Arts + Culture Itinerary – March 2020

Diversity prevails in a March Madness blitz of performances, exhibitions, and screenings across the Coachella Valley. The Native Film Fest and a museum exhibition of works by Cahuilla artist Gerald Clarke lead a month loaded with architecture tours, documentary film screenings, contemporary art shows, live music and theater, and the desert’s own fashion week. We break it down for you below.

Above: Amsterdam–based designer Edwin Oudshoorn unveils his latest collection on the runway of Fashion Week El Paseo, March 20–28. Photograph courtesy Fashion Week El Paseo.



MOD TOUR: See the best examples of midcentury modern architecture on a March 14 tour of downtown Palm Springs’ main thoroughfare for banking and retail businesses. A program of Palm Springs Art Museum, Midcentury Modern Icons & their Architects reveals why these innovative designs continue to draw people from all over the world. Info

TOUR THE WALKER: This month marks your last chance to tour the replica of Paul Rudolph’s Walker Guest House in “the pit” in downtown Palm Springs before the structure goes to the auction. Info



ART CELEBRATION: La Quinta Art Celebration makes its debut March 5–8, featuring more than 200 artists exhibiting paintings, sculpture, glass, ceramics, photography, textiles, jewelry, and more on the La Quinta Civic Center campus. Info

ART WALK: Nine contemporary art galleries and three midcentury modern home décor boutiques welcome visitors to the H and I corridors of Perez Road in Cathedral City on March 6 for the monthly First Friday Art Walk. Info

OPEN STUDIO: Ryan Campbell has recreated his studio in the Palm Springs Art Museum and, through March 22, the artist is creating two- and three-dimensional pieces in stages to reveal his process as it evolves. Info

MOJAVE MADNESS: More than 40 artists from the Mojave Desert region created work for Mojave Madness, an exhibition curated by Michael McCall and open through April 12 at the Yucca Valley Visual & Performing Arts Center. Info

FALLING ROCK: Cahuilla artist Gerald Clarke’s exhibition at Palm Springs Art Museum (through May 31) features almost 80 poignant and often humorous artworks addressing Native American identity and its intersection with mainstream U.S. culture and politics. Info

COPY.PATTERN.REPEAT: For almost 40 years, Palm Springs–based artist Jim Isermann has powered his artwork with the colors and contours of midcentury design. His first solo exhibition at Palm Springs Art Museum’s Architecture and Design Center continues through September 27. Info 

REACH FOR THE SKY: Sunnylands Center & Gardens in Rancho Mirage presents a season-long exhibition, Reach for the Sky: Tradition + Inspiration, featuring totems by the Hunt family of Canadian First Nations artists and the musician and artist Herb Alpert. Info



LATINX ART: Palm Springs Art Museum hosts “Latinx Art and Community Building,” a panel discussion March 23 featuring artists Armando Lerma and Star Montana as well as Betty Avila, director of the print shop and community art center Self Help Graphics & Art in Boyle Heights. Info

SALTON SEA STORIES: Experience the heyday of the Salton Sea through the 1962 photographs of George Mann and the story of Helen Burns, “Queen of the Salton Sea.” The exhibit continues through March 28 at La Quinta Museum. Info

CORAZON DE MEXICO: Visit the 1926 Smiley-Tyler Adobe House and peruse the exhibition Corazon de Mexico, featuring the Coachella Valley History Museum’s new eclectic collection of Mexican folk art, including textiles, pottery, costumes, and wooden toys. Info 



PUREPECHAS: Culturas Music and Arts presents three indigenous women of different generations sharing, showcasing, and explaining their embroideries, clothing, textiles, and traditional wear March 7 at Coachella Public Library. Info

NATIVE FILM FEST: Some of the best new films by, about, and starring Native Americans and other Indigenous peoples screen March 13–14 at Mary Pickford is D’Place in Cathedral City. Info

ART DOC: The Palm Desert Public Art Documentary Series presents Yarn, a film about artists who are redefining the tradition of knit and crochet, bringing yarn out of the house and into the world, from wool graffiti artists to circus performers. The free screening is set for March 19 at UCR Palm Desert. Info

DOC FEST: The ninth annual American Documentary Film Festival rolls March 27–31, featuring more than 1,000 documentary and animated films on multiple screens in multiple desert cities. Info



FASHION WEEK: Palm Springs Life presents its 15th annual Fashion Week El Paseo, featuring top designers, such as Amsterdam–based Edwin Oudshoorn, unveiling new collections in high-energy runway shows from March 20 to 28. Info

JAMES BEARD LUNCHEON: Celebrity chefs including Jamie Gwen, Elizabeth Falkner, Curtis Stone, and Chris Ford prepare the James Beard Gourmet Four-Course Luncheon on March 27 with proceeds supporting FIND Food Bank and James Beard Foundation. Info



THE FINEST HOUR: Davina and the Vagabonds and Hot Club of Cowtown perform an evening of the music that ended World War II — jazz, blues, pop, and country — March 3 at McCallum Theatre. Info

CONCERTO: The Coachella Valley Symphony presents its Concerto Competition winners and performs the Tragic Overture by Johannes Brahms, the Intermezzo from Manon Lescaut by Giacomo Puccini, and the first movement from Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 103. The performance is March 22 at the Annenberg Theater in Palm Springs. Info



MARILYN, MADNESS & ME: Conceived, written, and directed by locally based talent, the shocking tale of unrequited love comes to the stage March 5–6 at the Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory. Info

BOB WOODWARD: The legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist lectures March 6 at the Richards Center for the Arts at Palm Springs High School as part of the Palm Springs Speaks series. Info

THE SPAGHETTI MURDERS: This murder mystery dinner, presented March 6–7 by Desert TheatreWorks at Expo Hall in Indio, invites you to dress in your best 1920s attire and enter a speakeasy run by a notorious mob family. Info

CITY OF CONVERSATION: In this play March 11–29 at CVRep in Cathedral City, Hester Ferris throws Georgetown dinner parties that can change the course of Washington politics. But when her son turns up with a Reaganite girlfriend and a new conservative world view, Hester must choose between her family and her causes. Info

THE PRODUCERS: The side-splitting Mel Brooks musical about a Broadway producer comes to the Indio Performing Arts Center from March 13 to 29. Info

OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES: The title says everything you need to know about this comedy knockdown, through March 15 at the Indian Wells Theater on the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus. Info

DANCE SHOWCASE: Palm Springs Dance Project presents “Community’s Finest Dance Showcase,” an evening of pre-professional dance troupes from around the Coachella Valley performing March 6 at the Annenberg Theater in Palm Springs. Info