Modernism Week has created seven virtual programs for its Fall Preview Online Experience after the coronavirus pandemic canceled the possibility of the traditional in-person event.
The programs will be released for purchase and viewing at noon (PST) Oct. 15 at modernismweek.com. Ticket sales will remain open until Oct. 31. Once purchased, programs will be accessible for online viewing for 30 days.
The online video programs will comprise seven different events, similar to programs that would typically be available during Modernism Week as in-person events. Ticket prices will range from $5 to $35 per event, with two free events. Pricing allows for a household with one viewing device to participate.
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The pre-recorded video programs and one livestream social event will include a guided home tour series of five significant Palm Springs residences; an entertaining driving tour of Palm Springs with Charles Phoenix; "The Best of Mod with a Twist," humorous and informative presentations about midcentury pop culture; conference sessions from "Fast Forward: Designing the Future of Palm Springs"; two new documentary-style films about the preservation of architectural landmarks in Palm Springs: Preserving Modernism: The Town & Country Center, and The Restoration and Stabilization of the Cornelia White Residence in Palm Springs, and a Zoom-based happy hour.
“We are very excited about Modernism Week’s development of an online experience,” said J. Chris Mobley, chief executive officer. “Since we are not able to create a live festival environment for our guests in October, the Modernism Week board of directors and staff have worked with our local partner organizations to develop new ideas for compelling virtual programs. The online programs will allow viewers to participate remotely from home and to safely share the event experiences with their family and friends, adding the flavor and fun of a traditional Modernism Week Fall Preview.”
The seven events offered during Modernism Week’s Fall Preview Online Experience include:
PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID A. LEE
The Donald Wexler Steel House.
Modernism Week Signature Home Tour Video Series
This specially-produced video home tour series will allow participants to virtually tour some of the most significant homes in Palm Springs. Participants will be led on guided interior and exterior home tours of five fabulous residences where they will virtually walk through the interiors, gardens and grounds and see what makes Palm Springs desert architecture and lifestyle unique.
The homes are located in various neighborhoods in Palm Springs, all with unique architectural character and featuring a variety of architectural styles. During each tour, participants will learn about important the architectural and design details of the home, view its unique furnishings, and meet the homeowners or other special guests knowledgeable about the property.
The Modernism Week Signature Home Tour Video Series is produced by Modernism Week. The series host for the tours is Modernism Week board member Maureen Erbe, who personally curated the selected homes. A digital keepsake tour program is included with the ticket purchase.
Charles Phoenix; PalmSpringsLand
Midcentury pop culture expert Charles Phoenix will take participants on a spirited video driving tour of Palm Springs, the undisputed "Mecca of Midcentury." This entertaining tour of historic local Palm Springs landmarks and epic architecture will reveal the legendary midcentury modern homes, retro resorts, classic neighborhoods, commercial and civic buildings, and spectacular style that has made Palm Springs world-famous. In addition to pointing out architectural highlights, Charles will dish on his favorite local hidden treasures, and other not-to-be-missed attractions.
Charles Phoenix is a performer, author, collector, and curator celebrating classic and kitschy American life and style. He is known for spirited live “slide show” performances, classic car Joyride videos, colorful coffee table books, and fun “field trip” tours. His latest book is Holiday Jubilee. The New York Times says: “Call him the King of Retro.”
PHOTOGRAPH BY LANCE GERBER
The Edris House in Palm Springs.
Fast Forward: Designing the Future of Palm Springs
This online conference is designed to raise community awareness of the importance of ensuring Palm Springs’ international legacy of architectural excellence. The comprehensive day-long symposium will feature thoughtful discussion by a stellar panel of speakers and develop recommendations for a checklist of design principles and guidelines for developers and architects as they seek to design and build new structures in Palm Springs. There will be as many as 20 speakers who are notable in their respective fields.
Organized by members of the Palm Springs Architectural Alliance, “Fast Forward: Designing the Future of Palm Springs” is part one of a two-part conference designed to present innovations around moderate income and homeless housing solutions, developing successful city design guidelines and panel discussions exploring conflicts among developers, designers, architects, city government officials and preservationists.
The first part of the symposium will bring together city government, architects, preservationists, developers and entrepreneurs to express their viewpoints and arrive at a strategy for creating design guidelines. The second part of the conference will take place during Modernism Week in February 2021 and will explore more design and building innovations, nationally recognized speakers, and highlight new and sustainable projects being built in Palm Springs by local architects. The complete list of participants and speakers is forthcoming.
Laura J. Hein is one of the presenters during Mod With a Twist.
Mod with a Twist: Best of Twist 2020
Reprising their popular Modernism Week event, the cheeky modernists from Makerville and their amazing guest presenters will bring their slightly skewed perspective on modernism by reprising the audience favorites from the February 2020 event. Mod with a Twist offers five presentations, each one about ten minutes long, on fascinating, compelling and sometimes obscure aspects of midcentury modern life. The Fall Preview program includes these subjects:
“HiFi Living,” presented by Bob Bogard. Thousands of record albums in the 1950s and 1960s taught America how to embrace its new post-war culture through their liner notes and photos, but not through their music.
“Think Pink,” presented by Laura J. Hein. At one point, pink was the favorite color of midcentury Americans, and it was present in appliances, automobiles, fashion, and home décor, until it all but disappeared.
“The Real Mad Men,” presented by Richard Hovel. Advertising in the midcentury sold “the dream” in the age of optimism. Richard relates the story of his father, one of the original midcentury advertising giants.
“Pointing to Change,” presented by Juli Cavnar. The Midcentury Bullet Bra redefined women in a whole new way, and echoed the space age design shapes found in other facets of life.
“Design Duos,” presented by Debra Hovel. Many famous midcentury designers were part of a supportive team. Debra shares the successes of four of these power couples.
RENDERING COURTESY PALM SPRINGS PRESERVATION FOUNDATION
The Town and Country Center in downtown Palm Springs.
Film: Preserving Modernism: The Town & Country Center
Until recently, the modernist Town & Country Center (1948, Paul R. Williams & A. Quincy Jones) was under the threat of demolition. Told in a documentary style, this film chronicles the fascinating story of the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation’s efforts to save the historic complex. Replete with vintage images, the film recounts the ups and downs of the advocacy and should inspire all those interested in historic preservation, even when the odds seem insurmountable.
Film: The Restoration and Stabilization of the Cornelia White Residence
One of the oldest extant buildings in Palm Springs, the Cornelia White Residence was built in 1893 of "recycled" railroad ties. Using time-lapse video, the film documents the “board-by-board” restoration of the historic structure that was undertaken by the city of Palm Springs starting in the summer of 2018. The film’s intent is to serve as a record of the historic preservation effort. The Palm Springs Preservation Foundation was a major financial contributor to the film.
“Live from the Zoom Zoom Room”
Join your friends at Modernism Week and other Palm Springs locals for a fun, interactive, online live happy hour experience at 6 p.m. Oct. 16. Whimsical host Kellee McQuinn will welcome guests to the “Live from the Zoom Zoom Room,” the happiest (virtual) hour of the year. As participants sip on their drink of choice McQuinn will engage guests on this entertainingly interactive affair, which includes a lively lesson in Modernism Mixology, a lightning round of Architecture Trivia, loads of lighthearted laughs, dancing, stories and surprises. DJ Baz will play non-stop swinging tunes from the midcentury era.
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