COVID-19 is somewhat of a blessing in disguise for the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts. 

Due to social distancing, the PSHA is hosting a virtual sneak peek of its 56th annual Pasadena Showcase House of Design at 6 p.m. Friday, June 26. The streamed event will feature exclusive interviews with the designers who are transforming the home, product demonstrations and musical performances from the organization’s instrumental competition.

It’s events like these that have brought patrons closer to the arts.

“We are going to give our viewers a sneak peek of about 12 out of the 25 different design spaces we have on property,” says Jill Fosselman, 2020 benefit chairwoman.

“It’s a combination of prerecorded and live interviews with the designers. We’ll show the spaces before and after the artists have completed their construction transformation. There’s some staging, but it’s certainly not to the level we’ll have in the fall, fingers crossed. This is something we’ve never done before in terms of giving people the chance to see the house in transition.”

Many showcase houses, Fosselman says, “pop up and wither away.” This one, however, has a tremendous amount of longevity, as it’s the longest-running showcase house in the country.

“I think it’s not only because of the quality of the designers, but the quality of the program, too,” Fosselman says. “We keep things relevant for people.”

Those with tickets to the showcase house in the fall will be invited to join the virtual sneak peek for free. Others can purchase the $25 tickets through eventbrite.com.

“An immense amount of creative effort has been put into this year’s showcase house,” Fosselman says. “The virtual sneak peek is a great opportunity to take a look at the transformation of this must-see estate before the big reveal in the fall.”

The home has undergone significant upgrades and modernizations, but it respects the historic integrity of the home and its original architectural vision.

Designed by Hollywood Society’s architect, Gerard R. Colcord, the 2020 Showcase House, known as the Locke House, was built for Mr. and Mrs. Edmund Locke Jr. in 1937.  The Federal Country-style home is nestled among mature oaks on expansive, park-like grounds in the historic Santa Anita Oaks neighborhood of Arcadia.

“It’s 6,700 square feet and two stories,” Fosselman says. “It sits on 1.75 acres. We have 25 mature oaks on the property. It’s a huge, huge property. It’s a long rectangular lot. It’s a neat property. It’s a good entertaining property.”

PSHA is committed to presenting a tour of the house in its completed state in the fall and continues to diligently monitor the COVID-19 situation. The organization assures that all tickets will be honored when the tour is rescheduled. Event information will be forthcoming by July 31 following the guidance of city, state and county health and safety mandates.

PSHA President Vikki Sung says the organization is excited to bring a virtual sneak peek to showcase supporters while they await a new plan. 

“It’s a great way to thank everyone for their loyalty and the on-going support we have received,” she says. “As a nonprofit, we still want to be able to fulfill our mission to raise money for music and the arts this year and in the future.” 

Money raised from the Showcase House of Design goes to support music and art programs throughout Southern California, including three of the organization’s own music programs — Music Mobile, Youth Concert and an Instrumental Competition. Each year PSHA awards gifts and grants to a diverse list of local and regional nonprofit organizations. PSHA also underwrites concerts to ensure that the joy of live music is available to a broad range of audiences. 

In addition, PSHA has a longstanding history of supporting the Los Angeles Philharmonic and its community outreach programs. To date, PSHA has raised more than $23 million to support its mission.

“We’re really hoping people who are interested in the showhouse and have been here before will get excited by the virtual sneak peek,” Fosselman says. “Then they’ll be interested when it’s time to tour the house.” n

Info: pasadenashowcase.org