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August ArchitectureView By Bob Barzan

Breaking News: All Modesto International Architecture Festival events and activities this year will be free. Festival organizers are securing enough sponsors so that everyone can enjoy the more than 70 activities over nine days, September 14-23.

The festival opens on Saturday with exhibits, tours, and an opening night reception, then continues through the following weekend. Events include an evening of short architecture movies from Canada, USA, Finland, Spain, and other countries at the art deco State Theatre including the world premier of Modesto Modernism, a movie about the city’s mid 20th century architecture; guided and self-guided walking, biking, and driving tours of Modesto’s architecture; an Architecture Café where you can learn to create a history of your house; the American Institute of Architects – Sierra Valley Awards Presentation; a movie at the Carnegie Center in Turlock; and an afternoon of fun free activities for families and kids in Graceada Park.

The festival, in its sixth year, is one of the oldest and largest in the world and it is the only one that is entirely free admission. This year will see an expansion of Park(ing) Day. The world-wide annual event, this year on Friday, September 20th, will bring temporary parklets to the streets of downtown Modesto. Exhibits will be at the McHenry Museum, Peer Recovery Art Project, Chartreuse Muse, Picasso’s Deli, and other venues in the Modesto Design District.

Are you interested in winning an Ipad or one of three other prizes for your architecture and landscape photos of Modesto and surrounding area? This year the festival is sponsoring an Instagram photo contest. Enter your photos during the month of August and you could be the owner of a new iPad. And if you would like to learn more about architectural photography, the keynote speaker for the festival is photographer Russell Abraham who will speak on California Modernism.

You can help make this great community event happen by being a sponsor. Find complete details at

Watch the festival web site for details about all festival events and activities: and a video about the festival can be seen

Bob Barzan

Bob Barzan bbarzan@yahoo.comBob Barzan



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