Modernism Week in Palm Springs Announces 2016 Schedule, Highlights Include Modern Cuba Experience, Fashion, Events Beyond the Coachella Valley

Modernism Week’s Signature February Festival Will Take Place February 11-21, 2016, Highlighting Midcentury Modern Design, Architecture, Art, Fashion And Culture In The Palm Springs Area Of Southern California.

Modernism Week’s signature February Event is an annual celebration of midcentury modern design, architecture, art, fashion and culture. 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 Palm Springs.

Julius Shulman and Juergen Nogai, photo 2007, The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands; A. uincy Jones and Frederick E. Emmons, 1966

Julius Shulman and Juergen Nogai, photo 2007, The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands; A. uincy Jones and Frederick E. Emmons, 1966

Modernism Week logo

Modernism Week 2016 Logo

This exciting festival takes place in February in the Palm Springs area of Southern California. Modernism Week features more than 250 events including the Modernism Show & Sale, Signature Home Tours, tours of iconic homes, a world-class lecture & film series, architectural walking, biking, lectures, Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus Tours, tours of the historic Annenberg Estate at Sunnylands, a Palm Springs Walk of Stars dedication for architect Richard Harrison, vintage fashion, classic cars, garden tours, nightly parties and live music, walking and bike tours, fashion, classic cars, modern garden tours, a vintage travel trailer exhibition, Modern Giants – a celebration of the area’s largest collection of midcentury modern commercial buildings at Eisenhower Medical Center and more.

In addition to the events in February, Modernism Week hosts the “Fall Preview” over Columbus Day weekend in mid-October. Partner organizations collaborate to produce a “mini-Modernism Week” to kick-off the active social and recreational season in Palm Springs.

Modernism Week is also a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, providing scholarships to local students pursuing college educations in the fields of architecture and design; as well as supporting local and state preservation organizations and neighborhood groups in their efforts to preserve modernist architecture throughout the state of California.

Coming off the tremendous success of Modernism Week’s tenth celebration in February 2015, we’ve expanded this year’s slate of events geographically,” explained Board Chairman, Chris Mobley. “February’s schedule includes exciting tours and activities throughout the Coachella Valley and beyond, and long-time supporters of Modernism Week will be thrilled with the selection of appealing new programs.

The Kaufmann House designed by architect richard Neutra helped establish the style that became known as Deser Modernism. Completed between 1946-47, the iconic project was built as a winter vacation home. Photo Credit: David A. Lee

The Kaufmann House designed by architect richard Neutra helped establish the style that became known as Deser Modernism. Completed between 1946-47, the iconic project was built as a winter vacation home. Photo Credit: David A. Lee

A highlight during the first weekend of Modernism Week is “Party at the Yacht Club – An Exclusive Taste, Toast and Tour of Albert Frey’s Historic Masterpiece” (2/12), a celebration of Albert Frey’s North Shore Beach & Yacht Club (1959) being officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). A direct shuttle will depart from Modernism Week’s CAMP headquarters to the Salton Sea, where guests will enjoy an exclusive tour of the yacht club, lunch, the unveiling of the NRHP plaque, and the premiere of the Salton Sea Art Show – a curated collection of paintings, sculptures and photography.

Modernism Week will also take a trip to the Museum of Pinball in Banning, one of the greatest kept secrets of the midcentury modern revival. ‘Retro Pinball Mania’ (2/15) will be an evening of partying in a midcentury modern atmosphere while enjoying unlimited free-play on more than 700 beautifully restored vintage arcade and pinball machines. Continue reading

theFashionSpot’s Spring 2016 Diversity Report: New York Leads the Charge, Milan Lags Far Behind

Data from 373 International Shows Reveals Industry Slow to Change and Major Designers that Continue to Exclude Models of Color

The numbers are in: TotallyHer Media’s theFashionSpot, the web’s largest fashion-focused community and editorial site, has released its annual Diversity Report on the Spring/Summer 2016 runway shows in New York, London, Paris, and Milan. Surveying 373 shows and 9,926 model appearances, theFashionSpot examined the race, age, size, and gender identity of runway show casts to determine how much diversity in the fashion industry has grown this year. Just over 77% of all models cast were white, and the numbers have been improving gradually—80% white models were reported for Fall 2015, and 83% for the previous spring. While the runways are becoming more racially diverse, plus-size, transgender, and models over age 50 continue to make up a tiny fraction of runway casts.

Despite slight gains, it’s clear the fashion industry has a long way to go on the road to equality,” said Jennifer Davidson, Managing Editor for, part of TotallyHer, an Evolve Media company.

