Modernism Week Helps Local Community Organizations Raise Funds

Neighborhood Tours and Partner Events Provided Opportunities for Charitable Fundraising and Modernism Week Continues to Fund Scholarships

Modernism Week announced that its recent 11-day festival in February 2023 and its four-day festival in October 2022 provided an opportunity for dozens of local Coachella Valley organizations and neighborhood groups to produce events that raised significant funds from ticket sales proceeds for official Modernism Week events. These events included neighborhood tours, parties, educational talks, and other programs and enabled the organizations to contribute to local Coachella Valley charities or to fund civic improvements with the proceeds raised by the programs.

During Modernism Week – October and Modernism Week 2023, participating partner organizations raised $2,179,529 million. This includes more than $689,543 in funds raised by local neighborhood organizations from home tours (up more than $100,000 from the previous year). 

2023 scholarship recipients. Courtesy of OneFuture Coachella Valley.

Modernism Week also continued to support its long-standing scholarship program by awarding eleven scholarships, the greatest number of scholarships awarded in one year by Modernism Week to date, to deserving Coachella Valley students who have chosen educational paths in the fields of architecture or design-related programs. The scholarships, which will total $50,000, include $20,000 of matching funds from OneFuture Coachella Valley, an organization that supports Modernism Week scholarship recipients. Since the Modernism Week scholarship program was initiated in 2011, more than $285,500 has been awarded to-date.

The students receiving scholarships this year are Irving Valdes Moreno of Mecca, studying Architecture and Design at Cal Baptist University, Damian Perez Escalera of Mecca, studying Architecture and Design at California State Polytechnic University Pomona, Yaretzi Schwartzman-Rivera, studying Graphic Design at San Diego State University, Valentina Rodriguez-Salinas of Thermal studying Environmental Science at University of California Los Angeles, Ashley Silva of Indio, studying Environmental Science at University of California Berkley, Rebecca Villa of Indio, studying Architectural Design at College of the Desert, Ralph Zepeda of Indio, studying Civil and Environmental Engineering at California State Polytechnic University Pomona, Miguel Pulido of Indio, studying Environmental Science at California Polytechnic University Humboldt, Uziel Gomez-Cruz of Desert Hot Springs, studying Architectural Design/Construction Management at College of the Desert, Perla Zepeda of Indio, studying Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of California Irvine, and Anthony Jimenez of Indio, studying Environmental Science at Humboldt State University.

Four scholarship recipients graduated this year, including Jorjele Quintero Meraz who graduated with a degree from Cal Baptiste University in Environmental Science, Gardenia Fernandez, a graphic design major from California State Polytechnic University Pomona, Karen Meza Morales, who graduated with a degree in Architecture from California State Polytechnic University Pomona, and Amparo “Maggie” Medina who graduated with a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from California State Polytechnic University Pomona.  

“Awarding the Modernism Week scholarships is one of the most meaningful outcomes of our festivals each year,” said Lisa Vossler Smith, Chief Executive Officer. “Supporting our local students from the Coachella Valley and helping them receive the education and training they need to be successful in their lives is a top priority for our organization and one of the many ways that Modernism Week invests in the community.”

Helping Neighborhoods and Organizations Raise Funds

Modernism Week works closely with local neighborhood organizations and residential communities to showcase the design of iconic Palm Springs residences and other architecturally significant buildings during tours in many of the city’s 52 official neighborhoods and neighboring cities. Most neighborhood organizations reinvested the proceeds made from the tours into their neighborhoods through architectural restoration, improving infrastructure, or landscape improvements. This year a record 32 neighborhoods (including 2 new neighborhoods and 3 mid-valley tours) organized tours that featured approximately 156 residences, attracting more than 10,000 participants. These neighborhoods included: Calypso Palms, Canyon Estates, Canyon View Estates, Da Vaal Estates (Rancho Mirage), Desert Lanai 4, El Rancho Vista Estates, Historic Tennis Club, Indian Canyons, Little Beverly Hills, Ocotillo Lodge, Park Imperial North, Park Imperial South, Racquet Club Cottages West, Racquet Club Estates, Royal Hawaiian Estates, Sandpiper, Seven Lakes Golf and Country Club, Sunrise Park, Tahquitz River Estates, Tamarisk Neighborhood (Rancho Mirage), Tennis Club Villas, Twin Palms, Twin Springs, and Villa Alejo.

