The Wheeler wants to hear from you | AspenTimes.com

The Wheeler wants to hear from you

Dear Editor:

On behalf of the Wheeler Opera House Board of Directors and staff, I would like to thank our City Council for providing the opportunity for further exploring the possibility of a Wheeler expansion onto the parcel of land next to our historic venue.

We are now in the middle stretch of a process that began more than three decades ago, when the citizens of Aspen recognized the potential for the Wheeler as a comprehensive advocate for all of the arts, as well as arts groups, in the upper valley. Back then, we were short of funds but not of ideas. Now, we have both the funds and a wealth of programming challenges to attempt to fit into a small footprint, as well as a citizenry that is much more attuned to the impacts of construction and changes to iconic buildings than was present in the late 1970s.

There may be many detractors to this further exploration in the coming weeks and months, but to anyone who is interesting in discovering the long and complex history of this project and our ideas for the Wheeler expansion ” whether you ultimately support this expansion idea or not ” please know that I am glad to make myself available for you. Since the re-initiation of exploring the possibility of expanding the Wheeler in 2004, we have dedicated ourselves to deep involvement by the arts and general community, and now that we are entering that exciting phase where ideas actually get roughed out in practical design, we will want to hear your feedback and generate your support.

We have chosen a team of outstanding theater design professionals, as well as local firms with a deep dedication to sustainability and historic preservation, and our own Wheeler staff offers well over 100 years of collective venue experience. But, after all, it’s the public’s Wheeler Opera House, and we won’t lose sight of that. In the end, people come and go, but the town remains, and no venue so represents all the good things about Aspen as does the Wheeler Opera House.

Gram Slaton

executive director

Wheeler Opera House


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