The end of the year is an important and busy time for families. Many people have been planning meals, making trips or getting ready to do both in coming weeks. The Desert Sun and the Tolerance Education Center in Rancho Mirage hope people will pause this weekend to reflect on the great diversity among families in the Coachella Valley.
The Desert Sun has met with 22 valley families for an exhibit opening Saturday and running until April at the Tolerance Education Center. Then coming in Sunday’s paper, The Desert Sun will explore the idea of family by letting the exhibition’s participants talk in their own words. We also asking social science researchers about the changing ideas of “family” in America. A photo gallery of the families and video showing interviews with participants also will be online at mydesert.com starting this weekend.
The exhibition opening is 3 p.m. Saturday at the Tolerance Education Center, 35417 Landy Lane, Rancho Mirage (one block east of Bob Hope Drive). The event is free to attend and refreshments will be served. The exhibit would not have been possible without Howard’s Back Door Gallery and Custom Framing, which donated photo-framing, and Larson-Juhl, which donated matting for the photos. Appetizers will be provided by Sherman’s Deli & Bakery of Palm Springs.
Families involved in the project represent diverse backgrounds and include representations of the growing prominence of ethnic minorities, same-sex couples and blended families in the valley. The project also includes social families such as the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus, because families are not always a group people are born into, but can be a group they create for themselves.
As Ross Parke, distinguished professor of psychology emeritus at University of California Riverside who has studied families since the 1960s said, “I think you’ve got to say there are a range of family types now, and that’s the new norm.”