Diversity has increased across the board, but some designers are far ahead of others. While Chromat’s runway has a 70% diverse cast, plenty of brands had completely whitewashed shows, and Milan’s Fashion Week featured zero plus-size models, transgender models or models over the age of 50. We hope that by continuing to draw attention to these numbers and shine the spotlight on designers whose ideas about casting are shifting, we’ll encourage others to follow suit.

Below are highlights from theFashionSpot’s Spring 2016 Runway Diversity Report. The entire report can be found here:


Of all the shows surveyed, 77.6% of the time models were white. This is slightly better than the 80 percent reported for Fall 2015 and 83 percent from the previous spring shows.

New York shows were the most racially diverse in every category, with 10.7 percent Black models, 8.7% Asian models, and 4.2% Latina models.

Milan was the least diverse on all counts, with the highest rate of white models at 82.8%, and no plus-size models, transgender models, or models over the age of 50.

Chromat had the most multicultural show of Fashion month, with a cast that was 70% models of color.

The top model of Fashion Month was 19-year old Dominican beauty Lineisy Montero, the first model of color to rank number one by walking in 68 shows across all four Fashion Weeks.

Season for season, Asian, Black and Middle Eastern models all saw a minor bump in castings. The only models of color* that decreased were Latinas, who went from 2.9 percent for fall to 2.6 percent for spring.


Plus-size models accounted for only .1 percent of the total model appearances.

All 14 plus size models that walked this season came out of New York.


Transgender models made up .06 percent of all model appearances.

Half of the transgender model castings were in New York, while one transgender model each walked in the London and Paris shows.


Only five models over the age of 50 appeared in any shows this season, making up .05 percent of the total. One of these appearances took place at Nehera in Paris; the rest walked in New York. Most notably, two black supermodels re-emerged on the catwalk. Veronica Webb walked for Theallet and Pat Cleveland took a turn down Elie Tahari’s runway. There were also appearances at VFiles and Eckhaus Latta in New York. Collectively, this group of models made up the .05 percent of the total.

And the story has reverberated with The Business of Fashion in a series of Op-Ed pieces written by Bethann Hardison, Reina Lewis, Ben Barry and Helen Pike. Collectively, they and The Business of Fashion has placed the focus, once again, back on the lack of diversity in fashion in way that cannot be ignored. (See links to Op-Ed pieces below.)

Agencies Holding Back Black Models by Bethann Hardison, Founder, The Diversity Coalition

Why isn’t the fashion industry more diverse? By Helen Pike, Professor of Cultural Studies, London College of Fashion

Fashion Reinforces Racial Hierarchies of Beauty by Reina Lewis, professor of cultural studies at London College of Fashion and author of ‘Muslim Fashion: Contemporary Style Cultures.’

Diversity In Fashion Advertising Does Sell by Ben Barry, Assistant Professor of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the School of Fashion, Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.

And the story continues……

Originating in July 2001, theFashionSpot ( made a name for itself as an invitation-only community of designers, stylists and fashionistas that dissected designer collections, celebrating some and skewering others. Building on the largest fashion-focused community on the web, has grown into a respected fashion editorial site with a strong and active community element and is part of the TotallyHer Beauty and Style Portfolio, reaching nearly 13 million unique visitors (comScore, May 2015). With close to 70,000 invitation-only members playing an active role in the site’s forum, theFashionSpot encompasses the largest community of authentic fashion influencers online. In 2015, theFashionSpot was recognized once again by MediaPost’s OMMA Awards for website excellence in fashion and beauty. Recent brand advertisers include Macy’s, Tresemme, Anne Klein, P&G, Kraft, Coach, Revlon, Weight Watchers, and more. theFashionSpot is part of TotallyHer, an Evolve Media ( company.

Go Glamping into America’s National Parks with Eight New REI Adventures Signature Camp Vacations

Deeply Immersive Experiences explore Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains, Rocky Mountain, Yosemite and Zion National Parks

Award-winning REI Adventures has been a global leader in worldwide guided active adventure programs since 1987. The company offers unique itineraries focused on sustainable, human-powered outdoor adventure including hiking, biking, kayaking, climbing and more.

