Community energy oozes at Benedict Music Tent |

Community energy oozes at Benedict Music Tent

On Wednesday night the Aspen Music Festival and School’s Education and Community Program hosted the most amazing multicultural event of the season. The Community Concert: “De Colores! A Mariachi Celebration” partnered with Anderson Ranch, Basalt Regional Library, English in Action, Pitkin County Library, and Valley Settlement. It was not only a culmination of the first-ever mariachi workshop for middle and high school musicians in the valley, but a celebration with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s Folklorico and Denver-based Mariachi Sol de mi Tierra. 

With the Taqueria El Yaqui food truck, drink specials, kids activities including face painting, instrument petting zoos, and more, the event was a complete success. My kiddos were introduced to lollipops with chili powder (and seemed unfazed!), mariachi music and Mexican folk dance. They also saw representation of the community they live in filling the Benedict Music Tent. 

What was so special about the concert and pre-concert fiesta was the ambiance and community-centered programming. I want to applaud Katie Hone Wiltgen and her team of amazing AMFS staff who created an opportunity to bring so many people together. And I want to thank the many valley-wide organizations that partnered with AMFS to make this event possible and celebrate Mexican culture. As Katie said in her welcome speech — Aspen is not just Aspen. Aspen is the whole valley including Basalt, El Jebel, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, New Castle, Silt, Rifle, Parachute and more. On Wednesday night, it felt like the whole community had come together. 

Wednesday’s event was the best energy I have ever felt in the Benedict Music Tent in over 15 years and I am so proud of the organization for creating a space for community involvement and welcoming our entire valley into their mission of being transformative, innovative, and a catalyst for change. This mission shone through every aspect of the event and I am looking forward to next year already!

Kathryn Sansone


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