Modernism Week officials announced that the annual festival, which took place from February 16 – 26, 2023 in Palm Springs, had an estimated audience of 105,477 attendees who participated in more than 350 events during the 11-day festival.
Celebrating midcentury modern design, architecture, art, and culture in Palm Springs, the festival generated an estimated economic impact of $55,375,425 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 26,000 visitors throughout the festival. The festival offered attendees the opportunity to participate in home tours, talks, parties, and architectural bus excursions in Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, and Indian Wells.
“Once again, Modernism Week continued to help brand the entire Coachella Valley as a mecca for design, preservation, modernism, and architecture,” said William Kopelk, Modernism Week Board Chairman. “Our diverse programming this year focused on many aspects of modernism but also allowed us to also highlight its predecessor, Spanish Colonial Revival design, in a series of talks and tours. We are very pleased that our attendees continued to learn about design, architecture, and culture regionally, nationally, and internationally. We couldn’t do this without the support of our primary sponsors, including Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Brizo, Dunn-Edwards Paints, JennAir, Toyota, Azure Sky, Flor, Soho House, and Willis, as well as the City of Palm Springs, our Civic Presenting Sponsor. Their ongoing partnership with our organization enables us to offer a compelling festival to which attendees plan to return each year.”
Modernism Week attendees came from all fifty United States and the District of Columbia, with California accounting for the majority of attendees (approximately 37%). Attendees came from 471 of 482 cities in California or 98% of all California cities. Locally, the Coachella Valley represented 44% of tickets sold in California. In addition to many California visitors, the event was popular with attendees from Texas, Washington, New York, Illinois, and Florida. Attendees came from across the globe with twenty-five countries represented, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, and many more.
The popular Palm Springs Modernism Show, which celebrated its 23rd year, also saw robust attendance numbers. More than 15,000 people attended the popular sale at the Palm Springs Convention Center, on par with the previous year which was the most well-attended show in the company’s history. Additionally, more than 1,200 attendees participated in the opening night preview event that benefitted Modernism Week. The show will return to Palm Springs for Modernism Week’s October 2023 event and again in February 2024.
“We are proud that the Palm Springs Modernism Show continues to be one of the highlights of Modernism Week,” said Rosemary Krieger, President of Dolphin Promotions, the show’s producer for 23 years. “Our dealers were extremely pleased with sales including robust sales on the opening night and throughout the four-day show.”
Modernism Week celebrates and fosters an 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 70 lectures and films spotlighting famed architects, landscape designers, historians, design experts and authors were presented to attendees, including the Modernism Week keynote presentation by award-winning architect Thom Mayne, FAIA, founder of architectural firm Morphosis, and a founder of the Southern California Institute of Architecture, where he is a trustee and the coordinator of the Design of Cities postgraduate program.
Other highlights included the return of the Stories Untold lecture series which focuses on topics relating to midcentury modern architecture that are rarely discussed. This year’s presentation was entitled “Asian American Architects and Midcentury Modernism: Influential Design and Social Exclusion.” The distinguished speakers of the session discussed how architects of Asian descent helped shape the midcentury Southland and blended historic Asian traditions with a modern sensibility and demonstrated how this legacy is expressed today. Generous support for this program was provided by Room & Board.