Letter: Bring performing arts to Basalt | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Bring performing arts to Basalt

After reading the Aug. 8 Aspen Times article titled “Basalt officials reconsider aid for performing arts center,” I ask that the Town Council support the Arts Campus at Willits as it works to bring performing arts to the midvalley. As a real estate professional who has sold numerous properties in Willits, I am familiar with the real estate transfer assessment that is being used to fund this important project. It is critical to understand that this assessment is much like your homeowners association dues that pay for snowplowing or general maintenance and that there are rules about how it can be used. This particular assessment fund can only be used to support a performing-arts center on a specific parcel in Willits as promised to all who have bought in Willits over the years. It cannot be used for other purposes. Given this fact, the performing-arts center that the Arts Campus at Willits is proposing should be built at essentially no cost to the town. The only risk for the town of Basalt is not giving the community the arts and culture that it deserves. The many families and individuals whom I’ve helped in Willits have contributed to the arts fund with the expectation that a performing-arts center would be built using their investment. It is time for that expectation to be met.

I support the Arts Campus at Willits as a resident of Basalt. A performing-arts center in Willits would finally afford us the chance to enjoy important and relevant dance, music and theater without having to go to Aspen. It is time for Basalt to embrace its own cultural identity, and the Arts Campus at Willits is a step in the right direction. Let’s not miss this chance. I ask that we all support the Arts Campus at Willits as it works to bring this project to fruition.

Leslie Newbury


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