Throughout REI Adventures’ nearly 30-year history, the national parks have been the backdrop of life-changing adventures for its guests. Guests will experience iconic destinations as guides take them off the “beaten path” and provide opportunities to explore a destination, get to know the local people, their culture, the flora and fauna and discover things they would not be able to duplicate on their own or with another travel company. REI’s Outdoor School is run by professionally-trained, expert instructors who teach beginner- to advanced-level courses about a wide range of activities. With already the broadest national parks offerings of any active travel company, REI Adventures is expanding its popular REI Signature Camping assortment beyond Zion and Bryce Canyon. Eight new adventures now await solo travelers, couples, friends and families in Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains, Rocky Mountain and Yosemite National Parks.

REI Adventures Logo (PRNewsFoto/REI)

REI Adventures Logo (PRNewsFoto/REI)

REI Signature Camping is a deluxe experience, where camp is a destination rather than an activity. Complete with an oversized REI tent for each couple or solo traveler, there is plenty of room to spread out. Tents are outfitted with REI cots, REI plush sleeping pads, floor coverings, lighting and more. A community area with comfy furniture, hammocks, covered dining area, outdoor games and twinkle lights set a fun atmosphere as guests reflect on their day. Thoughtful extras include French press coffee delivered to tents every morning, hearty meals that highlight regional cuisine, and appetizers and beverages that await guests’ arrival in camp. Where available, camps have bathrooms with running water, showers and flush toilets. Where not available, personal hygiene kits and access to campground bathroom facilities are provided. REI members receive a special discount price on most trips. (For more information, full itineraries and trip reviews provided by guests, visit

REI Signature Camping is the perfect combination of exceptional gear, knowledgeable guides and active exploration where our guests are immersed into the destination,” says Cynthia Dunbar, general manager of REI Adventures. “Our trips are truly one-of-a kind experiences. For example, our Utah National Park Ultimate Adventure explores five national parks in the state, including Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion.”

New trips include:

Arizona Ultimate Adventure – Grand Canyon & Beyond

Arizona’s defining geologic feature is surely its breathtaking canyons of every shape and size. This landscape is the backdrop of an eight-day hiking and kayaking adventure that begins with two days in the Grand Canyon. Explorers kayak the emerald-colored waters of Lake Powell and explore Antelope Canyon, a magnificent sandstone slot canyon. The itinerary visits the towering monoliths of Monument Valley and wraps up in mysterious Canyon de Chelly National Monument where a local Navajo guide enlightens guests on the history of the canyon and cultures that thrived here over the centuries.

Great Smoky Mountains Adventure

The Smokies have the distinction of being America’s most visited park and a UNESCO World Heritage site. By day, visitors explore the old growth forest along the classic Appalachian Trail and picturesque viewpoints that many hikers dream about. By night, the forest comes alive during hikes to experience fireflies, bioluminescent foxfire and owls. After three days of hiking, the group’s final adrenaline-pumping day includes zip-lining between mountain tops, followed by whitewater rafting down the Nantahala River. A Great Smoky Mountains Family Adventure is also available.

Rocky Mountain National Park Adventure

Over six days, guests have an immersive experience through this park well-known for its alpine lakes carved into rugged mountain peaks. They hike along meadows and tranquil lakes contrasted by massive rock formations formed by glaciers. Mid-way through the trip, the group sets off on a whitewater adventure on the Cache la Poudre, Colorado’s only designated “Wild and Scenic River” for an exhilarating change of pace. A scenic drive follows on Trail Ridge Road, the highest paved road in the America, and a hike that crosses the Continental Divide Trail. A family itinerary of this adventure is available, including young guests taking part in the Junior Ranger program.

Utah National Parks Ultimate Adventure

REI’s Utah trip is a comprehensive itinerary through five of Utah’s national parks: Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion. Over nine days, guests stay at four deluxe camps while they hike through awe-inspiring landscapes sculpted over thousands of years by the powerful forces of erosion. Highlights include learning about ancient cultures that once called the region their home, visiting the ruins of an ancestral Puebloan village, witnessing the mighty Colorado River, and deciphering the meaning of Newspaper Rock‘s petroglyphs.

Yosemite Hiking & Camping

From the iconic granite peaks of Yosemite Valley to the wildflower carpeted meadows of the High Country, this six-day hiking adventure includes taking in the best views of El Capitan, navigating 600 stone steps down to the 317-foot Vernal Falls, experiencing Tuolumne Grove‘s giant sequoias, and tackling Yosemite’s second highest peak, Mount Dana. On evening hikes, guests witness the alpenglow on the High Sierra peaks, also known as John Muir’s “Range of Light,” panoramic views of Lembert Dome and more. REI’s Yosemite Family Adventure, also six days, will impart a lifelong appreciation of the national parks among young travelers.

