more than 130 cities worldwide, including in Palm Desert at McCallum Theatre.

Country Thunder From Down Under: April 29–30

Giddy up for a heart-palpitating evening at Agua Caliente Casinos Rancho Mirage. It’s Magic Mike with cowboy boots and Aussie accents.


White Party

White Party: April 29–May 1

Stock up on white swimsuits and clothes to prep your closet for a weekend of hot pool parties and late-night dances, including a superhero-themed soirée, in downtown Palm Springs at America’s largest gay music festival.

Stagecoach: April 29–May 1

Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood, and Luke Combs top the lineup at this boot-scootin’ music festival at Empire Polo Club in Indio. Other can’t-miss acts include mysterious masked singer Orville Peck and genre-bender Amythyst Kiah.

Joshua Tree 55: April 30

Put your pedal to the metal for this 55-mile bicycle ride between Knott’s Sky Park in Twentynine Palms and Key’s View in Joshua Tree. Prizes for those who complete the trek include locally crafted goodies such as handmade pottery.

Art Exhibitions
The Modern Chair: Through April 3

Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center traces the history of chair design through the 20th and 21st centuries. Visitors will see more than 50 spectacular chairs by designers such as Charles and Ray Eames and Frank Gehry.

Leon Polk Smith: 1945–1962: Through Aug. 28

Leon Polk Smith grew up on a homestead in Oklahoma and became enraptured by fine art as a college student in New York City. Palm Springs Art Museum celebrates the rich colors and pleasing geometric shapes that define his abstract paintings.


Como Você 04 by Flávia Monteiro.

Mark Davis: New Work:  April 1–13

Inspired by the shapely kinetic sculptures of artist Alexander Calder, Mark Davis crafted his first mobile at age 14. After several years in the jewelry business, Davis returned to the mobile form. See his airy metal-and-acrylic pieces at CODA Gallery in Palm Desert.


Entre la Vida y la Muerte by Gonzalo Lebrija.

Cultural Cannibalism: April 8–May 29

Emerging artists Kim Manfredi, Cito Gonzales, Adriana Lopez-Ospina, Flávia Monteiro, Joyce Rooks, and Hector Salas showcase their boundary-bending work at Coachella Valley Art Center in Indio. Don’t miss the objets d’art by Palm Springs resident Monteiro, who creates skin-like material out of layers of acrylic paint.

Young Artists Exhibition: April 9–May 15

The Artists Council presents 76 juried artworks by students from high schools throughout the Coachella Valley at Palm Desert’s Artists Center at The Galen. Admission is free Wednesdays to Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.



Untitled by Joyce Rooks.

Gonzalo Lebrija: Miracle of the Eternal Present: April 22–Oct. 2

View two decades’ worth of photos, videos, sculptures, and paintings by Mexican artist Gonzalo Lebrija at Palm Springs Art Museum. Lebrija often tilts the perspective on ordinary objects, such as his sculpture History of suspended time (A monument for the impossible), which turns a 1968 Chevy Malibu on its nose.

Cyrano de Bergerac: Through April 3

Actors at Palm Canyon Theatre in Palm Springs portray witty poet and soldier Cyrano, his beloved Roxane, and other classic characters in this tragic romance set in 17th-century France.

Little Shop of Horrors: Through April 10

Desert Theatreworks in Indio presents this 1982 musical about a florist shop employee’s rise to fame and fortune with the help of a flesh-eating alien plant.

All This Intimacy: April 1–3

In this dramedy at Desert Ensemble Theatre in Palm Springs, poetry professor Ty Greene must figure out his next steps after learning his neighbor, his ex-girlfriend, and his young student are all pregnant with his children.

Beautiful: April 1–3

Spend “One Fine Day” at McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert watching this jukebox musical, which employs Carole King’s extensive — and iconic — discography to explore her rise to fame.

Every Brilliant Thing: April 1–10

This heartfelt play at Pearl McManus Theater in Palm Springs promises to bring both laughter and tears with its story spanning one man’s life, including his childhood mission to remind his depressed mother of all the joys the world has to offer.

Native Gardens: April 12–24

A well-to-do Washington, D.C., family spars with new neighbors over flowers and fence lines in this funny — and deceptively weighty — play at Coachella Valley Repertory in Cathedral City.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: April 15–16

Desert Theatricals puts on the Tony-winning, Stephen Sondheim–penned musical inspired by ancient Roman farces. The tale of class differences and mistaken identities unfolds at Rancho Mirage Amphitheatre.

 Mid-Century Moderns: April 20–May 8

Desert Rose Playhouse whisks audiences back to 1966 with the music of Tom Jones, Frank and Nancy Sinatra, The Monkees, and other hitmakers. Their songs come to life in the tale of a plucky Midwest widow who travels to Palm Springs and transforms from frump to fabulous.



Spamalot: April 22–May 1

Fans of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) will dig this equally hilarious theatrical adaptation. Journey to Palm Canyon Theatre in Palm Springs to join Arthur’s hapless knights of the round table as they face dark forests, killer rabbits, and the French.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner: April 22–May 8

Indio’s Desert Theatreworks produces a staged version of the Oscar-winning 1967 romantic dramedy. The film was among the first in America to positively depict an interracial marriage.