kellee mcquinn

Party On

Modernism Week Fall Preview may be virtual, but when it comes to throwing a party they do it live with all the trimmings.

JIM POWERS Attractions, Current Digital, Modernism

kellee mcquinn
Kellee McQuinn will host a live virtual party on Oct. 16 as part of Modernism Week Fall Preview.
PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID A. LEE

When she grabs the microphone and stares out into the audience, Kellee McQuinn will feel likes she’s hosting a party at home.

Not exactly, but Modernism Week Fall Preview will offer the next best thing with McQuinn directing 60 minutes of fun and music with DJ Baz in the Zoom Zoom Room. The virtual platform came after the coronavirus pandemic shut down in-person events. The virtual party will be live, while the other six events are a mix of films, pre-recorded home tours, and the Best of Mod with a Twist poking fun at all things modernism.

“This is a way for the Modernism Week community to still hang out,” McQuinn says. “I’ve been worried that we were going to lose the community. We’re going to be highlighting them.”

For $5, participants can register starting at noon Oct 15 at modernismweek.com, and the party starts at 6 p.m. (PST) Oct. 16. The limit is 300. Partygoers will receive a pre-party package that includes a choice of backgrounds for their Zoom broadcast, a host of midcentury drink recipes, and encouragement to dress the part among other virtual items. Ticket sales for all events will remain open until Oct. 31. Once purchased, programs will be accessible for online viewing for 30 days.

McQuinn, who in her real job produces entertainment and educational programming, chatted with Palm Springs Life about being the life of the party.

What will people experience when the log-in to the Zoom Zoom Room?

It’s going to be a very positive, very happy, very elevated — it’s been fun to keep the standards of Modernism Week. Their production value, their attention to detail, the curation of their experts — they just have the highest standards. So it’s been fun to have fun with them and have some creative leeway and kitschy cheeky liberty with the good-hearted spirit that you would find at a party at Gary and Joan Gand’s house, Twin Palms, or the Lautner Compound. You have that free spirit with it. We want people to turn on their cameras so everyone can see each other.

What kind of entertainment do you have planned?

We’ve got some fun Zoom bomb surprise guests in store, a mixology segment, an architecture trivia segment. I have the most ridiculous jokes you have ever heard. There is a dance party dance-off and DJ Baz will be keeping it really elevated with his wonderful music. So there will not be any lulls.

How did this idea become a reality?

I’ve been working with Modernism Week for a few years now with their print campaigns and some of their videos. I was speaking with David and Lisa Vossler Smith and we were just talking about ideas. And I said, ‘I don’t know if you know what I have going on in this little studio in the Palm Springs Life building, but I’m really having these interactive events’.

What does a live virtual event like this mean to Modernism Week in February?

I think everyone — schools, performance art, everything — is realizing that this isn’t going anywhere. And the neat thing is we can open it up to a global audience. Some people may not want to attend a live event in February, so that doesn’t mean we can’t create a really innovative way to include them. For the organization itself, well, now we have the opportunity to amplify to a much bigger audience that may have never had the opportunity to come here.

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