Honoring the Centennial

As the “Official Outdoor Retailer” for the National Park Centennial celebration, REI is donating 10 percent of the retail price for each REI Adventures’ national park trip to the National Park Foundation through 2016. With the addition of the new Signature Camp itineraries, REI Adventures now offers more than 45 trips to national parks.

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 5.5 million active members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips and outstanding customer service. REI has 142 stores in 34 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at, or the free REI shopping app.

REI isn’t just about gear. You can take the trip of a lifetime with REI Adventures, a global leader in active adventure travel that runs over 150 custom-designed itineraries on every continent. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to-and steward-the outdoor places that inspire us.

American Cruise Lines Awarded Additional “Prime Use Days” in Glacier Bay, Alaska

Bear Glacier Kenai Fjords

Bear Glacier Kenai Fjords

American Cruise Lines, the largest U.S. cruise company and operator of the newest fleet of riverboats and small cruise ships in the United States, has been awarded additional prime use days as an exclusive tour vessel in Glacier Bay, Alaska, allowing the line to spend more time there than ever before. The five-year contract will go into effect January 1, 2016 for the spring itineraries. Located roughly 60 miles west of Juneau on the Southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage, Glacier Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world’s largest biosphere, covering 3.3 million acres.summer-southeast-alaska-cruises

Tracy Arm fjord Sawyer Glacier, Glacier Bay, Alaska

Tracy Arm fjord Sawyer Glacier, Glacier Bay, Alaska

In order to protect and preserve the park’s resources, regulations allow only three tour vessels in Glacier Bay proper per day and access is strictly limited to companies holding concession contracts with the National Park Services (NPS). Upon review by technical experts from the NPS, American Cruise Lines was one of only four companies to receive the coveted contract.

American Cruise Lines holds a unique distinction as the only non-excursion company to be granted tour vessel exclusivity. Staying true to the heritage of American Cruise Lines, its focus will remain on providing outstanding service and superb comfort to their guests in the midst of the panoramically spectacular preserve.4817132294_3a16dac42f_b

The American Spirit cruises to Glacier Bay by way of its Southeast Alaska itinerary. On this seven-night cruise, guests will receive an enriched onboard experience, gaining access to a National Park Service Ranger and his/her expert knowledge of Glacier Bay’s marine wilderness as well as a Huna Tlingit Cultural Interpreter who will share the fascinating human history of Glacier Bay’s native clans and people. Guests will also experience the famous South Sawyer Glacier located at the end of the majestic Tracy Arm Fjord, the quaint and authentic fishing village of Petersburg, and the historic gold mining route of the Yukon and White Pass Railway.

The American Spirit boasts spaciously large and beautifully furnished staterooms, with opening panoramic windows or private balconies to offer guests once-in-a-lifetime views of Alaska’s finest scenery and wildlife, all at the highest standard of cruising comfort. The lines’ reputation for outstanding service is paramount on the American Spirit where thoughtful and attentive crew invite guests to feel right at home in an intimately crafted onboard setting. The extraordinary standard of excellence provided by an all American crew and staff create an outstanding and personalized journey for all guests onboard the American Spirit.BN_GlacierBay2

The increase of prime use days is a testament to the ongoing partnership between American Cruise Lines and the National Park Services. We’re delighted to be part of the ongoing preservation and conservation of Glacier Bay,” said Charles A. Robertson, CEO of American Cruise Lines. “We are continuously looking for ways to provide our guests with the most memorable cruising experience and the rare glimpse of the world’s most magnificent biosphere does just that.”

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

American Cruise Lines ( offers more than 35 itineraries ( ranging from seven to 21 days in length around the country including the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, New England, the Southeast and the entire Mississippi River system. The line has been continuously recognized for providing superb service to guests and travel agents before, during, and after a cruise to create a seamless and personalized experience.

Long established and deeply experienced in cruise travel, American Cruise Lines has lead the industry with honors that include “Gold Magellan Award Winner” (2015, 2014), “The World’s Best Cruise Ship” by Condé Nast Traveler (2014), “World’s Leading River Cruise Company” by World Travel Awards (2014), “World’s Leading Small Ships Cruise Line” by World Travel Awards (2012, 2013), “Best New Ship” by TravelAge West (2013), and finalist for the Reader’s Choice Awards by Condé Nast Traveler.