“This was the first time Ocotillo Lodge organized a tour of our historic complex,” said Chantel Cruikshank, one of the tour organizers. “Seeing how excited people were to tour our community really drove home the importance of preservation to the city and to our property owners. It increased the pride of ownership for us all and reinforced that it is hugely important to be a part of Modernism Week. We are in the process of refabricating the original sign on our iconic Krisel-designed clubhouse and the funds we raised during the festival will help fund that important project.”

Many neighborhoods raised funds specifically to donate to local charities, including: 

  • Historic Tennis Club (gave donations to Find Food Bank, Boys & Girls Club of Palm Springs, Palm Springs Police Department, Palm Springs Fire Department and the Plaza Theatre)
  • Little Beverly Hills (tour proceeds were donated to Prescott Preserve, Palm Springs Animal Shelter, and the PS ModCom Education BEAM Program and Robert Imber Scholarship Fund)
  • Racquet Club Estates (proceeds will fund projects benefiting the neighborhood and the Palm Springs community)
  • Sunrise Park (proceeds were used to support Palm Springs Cultural Center, Farmer’s Market, and the Boys & Girls Club of Palm Springs, as well as help fund operating costs for the Sunrise Park Neighborhood Organization)
  • Tahquitz River Estates (tour proceeds helped fund neighborhood improvements and provided funds for donations to local organizations)
  • Twin Palms (funds raised will help preserve and beautify the neighborhood and fund community projects)

Many neighborhoods raised funds to reinvest in their communities and their surrounding neighborhood. These included:  

  • Calypso Palms (funds raised financed the resurfacing of the community’s parking lot and expand the trash area to accommodate the new city regulations for food composting)
  • Canyon Estates (tour funds will go towards improvements in the Du Bois-designed Clubhouse, the kitchen area, Du Bois’ largest commission in the Valley, and for landscaping around the tennis courts) 
  • Canyon View Estates – The Finale (Proceeds provided funding for a new CVE monument, new pool signage, new pool furniture/loungers and umbrellas, and landscaping around the pool)
  • Da Vaal Estates (Rancho Mirage) (All proceeds were used to refresh the grounds include turf conversion and replacing older failing trees with Palo Verde and new citrus trees) 
  • Desert Lanai 4 – (tour proceeds will be used to help finance several multi-thousand dollar infrastructure projects in the complex)
  • Ocotillo Lodge (funds raised paid for repainting the property to match the original color scheme and to help finance the repairs to the Clubhouse pay to restore the entry sign to its original specifications)  
  • Park Imperial North (Proceeds from this tour support the restoration of the historical and midcentury details of Park Imperial North)
  • Racquet Club Cottages West (proceeds will help finance the replacement of the incorrect screen blocks on either side of the pool cabana with the unique block designed by William Cody for Racquet Club Cottages West) 
  • Royal Hawaiian Estates (funds raised will finance grass removal and funding the planting of a more desert-appropriate landscape and support ongoing restoration and modernization of the complex)
  • Tamarisk Neighborhood (Rancho Mirage) (a percentage of funds raised will benefit Preservation Mirage, a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the community and help preserve the architectural legacy of the City of Rancho Mirage)
  • Tennis Club Villas (Hidden Cody) – (tour proceeds supported upgrading the landscaping and restoring a large, central planter in the middle of the complex to what it looked like originally when the complex was designed by William Cody and incorporates a new brick surround and an olive tree in the middle)
  • Twin Springs (funds raised will finance grass removal and funding the planting of a more desert-appropriate landscape)

For the first time, Modernism Week offered tours of the Joshua Tree Retreat Center in 2023. The property includes the largest collection of Lloyd Wright buildings in the country, and the proceeds from this tour will help restore and protect this property which remains as a significant example of Organic Architecture. 

