TACAW breaks ground on performing arts center in Basalt | AspenTimes.com
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TACAW breaks ground on performing arts center in Basalt

Staff report
The Arts Campus at Willits, a nonprofit organization, says it believes the midvalley is ready for a performing arts center.
TACAW/courtesy image

The Arts Campus at Willits broke ground this week in pursuit of a goal that was set nearly 20 years ago.

Grading and other work started on a performing arts center that will be completed in spring 2021. The arts center is being constructed in Willits Town Center, along Willits Lane. The town of Basalt granted a long-term lease for the site.

The center is called The Contemporary. It will be a sustainable, all-electric, energy-efficient building with a multi-purpose theater seating 275 or 400 standing. The facility also will have a community room for civic and educational events, co-work space for arts and culture uses, catering kitchen for event support and outdoor performance space.

The bans on large gatherings and social distancing requirements due to the COVID-19 crisis prevented TACAW from hosting the type of public groundbreaking supporters preferred. It hosted a low-key affair with the board of directors and staff.

“After years of work by a dedicated board and staff, the moment has come to realize a promise made nearly 20 years ago,” Ryan Honey, executive director of TACAW, said in a prepared statement. “The Contemporary Performing Arts Center will remake the identity of the midvalley and elevate the quality of life for everyone living here.”

TACAW has raised $3.5 million so far and the nonprofit organization has financing available through the Colorado Educational and Cultural Facilities Authority and Alpine Bank, if needed. It is aiming to raise $5.8 million for the project.

“Fundraising continues in earnest with the building going vertical,” TACAW’s statement said. “The nonprofit aims to enroll broad community support for the fundraising effort that will make The Contemporary a reality.”

Anyone wanting to donate or learn about the naming opportunities can contact Ryan Honey at rhoney@tacaw.org.

Once completed, the facility will host a mix of performing arts, entertainment and provocative programming that celebrates community, creativity and critical thinking. TACAW previously rented performing arts space in Willits called The Temporary. This summer, it is organizing street performers as part of Basalt’s traditional Wednesday night entertainment.

“We are all very excited for the continuation of the great programming that you have delivered for Basalt. Let the show begin,” Basalt Mayor Bill Kane said in a statement.


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