To learn more about American Cruise Lines, visit or call 800-814-6880, as well as on Facebook at or Twitter at

Best Western Plus Ranked Number One Business Hotel Two Years In A Row

Best Western Hotels & Resorts continues to celebrate earning prestigious industry awards including this week’s recognition by Business Travel News (BTN). The Annual Hotel Chain Survey measures corporate buyer opinions of the lodging brands they use. BTN readers include more than 44,000 travel managers who control $264 billion in corporate travel spending. For the second year in a row, Best Western Plus® has been selected by readers of BTN as the No. 1 upper mid-price hotel brand and Best Western® ranked in the top three for best mid-price hotel for business travel. Best Western Plus continues to win out over brands such as Hampton, Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn and Fairfield to take the top spot as the favorite for business travel.

The Best Western Plus brand continues to dominate in the categories of: corporate rate programs, sales staff, price/value relationship, helpful and courteous service, physical appearance, in-room business amenities and personal amenities, data quality and arranging group travel/meetings. The Best Western brand earned top recognition for sales staff, corporate rate programs, data quality, arranging group travel/meetings and meeting facilities.

Best Western PLUS San Juan Lobby, (Puerto Rico)

Best Western PLUS San Juan Lobby, (Puerto Rico)

Best Western PLUS Washington, MO Hotel Exterior

Best Western PLUS Washington, MO Hotel Exterior

On the eve of its 70th birthday, Best Western Hotels & Resorts continues to grow and evolve as a global company expanding from one brand to seven in the past five years; Best Western, Best Western Plus and Best Western Premier®, BW Plus Executive Residency®, BW Premier Collection®, Vīb®, and GLō℠. Listening to what is important to its corporate travel buying clients and travelers, the company’s brands continue to offer free WiFi, a quality complimentary breakfast, contemporary in-room amenities, an updated exercise facility and business center services. Knowing the importance of loyalty programs to business travelers, its award-winning loyalty program, Best Western Rewards®, continues to offer one of the richest loyalty programs in the industry with points that never expire and can be redeemed worldwide.

Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico on Florida’s Fort Myers Beach, the BEST WESTERN PLUS Beach Resort Hotel is a laid-back coastal paradise. Sparkling white sand invites visitors to relax on the beach and view stunning sunsets over the placid Gulf. The gentle breezes of Florida’s western coast invite hotel guests to spend vacation afternoons by the water’s edge. Visitors can venture into the town of Fort Myers for a variety of restaurants, shops, and sunny diversions.

Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico on Florida’s Fort Myers Beach, the BEST WESTERN PLUS Beach Resort Hotel is a laid-back coastal paradise. Sparkling white sand invites visitors to relax on the beach and view stunning sunsets over the placid Gulf. The gentle breezes of Florida’s western coast invite hotel guests to spend vacation afternoons by the water’s edge. Visitors can venture into the town of Fort Myers for a variety of restaurants, shops, and sunny diversions.

Best Western Plus Atrea Business Center, San Antonio, Texas

Best Western Plus Atrea Business Center, San Antonio, Texas

Earning this award again is a testament to our hotelier’s commitment to invest in their hotels and their staff as well as the investment Best Western Hotels & Resorts continues to make in our worldwide sales team,” said Dorothy Dowling Best Western Hotels & Resorts senior vice president of marketing and sales. “Our North American hoteliers will have invested $2 billion in renovations to their properties by the end of 2016 which is reflected in our rankings, while the company continues to build our sales team, deepen our client relationships and provide innovative travel programs to meet the needs of our clients and hoteliers. Finally, we are thrilled that our focus on meeting the needs of today’s business travelers has resulted in such a tremendous recognition in this highly competitive industry.Best Western PLUS logo

Focused on further enhancing the traveler’s experience on every level, the company has introduced its next generation mobile app designed with the content and features travelers want including a map-based feature showing nearby attractions and improved integration with Best Western Rewards, to encourage earning and redemption of points at any of the companies 4,100 hotels around the world.

For the second year in a row, Best Western Plus took home the honors of winning the upper-midprice category and the Best Western brand earned top recognition for sales staff, corporate rate programs, data quality, arranging group travel/meetings and meeting facilities,” said Louis Magliaro, group publisher of The BTN Group. “Best Western Hotels & Resorts continues to make great strides, and Business Travel News readers are clearly taking notice.”

The BTN Group is the leading provider of comprehensive news and information serving the business travel industry. Operating across various communication platforms, the group reaches an audience of corporate executives who are responsible for managing/arranging business travel on behalf of their organizations. Its unique portfolio of print publications, including Business Travel News and Travel Procurement, digital products and live events provides travel marketers the opportunity to engage with business travel management professionals.