We welcomed 152,000 attendees during Modernism Week 2019! Read on for a recap of this year’s event.
Modernism Week officials announced that attendance at the annual event, which took place in the Palm Springs area of Southern California from February 14 – 24, 2019, was estimated at 152,000 attendees, an increase of 20% over 2018.
Attendees participated in more than 375 events throughout the festival. Celebrating midcentury modern design, architecture, art, and culture in Palm Springs, the 11-day festival generated an estimated economic impact of $57 million for area hotels, shops, restaurants, and other local businesses from Palm Springs to Indian Wells and beyond. In addition, CAMP, Modernism Week’s ‘Community and Meeting Place’ and headquarters for tours and events, experienced more than 38,000 visitors throughout the festival, a 20% increase from the year before.
“Modernism Week continues to offer our attendees opportunities to learn about midcentury modern design, architecture and culture and about Palm Springs and other desert communities,” said William Kopelk, Modernism Week Board Chairman.
Kopelk continued, “Our expanded range of programing continues to emphasize preservation and education and also offer fun and unique experiences through tours, parties and other activities. We couldn’t do this without the support of our primary sponsors, including Ferguson Kitchen, Bath & Lighting Gallery, Corian Design, JennAir, and Brizo. The support of these sponsors as well as the City of Palm Springs, our Civic Presenting Sponsor, makes this event one in which attendees plan to return to each year. The worldwide publicity that the event generates continues to help brand the entire Coachella Valley as a mecca for preservation, modernism and architecture, which has a year-round influence on the valley’s tourism and international stature.”
Modernism Week attendees came from all fifty United States and the District of Columbia, with California accounting for the majority of attendees (54%). Modernism Week attendees came from 445 of 482 cities in California, or 92% of all Californian cities. Locally, the Coachella Valley represented 33% of tickets sold in California. In addition to many California visitors, the event was popular with attendees from Washington, Illinois, Oregon, and New York. Attendees came from all across the globe with twenty-five countries represented (a new record) including Canada, Australia, Germany, United Kingdom, New Zealand, France and many more.
The Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale also saw increased numbers. More than 14,250 participants attended the popular sale at the Palm Springs Convention Center, up 25% from the previous year. Attendees were eager to view and purchase furniture, decorative and fine arts representing all design movements of the 20th century from more than 90 premier national and international dealers.
“The 2019 Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale was by far the most well-attended of the Palm Springs shows in our company’s history,” said Rosemary Krieger, President of Dolphin Promotions.
“Our record-breaking number of significant exhibitors reported increased sales and their enthusiasm for the increased traffic was amazing. The returning Modern Design Expo added an additional 40 exhibitors and attendees enjoyed browsing the modern decorative solutions that these exhibitors offered.”
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 85 lectures and films spotlighting famed architects, landscape designers, historians, design experts and authors were presented to attendees, including the sold-out Modernism Week Keynote Presentation by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie, a series of programing highlighting the achievements of legendary interior designer Arthur Elrod, a photography exhibition showcasing the garden and landscape designs by Dan Kiley, a symposium about architect Paul Rudolph, a theatrical production called “The Princes of Kings Road,” and the return of the Architecture Design Art Film series, curated by the American Documentary Film Festival.
Modernism Week’s central headquarters, CAMP (‘Community and Meeting Place’) was staged again in a dynamic tented structure located in the space that will soon become the Downtown Palm Springs Park. Ferguson, Modernism Week’s exclusive Kitchen, Bath and Lighting sponsor, provided lighting throughout CAMP. The unique and sleek lounge furnishings were provided by Tidelli. JennAir and Brizo offered popular interactive experiences. Corian Design featured a large booth showcasing various displays of its innovative product line, and hosted free nightly happy hour concerts by the Canadian Rock band the Dreamboats. Corian Design also produced a VIP Bus Tour Experience (Learning Lab) as an accreditation program for design professionals. Nearly 200 designers and architects participated in this program at CAMP over the course of three days. Dunn-Edwards Paints offered professional color advisors to assist attendees in choosing the right color of paint for their projects. The popular Modernism Week Shop by Destination PSP featured a wide range of newly created merchandise items that captured the retro vibe of Modernism Week.
“We were delighted to see that this year even more attendees returned daily to CAMP to attend talks, depart on tours, shop, and dine. The comments we received during the event reinforced that CAMP continues to be an important part of Modernism Week’s success,” said Chris Mobley, CEO of Modernism Week. “We are grateful to the City of Palm Springs for providing Modernism Week with the incredible downtown location for CAMP.”
Modernism Week once again offered attendees the opportunity to participate in home tours, parties, and architectural excursions in Palm Springs and outside of the immediate area including Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs and Indian Wells.
The festival continued to garner significant international and national media attention. International coverage included articles in the British publications Conde Naste Traveler International, Wallpaper, Guardian, Telegraph, and i.d.Amuse. Australian publications covering the event included Grazia, Herald Sun, News.com.au, and RiotACT. Canadian publications included Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun, Leader Post, Drift Travel, Lelezard Magazine, MagZQuebec, and MSN Lifestyle. Italian publications included Archi Panic, Frizifrizi, Il Giorno, QuiBrescia, Simple Flair. Additionally, the festival was profiled in publications from Denmark, Switzerland, China, Japan, Mexico, Russia, France and Ireland.
US coverage included Architectural Digest, Wall Street Journal, Dwell, Sunset Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Forbes, New York Daily Record, Fodor’s Travel, WestJet Magazine, Afar Magazine, LA Weekly, California Home + Design, Modern Magazine, Luxe Interiors + Design, Locale, Palm Springs Life, and The Desert Sun.
Later this year, Modernism Week will offer its annual Fall Preview from October 17-20, 2019 (tickets go on sale August 1 at 12 p.m. PST) and will stage the 2020 Modernism Week event from February 13-23, 2020 (tickets 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.
About Modernism Week:
Modernism Week is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, providing scholarships to local Palm Springs students pursuing college educations in the fields of architecture and design; as well as giving grants to local and state organizations for their efforts to preserve modernist architecture throughout the state of California.
Modernism Week’s Mission:
The mission of Modernism Week is to celebrate and foster 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 the greater Palm Springs area.
Photo credit: Jake Holt Photography