Modernism Week Supports Community Organizations and Awards Local Students with Scholarships

Each year, Modernism Week is proud to support our local community and fulfill our mission of celebrating and fostering appreciation of midcentury architecture and design — as well as contemporary thinking in these fields. Through Modernism Week Fall Preview and Modernism Week 2022 we helped partner organizations raise $1.81 million and continued support of our long-standing scholarship program by awarding scholarships to deserving Coachella Valley students who have chosen educational paths in the fields of architecture and design.

“Giving back to the community is one of the most important aspects of Modernism Week. We are especially pleased to award annual scholarships to deserving local students. Supporting talented designers from the Coachella Valley is a top priority and one of the many ways that Modernism Week invests in the community.”

Lisa Vossler Smith, CEO Modernism Week

Modernism Week Scholarship Program Awards Seven Local Students

This year, Modernism Week awarded scholarships to seven deserving Coachella Valley Students who have chosen to pursue paths in the fields of architecture and design. The scholarships, which will total $35,000, include matching funds from One Future Coachella Valley, an organization that supports scholarship recipients in navigating the college experience to assure the students through college and into career and life. Since the Modernism Week scholarship program was initiated in 2011, more than $230,000 has been awarded to-date. Modernism Week offers renewable scholarship funding for the students for 4 consecutive years.

Congratulations to this year’s scholarship recipients:

  • Irving Valdes Moreno of Mecca, studying Architecture and Design at Cal Baptist University
  • Stephanie Perez Ocaranza of Thousand Palms, studying Architecture and Design at California State Polytechnic University
  • Gardenia Gernandez of Indio, studying Graphic Design at California State Polytechnic University
  • Valentina Rodriguez Salinas of Thermal studying Environmental Science at University of California Los Angeles
  • Jorjele Quintero Meraz of Thermal, studying Environmental Science at Cal Baptist University
  • Karen Meza Morales of Thousand Palms, studying Architecture Design at California State Polytechnic University
  • Amparo Nedina of Cathedral City, studying Civil and Environmental Engineering at California State Polytechnic University

Modernism Week also provided a $500 grant to the Visual Communications Program at Nashville State City College (NSCC). The grant provided seed funding for a Student Chapter of the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts). Students in the program participated in promotional graphics for their portfolios using Modernism Week as their subject. 

Modernism Week Supports Neighborhood Reinvestment

Modernism Week works closely with local neighborhood organizations to showcase the design of iconic Palm Springs residences and other architecturally significant buildings through tours. Through our recent events, more than 9,000 participants toured 120 residences across 24 neighborhoods. Organizations reinvest proceeds from those tours in their neighborhoods through architectural restoration, improving infrastructure, or landscape improvements.

A few highlights of revinvestments funded by tour proceeds include:

  • Canyon View Estates, Kings Point, Park Imperial South, Sagewood and Tamarisk West are all undergoing water-saving desert landscaping projects
  • Chalet Palms, Country Club Estates, Mesquite Canyon Estates are all using funds to undergo historic designation or secure official preservation status
  • Calypso Palms will use funds to restore the community pool to its original state
  • Cody Court purchased vintage umbrellas and paid down the cost for the replacement the complex’s cobble stone road 
  • El Rancho Vista Estates will use funds to offset the cost of burying above ground power lines on the three Wexler original streets
  • Hidden Cody Tennis Club Villas will used funds for landscaping renovations, lighting upgrades, and preservation of the midcentury infrastructure
  • Historic Tennis Club used funds for a new website and neighborhood blade signs 
  • Indian Canyons Neighborhood Organization earmarked tour funds for website design, landscaping, lighting, and course enhancements  
  • Magnesia Falls Cove will apply funding to continuing education and advocacy programs for architectural history and preservation on behalf of the Rancho Mirage community
  • Pompeii de Las Palmas used funds to cover the cost of a stucco and paint improvement project for the community
  • Royal Hawaiian Estates used tour funds to help offset the costs of the complex’s recent restoration project, which included replacing structural beams, repainting the exterior using the original 1961 Donald Wexler/Richard Harrison color scheme, and restoration of the “tiki apexes,” “flying sevens,” and roofline “teeth,” and “ladder extensions” 
  • Seven Lakes Country Club earmarked funds for a community survey about restoring the historic Cody Clubhouse
  • SunMor Neighborhood purchased new and redesigned blade signs, and painted the wall that wraps a part of the neighborhood on Civic Drive
  • Twin Springs purchased pool umbrellas, painted the clubhouse, and improve the landscaping of the community
  • Vista Las Palmas used the funds to help pay for neighborhood social events and projects to help promote a sense of community and drive membership 

Many neighborhoods also used proceeds to support local charities:

  • Mesquite Canyon Estates contributed $500 to the Architecture and Design scholarship fund at College of the Desert
  • SunMor donated about 20% of its tour revenue to the Neuro Vitality Center, located in its neighborhood
  • Twin Palms continued its sponsorship of the ongoing William Krisel’s Twin Palms Exhibit
  • Twin Springs donated a portion of funds to local charitable organizations
  • Vista Las Palmas donated the funds they raised from their annual tour to the Palm Springs Animal Shelter, the LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert, Palm Springs Modern Committee, food banks, and other LGBT, women’s health, and preservation organizations

Modernism Week Supports Local Organizations Working to Promote Modern Architecture and Preservation

In addition to working with neighborhoods, Modernism Week also helps various local organizations raise funds to further support their efforts to preserve and promote modernist architecture throughout the community. Modernism Week Ticket proceeds generated more than $1.3 million that was split amongst Palm Springs Historical Society, Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs Modern Committee, Palm Springs Preservation Foundation, Sunnylands, The Lautner Compound, Palm Springs Cultural Center, Historical Society of Palm Desert, and the Palm Springs Public Library.

“Modernism Week has a long-standing history of enabling other organizations to raise funds. We are delighted that our neighborhood and partner organizations use their fundraising for preservation, education, civic improvements or to reinvest back into the local community. The tours and events produced by partner organizations not only provide them with the ability to raise funds, but also allow them to showcase their neighborhoods and organizations to national and international visitors.”

William Kopelk, Modernism Week Board Chairman

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