2018 Pre-Conference Tours & Events

Monday, February 5, 2018


Historic City Center Walking Tour

Join us for a half-mile stroll between two of Palm Springs's most iconic Desert Modern buildings, both designed and built by E. Stewart Williams: the Palm Springs Art Museum and the Architecture and Design Center. This 75-minute tour captures the essence of Palm Springs from its early roots in the late 1880s through the midcentury modern craze that redefined and transformed this small desert town into an architectural mecca. You will hear about our fabled pioneers and architects and three women who had a vision for Palm Springs that enabled it to grow and flourish decade after decade. Stroll through the new downtown park, down Palm Canyon Drive and end at the A+D Center where you can tour the current exhibition. 
Location: 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Cost: $15

Midcentury Modern Icons of Fashion and Finance
9:30am- 11:00am
See the very best examples of mid-century modern architecture as we walk along the town's main thoroughfare, South Palm Canyon Drive. Learn about the early history of Palm Springs that set the stage for the movers and shakers instrumental in shaping its future as a desert resort oasis. The stark yet beautiful landscape captured the imagination of a young and talented group of Desert Modern architects such as Donald Wexler, E. Stewart Williams, William Pereira and Charles Luckman, Victor Gruen and Associates, and others who created a body of internationally-recognized buildings during the heyday of the 1950s and 1960s – buildings that continue to draw people from all over the world to Palm Springs to admire and appreciate their innovative designs in our unique desert setting.
Location: Corner of Indian Canyon Drive and Ramon Road, Palm Springs, CA 92264
Cost: $15

Living Legacy to the Deserts Original Residents

9:00am- 12:00pm
Join Director of Education Mike Chedester on a private, behind-the-scenes tour of the Coachella Valley’s most beloved landmark. Founded in 1970, The Living Desert welcomes guests of all ages to learn about and appreciate the world’s desert plants and animals through their informative exhibits, botanical gardens, hiking trails, and interactive shows and attractions.  Learn about the management and care of this living collection from the zoo’s animal registrar, feed the giraffe, tour the new lorikeet aviary, discover the desert botanical gardens, and explore the wildlife conservation hospital. The tour will commence with a catered buffet lunch in the District Commissioner’s house with views of the majestic Amur leopard. You will leave The Living Desert with an appreciation of the desert’s natural beauty, understanding of the zoo’s mission, and knowledge about the global science and conservation efforts behind saving the world’s animals from extinction.
Location: 47900 Portola Ave, Palm Desert, CA 92260
Cost: Regular $55, includes lunch and admission to The Living Desert, transportation not included.

Cabot’s Pueblo Museum

Photo Credit David A. Lee
1:00pm- 3:00pm
Come experience the historic home and museum of pioneer Cabot Yerxa, who rediscovered the mineral waters in Desert Hot Springs. Cabot Yerxa was an advocate for Native Americans, artists, and the desert. At the age of 58, he began to build his home and museum using recyclable materials. In addition to his home, you will have an opportunity to view some of the Navajo textiles Yerxa collected.
Location: Cabot’s Pueblo Museum, 67616 E Desert View Avenue, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
Cost: $30, transportation not included

Women Behaving Badly…for Good

1:00pm- 2:00pm
Tour the new exhibit at the Coachella Valley History Museum about the women of the Coachella Valley who were boundary busters and became innovators, symbols, and icons of their times. Tours are led by “impersonators” of some of the individuals showcased in this exciting new exhibit! Additional sites on the campus include the 1927 adobe, a blacksmith shop, 1909 fully restored one-room schoolhouse, the Date Museum and Date Garden, the Desert Submarine, Japanese Garden, Desert Garden, and Cahuilla ethnobotanical garden. The tour concludes with a tasty date shake.
Location: Coachella Valley History Museum, 82-616 Mules Avenue, Indio, CA 92201
Price:  $10, transportation not included

Day with the General
1:00pm- 3:00pm
The General Patton Memorial Museum is the Gateway to the Desert Training Center developed by General Patton.  Currently the Museum stands on the original site of Camp Young the Headquarters of the Desert Training Center (DTC). The DTC, a combat facility, established in 1942 to train over one million men for battle.  Since 1988, the Museum has collected a variety of artifacts to showcase a soldier’s way of life.  Throughout the years the Museum educates and inspires the public about the sacrifices made by our brave men and women in service from WWI to present day. Additionally, the Museum’s outdoor Tank Yard houses a variety of combat vehicles from 2 1/2 ton WWII truck, legendary WWII Sherman Tank to the Monstrous M60 Tank.  During your visit at the Museum, we will host a live Tank demonstration and photo opportunity with “Thumper” M60 Tank!
Location: General Patton Memorial Museum, 62510 Chiriaco Road, Chiriaco Summit, CA 92201
Price: $30, includes: Live Tank Demonstration, Admission, 10% discount inside the Gift Shop, Full Tour, Lunch and light refreshments. Parking is Free!


