Yes on Aspen 2A will greatly benefit arts community, programming |

Yes on Aspen 2A will greatly benefit arts community, programming

On behalf of the Aspen Art Museum, I am writing to enthusiastically endorse measure Ballot Question 2A and urge Aspen voters to vote YES.

This measure will remove the $100,000 grant cap from 1979 on the Wheeler Opera House Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT) while protecting the Wheeler’s $40 million cash reserves and expanding support for arts and cultural offerings in the city through its already rigorous, committee-reviewed application process, which is carefully managed by the Aspen City Council and the volunteer Grants Review Committee.

The arts are more essential than ever as we recover from the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The arts serve as a force that unites our community and is bringing us together once again. As an institution with no admission charge, AAM is proud to offer its exhibitions and programs freely to the public, while relying on generous contributions from individuals and grant sources at the national, state, and local levels. To give one example, with additional funding, AAM could expand its free education and teen programming, which introduces and inspires our young, burgeoning creatives to work within the visual arts community and the opportunity to explore curatorial practice while being mentored by our staff in collaboration with other nonprofit organizations in the Roaring Fork Valley.

We feel that this is a great proposal for the City of Aspen, as it does not increase taxes, yet can provide critical funding to arts and cultural programming that will benefit our residents and visitors for decades to come.

Nicola Lees

Nancy and Bob Magoon Director, Aspen Art Museum