Vote yes on 2A for Aspen’s art and culture

I am writing this letter to urge Aspen voters to vote yes on ballot question 2A.

Without raising taxes a penny or touching our beloved Wheeler’s $40 million endowment or its annual operating contribution from the Wheeler real estate transfer tax, a yes vote removes the current annual $100,000 cap on total grant funding to arts and cultural nonprofit organizations in future years of RETT collections only, allowing the city of Aspen to increase support to both existing and new applicant organizations, and helps strengthen another important city-owned arts and education facility, the Red Brick Center For the Arts.

The arts and culture nonprofits collectively contribute millions of dollars annually to the local economy through underwriting extensive arts education programs in public schools and providing free and deeply subsidized tickets to attend performances that touch every age demographic. A yes on 2A ensures there will be more of these programs for years to come.

The Red Brick currently houses JAS’ administrative offices as well as many other arts nonprofits. It is a beehive of activity year-round, hosting everything from dance rehearsals of budding ballerinas and would-be thespians to art gallery installations and board meetings of the various organizations.

Moving JAS’ offices into the Red Brick in 1997 from a small bedroom in Snowmass Village was nothing short of transformational for JAS. I cannot imagine how we could have survived and thrived all these years without this physical, spiritual and affordable home.

Our arts and cultural organizations all exist today because of the vision and forethought of Elizabeth Paepcke. We are all her children, or perhaps flowers in her visionary garden.

Please help strengthen and support arts, culture, education and community with a yes on 2A. This ballot is in true harmony with the Aspen Idea!

Jim Horowitz

Founder, President and CEO

Jazz Aspen Snowmass