Modernism Week in Palm Springs a major success

Modernism Week officials have announced that attendance at the event, which took place in the Palm Springs area of Southern California from February 11 - 21, 2016, reached greater than 77,500 attendees, an increase of more than 30% over the 2015 total attendance. Highlighting midcentury modern design, architecture, art, fashion and culture in Palm Springs, the 11-day festival generated an estimated $28.6m in revenue for area hotels, shops, restaurants, and other local businesses from Palm Springs to Indian Wells and beyond. More than $1m of the proceeds generated by ticket sales from this year’s event went directly back to community neighborhoods and partner organizations, a new record for Modernism Week. This was an estimated 15% increase over the amount generated for these organizations last year. In addition, CAMP, Modernism Week’s ‘Community and Meeting Place’ and headquarters for tours and events, saw more than 25,000 visitors, almost doubling last year’s CAMP attendance.

“We are elated by the increasing interest in Modernism Week and the positive effect that our festival has on Palm Springs, our neighbourhoods, and the entire valley,” said J. Chris Mobley, Modernism Week Board Chairman. “The worldwide publicity that the event generates continues to help brand the entire Coachella Valley as a Mecca for Modernism and architecture, which has a year-round influence on the valley’s tourism and international stature. The support of the City of Palm Springs and the larger community, our sponsors, partners, and volunteers makes this event one in which attendees plan to return to each year. In addition, I’m thrilled that we were able to disperse more than $1 million back to local neighbourhoods and partners.” 

The celebration continued to garner an unprecedented amount of media attention with more than 2 billion impressions worldwide. In addition to coverage in national media such as LA Times, National Public Radio, USA Today, Hollywood Reporter, Elle Décor, Delta’s Inflight Magazine and Atomic Ranch, Modernism Week received international attention from the UK’s Telegraph and Guardian and other publications in Canada, Europe, and Brazil.

The popular Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale also saw increased numbers.  Nearly 8,500 participants attended the popular sale at the Palm Springs Convention Center. More than 1,400 attended the show’s opening night on February 12, and attendees were eager to view and purchase furniture, decorative and fine arts representing all design movements of the 20th century from more than 85 premier national and international dealers.

Modernism Week celebrates and fosters appreciation of midcentury architecture and design, as well as contemporary thinking in these fields, by encouraging education, preservation and sustainable modern living as represented in Palm Springs and the surrounding Coachella Valley.  Highlighting this dedication to education, this year more than thirty lectures and films spotlighting famed architects, landscape designers, historians, design experts and authors were presented to attendees, generously supported by Herman Miller Collection. Additional Modernism Week educational programs included a film premier on Desert Modernist William Cody, panels on architectural preservation, and the always-popular ‘Lost, Saved, and Endangered’ presentation.  

Acknowledging the recent relaxation of restrictions between Cuba and the United States, Modernism Week this year hosted several educational events celebrating the midcentury legacy in Cuba. Its ‘Modern Cuba Lecture Series’ featured architectural historians and experts giving presentations on Havana’s 1950s nightclubs, midcentury modern architecture, and Nicolas Quintana, one of the leading Cuban architects who played a significant role in the introduction of the Modern Movement in Cuba.

This year Modernism Week greatly expanded its slate of events geographically by offering exciting tours and activities throughout the Coachella Valley and beyond to meet the increased demand for programming. Excursions to Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, and Indian Wells were supplemented by day trips outside of the Coachella Valley, including one to the 1959 Albert Frey-designed North Shore Beach & Yacht Club at the Salton Sea, a private docent-led tour though the historic home and studio of master modernist woodworker Sam Maloof in Alta Loma, and an evening event at the Museum of Pinball in Banning including unlimited play on more than 800 vintage pinball machines.

Later this year, Modernism Week will offer its annual Fall Preview from October 21-23, 2016 and will stage the 2017 Modernism Week event from February 16-26, 2017. For more information about future Modernism Week events, visit and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

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