ASFB gets flying start to endowment campaignThe Aspen Santa Fe Ballet announced that is has received three separate $1 million gifts to kick off its newly formed endowment campaign. The campaign, the Next Dance, has a goal of raising $10 million to ensure the financial and creative stability of the organization.Sherry and Eddie Wachs made the initial seven-figure challenge grant. Carolyn and Bill Powers and Kelley and Mark Purnell made matching gifts.The ASFB, in its 10th season, has 20 full-time employees and operates on a $2.7 million annual budget. The Next Dance endowments campaign is divided into six separate categories, including the Artists’ Fund, the New Ballets Fund and the Education & Outreach Fund.The ASFB currently is in the midst of presenting its annual Aspen Dance Festival. The festival features performances Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 12-13, by the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company, including the world premiere of a piece by choreographer Dwight Rhoden; and by Utah’s Ballet West, Aug. 17-19.Also, the ASFB’s Ballet Folklórico Mexicano earned several awards in last month’s Third Annual International Folk Festival, held in Las Vegas. The group earned first place for production and large group performance, second place for a duo performance, and third place for solo performance.For further information on Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, go to http://www.aspensantafeballet.com.Theatre Aspen sets Sunday SeriesTheatre Aspen has announced the schedule for its Sunday Series. The series brings a variety of entertainment to the Theatre Aspen tent on occasional Sunday evenings through the summer season.The series opens Sunday, Aug. 6 with Aspenite Barry Smith’s one-person work-in-progress, “How I Lost My Accent.” Smith, who writes The Aspen Times column Irrelativity, returns Aug. 20 with another work-in-progress, “Squatter: Portrait of a Personal Rebellion,” about his experience as a squatter in a string of London flats. Both pieces were presented in workshop form last spring at Steve’s Guitars in Carbondale.Local writer and radio personality Michael Conniff will read “Bombed,” set in a Southampton bomb shelter during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Sunday, Aug. 13. The series closes with a reading of “Boxes in the Attic,” a drama by Aspen Times columnist Paul Anderson.Additional performances may be scheduled in the Sunday Series. For updates, and full information on the Theatre Aspen season, go to http://www.theatreaspen.org.Lou Reed on tap at Telluride Blues & BrewsRock icon Lou Reed has been added as a headliner for the 13th annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival. The festival is set for Sept. 15-17; Reed will perform on the main stage, in Telluride’s Town Park, Sept. 15.Additional headliners for Telluride Blues & Brews are Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, Sept. 16, and John Mayer, Sept. 17. Additional main stage acts include the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Tab Benoit, Hothouse Flowers, Voice of the Wetland Allstars, Tinsley Ellis, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals and more.The festival also includes late-night Juke Joint shows at the Elks Club in Swede-Finn Hall, the Sheridan Opera House, the Telluride Conference Center and local clubs. Set to appear in Juke Joint concerts are James “Blood” Ulmer, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Jimbo Mathus & Lightnin’ Malcolm, Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove, Watermelon Slim, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and more.The Grand Tasting, Sept. 16 on the festival grounds, will feature tastings from 56 microbreweries from the Western states.The festival also includes the Acoustic Blues Camp, Sept. 14-17, and the Acoustic Blues Competition, with the winner earning a Saturday slot on the main stage.For further information, go to http://www.telluridebluesandbrews.com.
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The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals this week affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit against the city of Aspen that challenged its zoning laws concerning Mill Street Plaza, which is home to locally serving businesses.