In addition to working with neighborhoods, Modernism Week, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, also helps other local organizations raise funds to further support their efforts to preserve and promote modernist architecture throughout the community. Ticket proceeds for official Modernism Week events these businesses and organizations produced in 2022-2023 generated more than $1.3 million for various local partner organizations which included: Palm Springs Historical Society, Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs Modern Committee, Palm Springs Preservation Foundation, Sunnylands, Palm Springs Cultural Center, Historical Society of Palm Desert, and the Palm Springs Public Library.

“Modernism Week has a long-standing history of helping other organizations raise funds to benefit the local community,” said William Kopelk, Modernism Week Board Chairman. “One of the most important outcomes of Modernism Week events each year is the opportunity for our neighborhood and partner organizations use their tours and events to raise funds needed to support preservation, education, civic improvements, or to reinvest back into other local charities. 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.”

In addition, Modernism Week announced that it has elected two new board members: Annalisa Capuro and David Millbern.

Annalisa Capurro, aka ‘Ms.Modernism,’ is an interior designer, design educator, architectural/design historian, and public speaker with extensive experience working in the sectors of commercial and residential design, architectural preservation and design education in Australia and abroad. Annalisa’s specialization is in the architecture and design of the mid-twentieth century.

Annalisa lectures internationally and leads tours for architecture and design events and institutions including Australian Design Centre, Historic Houses Trust of NSW, Australian Architecture Association, Sydney Open, Decor + Design, New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), and Modernism Week, where she has been a regular presenter for over a decade. 

Regarded as a design authority, Annalisa has judged Australian House and Garden magazine’s Top 50 Rooms of the Year and was the inaugural recipient of the Society of Interior Designers Association (SIDA) Foundation Professional Development Travelling Scholarship. Annalisa is a passionate advocate for the preservation of modern architecture and is the owner of the iconic 1957 award-winning Jack House in Sydney, Australia.

EMMY Award winning actor-producer David Millbern has been involved with a wide range of projects, including his first film as a lead in Roger Corman’s “The Slumber Party Massacre,” Sir Ian McKellen’s doctor in the Oscar winning “Gods And Monsters,” Mariel Hemingway’s captor in “In Her Line Of Fire,” and Alfred Molina’s match in “Texas Rangers.” He received an EMMY nomination for producing “The Ribbon of Hope Celebration” along with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and produced the female thriller feature “The Nurse” and the comedic parody “Hush Up Sweet Charlotte.” He also produced the sit-com “From here! on OUT” and received his second EMMY nomination for the feature documentary “A Long Road to Freedom: The Advocate Celebrates 50 Years.” David’s current feature documentary, “100 Years of Men in Love: The Accidental Collection” has won over 20 film festival laurels and has been installed in the Hollywood Museum. He was the first recipient of the OTTX Impact Award for his social justice work and recently won an EMMY Award for producing “Girls’ Voices Now” for Outstanding Short Form Children’s Programing. David’s expertise as a director has guided him through the orchestration of three extraordinarily unique renovation projects: an 1830s New Orleans-style mansion situated in Turks and Caicos; and a 1930s Art Deco movie theater nestled in the heart of Hollywood; and a mid-century marvel in Bel Air, his own residence. This architectural gem was originally crafted by renowned architect Ted Grenzbach for the legendary Dean Martin.

Later this year, Modernism Week will offer its annual Modernism Week – October event from October 19-22, 2023 (tickets go on sale August 1, 2023 at 12 p.m. PST) and will stage the 2024 Modernism Week event February 15-25, 2024 (tickets go on sale November 1, 2023 at 12 p.m. PST).

For more information about future Modernism Week events, visit and follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.