By December 4, 2018 Read More →

DesignView – Glorious Modesto

by Lee Davis, Founder, Modesto Design Collective (MO.DE)

#GloriousModesto is catalyzing the creative cool
In the early 1900s, a group of enthusiastic Modesto business and civic leaders developed a wide-reaching campaign to promote the booming city of Modesto, then one of the fastest growing and prosperous cities in California. Alongside an advertising campaign to attract businesses and new residents to the city, these so-called “Boosters” also sponsored the erection of Modesto’s iconic centennial arch in 1912.

A new initiative draws inspiration from these twentieth century Boosters in an effort to foster civic pride in Modesto today. Glorious Modesto is the brainchild of five modern-day Modesto Boosters – Amy Vickery, Jay Pink, Kate Trompetter, Lee Davis and Reggie Rucker — who are passionate about Modesto and our creative community. The idea for Glorious Modesto emerged out of our participation in the Irvine Foundation New Leadership Network, organized by the Stanislaus Community Foundation, to bring together diverse emerging leaders across issues, sectors and generations to learn, build relationships, collaborate and innovate for a better future for their region.

Glorious Modesto is a catalyst of creative initiatives that engender civic pride and connected community in our city. There are many amazing, creative things already happening across our wonderfully diverse city, and we celebrate that. And we want to identify and support more of them. For us, a “glorious” idea is one that places a premium on all or most of these core principles: connected community, civic pride, creative confidence, embracing diversity, championing the creative underdog, collective benefit, awesomeness, radical generosity, and inspiration (see more at

• We’re a catalyst. Glorious Modesto is a catalyst of glorious things in Modesto by leveraging connections, public attention and resources to help enable great and glorious ideas to flourish. We seek out cool and creative people with great ideas, doing glorious things and help to rally the community in support of them. We also love trying and testing creative and new ideas that have potential for connecting our community in authentic, fun and enduring ways.

• We’re a brand. We are creating a high profile Glorious Modesto visual brand to amplify glorious things and build civic pride. The brand will be applied to a unique line of Glorious Modesto apparel and products itself as well as used to help celebrate and promote glorious events and projects initiated by others in the community.

#GloriousModesto Merchandise
Glorious Modesto is a social enterprise aimed at generating revenue to put back into the community to fund and support glorious ideas and activities. Proceeds from merchandise sales will go towards identifying and supporting glorious efforts that align with our core principles.

Our first series of postcards features six images drawn from the public’s use of #GloriousModesto to serve as that reminder. Postcards are now available at Suite 52 Living in McHenry Village and downtown at Rodin Ranch Farmers Market. A perfect holiday gift for friends, family, colleagues and clients, while also spreading civic pride!

Stay tuned for more Glorious Modesto news and merch!



Posted in: news

About the Author:

Lee Davis currently divides his time between California and Baltimore, Maryland, where he is the Co-Director of the Center for Social Design and Faculty in the MA in Social Design at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Prior to MICA, Lee was co-Founder and served for 16 years as co-CEO and Chief Innovation Officer of NESsT, an incubator for social enterprise start-ups in emerging markets. Lee is Co-Chair of the Board of the Winterhouse Institute, dedicated to advancing social design education, and is a Social Enterprise Fellow at the Yale School of Management. He has worked for corporate design firms in the USA and Japan, and was the first in-house designer for CARE, the international aid and development organization. He holds a BA from Connecticut College and an MA in Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins University. Originally from New York but now a proud Californian, Lee has called Stanislaus County home for the last 15 years. He currently lives in Modesto with his Brazilian partner Daniel, a composer, conductor, and professor of music. Lee is currently working on establishing the Modesto Design School as well as a book and exhibition on the history and heritage of design, innovation and invention in Modesto.