We have a lot of fun with our clients by offering some “out of the box” answers to their unique, creative, and completely original soft-goods design ideas. The incredibly innovative production manager Kevin Swank from CYM Lighting came to us with a truly imaginative “prop” idea on a special design they worked on last year pre-pandemic. They were going to be doing the production and lighting design for an exceptionally significant and high-profile upcoming event. The Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards sponsored by Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is a yearly Coachella Valley fundraising gala that helps offer much needed primary medical care, affordable housing and medical testing, and social, dental, and behavioral services for those inflicted with the disease and for the loved ones directly affected by it. 

Hosted by the talented Broadway, Film, and Television actress Kristen Chenoweth, Kevin and his team knew that this was going to be an extraordinary night, and so he wanted to build a vibrant and distinctive production design that their audience wouldn’t soon forget. Taking place in the fabulous Palm Springs Convention Center, they had a huge grand ballroom that they were able to transform into a colorful and exciting red-carpet event for this important awards show. With guests such as Barry Manilow and Garry Kief, and with an audience filled with over 2000 enthusiastic and delighted guests, Kevin and his team wanted to fashion a design that would be colorful and dazzling, and still be versatile enough to help give a one-of-a-kind look for each segment of the festivities.

Kevin envisioned having some really fun prop pieces to add to the general ambiance of the gala’s motif, and worked with our manufacturing team to help him be able to build larger than life “theatrical light fixtures”. Cym Lighting built their own ring-frames for the structures, and we then provided them with custom soft goods to tie onto them to help give the illusion of having these large light fixtures, like ones you’d see on a movie set. These were constructed with a specially ordered Silver-Chrome Vinyl for the reflective inside element, and opaque black FR Commando Cloth for the outside. Their team then used paint to help “dirty up” the outside so that it would look like most movie light fixtures do when they get roughed up over the years.

Lighting Designer added John Lotz did a remarkable job adding various beautiful and striking colored lighting throughout the event, to not only along the walls but also within the light fixtures themselves. This genuinely helped tie in the overall feel for each speech and award, and gave them a gorgeous background to have for each speaker. Brilliantly produced by Debbie Chapman (Director of Fundraising Events, for DAP), the end result of this gala event was an extraordinary success! We were beyond thrilled with how fantastic those custom prop pieces turned out, and are excited to work on the next exclusive design project with Kevin again. Contact one of our helpful account reps today, and we will be very happy to assist you on your next unique stage or production design elements, too.