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Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

Local Fun

14 Jun 2020
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Many local nonprofits depend on large signature events to raise a significant portion of the money they need. However, large events are currently not safe—and won’t be until the COVID-19 pandemic is over, likely many months or even several years from now. So what can nonprofits do in the meantime? The Desert AIDS Project hopes to get some answers to this question at 7 p.m., Friday, June 19, when the virtual event Voices of Hope takes place. The free, online show is hosted by Scott Nevins, and will feature appearances and performances by Kristin Chenoweth, Betty Buckley, Ann Hampton Callaway, Erich Bergen, Matthew Morrison and others. Interested attendees can go to www.desertaidsproject.org/hope to register--and, if they so choose, donate. Registrants will then get sent details on how to “attend” the online event at home via Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. I recently spoke to Darrell Tucci, DAP’s chief development officer. (Full…
22 Apr 2020
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Mitch Gershenfeld has been booking shows at the McCallum Theatre for more than two decades now—and it’s a vast understatement to say he’s never experienced a season like this. The longtime McCallum president and CEO retired—while keeping his booking duties—late last summer to make way for a new president and CEO, Terrence Dwyer. Three months later, Dwyer was let go, and Gershenfeld returned as the acting president. Then came March 12—and the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We were supposed to have Ricky Skaggs that night,” Gershenfeld said during a recent phone interview. “It was a sold-out show, but we shut everything down. The rest of the shows for the season were canceled. “But we had a plan. We kept all of our full-time staff on, and we’re continuing to work from our homes. We’re using Zoom and having daily meetings. We’re working on all the various aspects of the…
09 Apr 2020
Ted Pethes is a lifelong musician who is about to turn 92. In this time of the coronavirus pandemic, many people are pausing to reflect on the twists and turns of their lives—and looking back at his long and lucky life, Ted readily admits that most of it might never have happened without his clarinet. There’s one more thing you should know about Ted: He’s my husband. He’s the only person I can really interview in person right now—and he’s got an amazing story to tell. Born in Chicago in 1928, Ted was an only child. His musically talented mother played the piano and even the concertina; his father, an engineer, was a wannabe musician father who struggled with the violin, battling tone-deafness. Ted grew up in a huge extended family of hardworking Polish, German and French-Canadian immigrants who often played and sang music at family gatherings. When he was…
31 Jan 2020
If you want to join in the fun of the annual 11-day celebration of midcentury architecture and design known as Modernism Week, we have good news and bad news. First, the bad: The week, taking place from Feb. 13-23, has gotten so popular that a lot of events have been sold out for weeks. Now, the good: The week, now in its 15th year, has gotten so big that there are still tickets available for an array of tours, lectures, sales and parties—including a host of free and lower-cost events. Lisa Vossler Smith is the executive director of Modernism Week, a nonprofit organization. Smith and her team, including more than 450 volunteers, will produce hundreds of events and activities across the Coachella Valley over those 11 February days. “This is my seventh year (working for) Modernism Week,” Smith said. “I’ve been involved with the organization since its beginning. My husband…

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