Opening Reception

Kick off the 2018 CAM Conference at the Renaissance Palm Springs. REGISTRATION REQUIRED.
Location: Renaissance Palm Springs
Price:  $10

Pre-Conference Dinners
Directors Dinner
The Museum as Phoenix: Stories from the Santa Rosa Fires
Last October was a deadly and devastating month for Northern California communities and, as recently as December, Southern California.   Multiple wildfires fueled by strong winds prompted mass evacuations, burned more than 245,000 acres and 8,900 structures, and was responsible for 43 deaths. Along with their communities, museum personnel experienced crippling fear and loss. Join us at the Director's Dinner to hear two stories from the front lines of the most destructive series of wildfires in California's history, what they would have done differently, and how museums are helping these communities heal and rebuild. Speakers: Nikki Lim, Executive Director, California Indian Museum and Cultural Center; Linda Keaton, Executive Director, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art; Celeste DeWald, Executive Director, California Association of Museums

CAM Board President Michaeleen Gallagher will present the CAMMY Award.  This annual award  recognizes extraordinary museum supporters, professionals, and institutions that have made outstanding contributions to California Museums. 

Offering three locations, Palm Springs Art Museum creates transformative experiences that expand our understanding of ourselves and the world. Our collections, exhibitions, and programs connect people to the art and culture of our community and time. We inspire reflection and renewal for local, national, and global audiences.  Palm Springs Art Museum features an engaging, world-class collection of art and design at the main location and at the Architecture and Design Center (both buildings designed by E. Stewart Williams) located in downtown Palm Springs. Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert features unique exhibitions and a celebrated sculpture garden. 

The Directors Dinner is open to museum professionals at the Director level or above. 


Simple Greens Salad- Hand selected baby lettuces, fresh herbs, lemon vinaigrette, and rose petals (V/GF)
Entrees choice of:
Maple and Sage Roasted Root Vegetables (Vegan) - Butternut squash, celery root, sweet potato, Spanish onion, fig and caramelized onion in a crisp phyllo, coconut maple and sage
Apricot Chicken (GF) - Apricot Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar, fresh herbs, thyme served with brown rice and vegetable tower

Coachella Lime Pie

Dialogue Dinners 

Open to all and a great way to meet new people, Dialogue Dinners are social dinners focused around “hot” museum topics. Each dinner has no more than 10 people so they provide an intimate background to build your network, meet new people and explore relevant issues facing the museum field.
Cost: $40 Early Bird , $45 Regular

Mixed Field Greens Salad (GF/V)
Cherry tomatoes, oranges, and chickpeas/garbanzo
beans topped with won-tons, with orange vinaigrette
Entree Choice of: 
Grilled Filet of Fresh Wild Salmon (GF) - Served with champagne Dijon beurre blanc, rice pilaf and fresh seasonal vegetables
Chicken Florentine (GF) - Chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach in a mushroom sauce, served with mashed red skin potatoes and fresh seasonal vegetables 
Pasta Primavera (GF/Vegan) - Gluten-free penne pasta with fresh seasonal vegetables tossed with garlic & extra virgin olive oil
Triple Chocolate Cake (GF) 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Evening at Sunnylands

Join us for an evening at Sunnylands Center & Gardens, a contemporary space inspired by the midcentury modern architecture of the historic estate built by Walter and Leonore Annenberg in the 1960s. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the new archive building, explore the new exhibition, Carved Narrative: Los Hermanos Chávez Morado, and enjoy a short shuttle ride to view the Mexican Column on the historic estate. Bus transportation to and from Sunnylands is included. Buses will depart the Renaissance Palm Springs at 5:20pm.
Location: 37977 Bob Hope Dr, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
Price: $50 Regular, Transportation included