Black designers, builders and developers helped shape Palm Springs and Southern California for over a century. Modernism Week hosts a three-part symposium on this legacy.
Part One: African Americans have lived for generations in the Coachella Valley, and many worked in construction. What challenges and opportunities did they find in the desert? In the opening panel, Black History of Palm Springs, Tyrone Beason, reporter for the Los Angeles Times, and Jarvis Crawford and Dieter Crawford, leaders of Palm Springs Black History Committee, will share stories and reveal landmarks including the Crossley Tract, built by the New Orleans trumpeter and golf course designer Lawrence Crossley.
Part Two: Paul R. Williams is famed for his civic buildings and glorious homes. What about the other notable Black architects in the midcentury? What role did Williams play in inspiring other Black designers to launch careers in LA? In Circle of Paul R. Williams, Gail Kennard (daughter of Robert Kennard), Roland Wiley and Nastassja Lafontant will shine a light on the work of James Garrott, Ralph Vaughn, Robert Kennard, Arthur Silvers and other talents.
Part Three: How does this Black design legacy continue today? “Destination Crenshaw” is a 1.3 mile open air art gallery and park that will run alongside the light rail line in Los Angeles’ Crenshaw District. Project lead Drake Dillard, of Perkins & Will, will present the project, from its roots in a disruptive planning decision by LA Metro to its flowering into a showpiece of stunning structures, pocket parks and over 100 new works of “Unapologetically Black” art.
Two breaks will be scheduled, one after Part One, again after Part Two.
To learn more about Palm Springs Black History, visit palmspringsblackhistory.org.
This event qualifies for 3.5 AIA/CES Learning Units (LU).
Things to Know
This event is for all ages.
Ample free public parking is available in the multi-level public garage across from the Palm Springs Art Museum.
Handicap parking is available. This event is wheelchair accessible.
The organizer of this event is Modernism Week.
Event Check-in Location
CAMP Theater, 285 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Photo Credits: Friends of Mafundi, LA Sentinel, Perkins + Will, MLS, Perkins + Will
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