Aspen's grandest and most historic performing arts venue remains this jewel from 1889. Throughout the year, the Wheeler Opera House hosts concerts, stand-up comedy, film festivals and other events that draw an audience from far and wide.
Arts & Culture Guide
Walter Paepke would be proud. In 1945, the Chicago-based industrialist had a vision of Aspen becoming a future bastion of arts and culture in North America. He would be instrumental in realizing this vision by not only creating the Aspen Skiing Company, but also the Aspen Institute.
Below are many of the ways that you can flourish through the arts in Aspen and Snowmass Village.
Wheeler Opera House
Aspen Music Festival And School
Since its inception in 1949, the Aspen Music Festival and School has made our town a magnet for the world's best classically trained musicians and performers. Each summer season brings some 300 individual classical music events, as well as an influx of students from ages 10 to 35, who perform throughout the town on summer evenings.
Jazz Aspen Snowmass
What started as a three-day festival in 1991 has blossomed into a year-round cultural event centered on jazz performances as well as music education.
The Aspen Food & Wine Classic
Now held on the second weekend in September, the town of Aspen is taken over by the world's top culinary talent as the Aspen Food & Wine Classic kicks into high gear. Considered one of North America's top culinary events, the Classic is tailor-made for serious foodies and wine collectors. The multi-day event includes seminars, grand tastings, a showcase for the newly crowned winner of Bravo's "Top Chef" and more sabered bottles of champagne than you can count.
Pitkin County Library
More than just a library, this local's favorite is a great space to explore your creativity. Some services have been limited at this time. Visit the website for more information.
Featuring the best of Broadway and beyond, Theatre Aspen is a Rocky Mountain summer tradition. Presenting professional summer repertory musicals and plays at the Hurst Theatre in Rio Grande Park.
Aspen’s newest and only resident dance company, DanceAspen was founded in 2021 amidst the global pandemic. Rising from the ashes, the dancers of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet came together to rebuild with the goal of continuing to bring high-caliber performing arts to the Roaring Fork Valley. Comprised of eight local dancers from around the globe, DanceAspen brings power, grace, physicality, and emotion to the stage in performances you won’t want to miss.
Aspen Art Museum
The Aspen Art Museum features international contemporary art installations in a Shigeru Ban-designed home. Revolving exhibits and education programs (as well as free admission for all) make it an essential stop for culture vultures. The eco-conscious design of the building includes a public rooftop terrace with superb views of Aspen Mountain.
Aspen Historical Society
Much of Aspen's remarkable history is preserved thanks to the Aspen Historical Society. Pay a visit to the Wheeler / Stallard Museum in downtown, explore the Ranching Museum, or head out of town and tour an intriguing duo of ghost towns — Ashcroft and Independence.
Belly Up Aspen
It's safe to say that Belly Up Aspen is an icon in the live-music industry. How else can you explain the ridiculous concert lineup this small venue downtown draws each year? From Snoop Dogg to the Flaming Lips, many artists jump at the chance to perform here. Note: Live music events have been temporarily suspended due to the pandemic.
The Aspen Institute
A center for thought-leaders, intellectuals, world leaders and innovators, the Aspen Institute hosts numerous events worldwide. Here in its hometown, its signature event is the Aspen Ideas Festival which brings together dignitaries, business leaders and artists to stimulate conversation on the most pressing issues of our time.
Red Brick Center For The Arts
This unique arts center in a repurposed red-brick schoolhouse in downtown Aspen presents arts education and experiential arts programs year-round. Enjoy paint-your-own pottery nights, painting classes, local art shows and more.
Formerly known as the Aspen Writers' Foundation, Aspen Words has become a platform for aspiring writers to hone their craft through special programs, events featuring prominent contemporary authors and poets, and writer-in-residence programs.
Art on the Mountain
Throughout our resort, you will find art installations that celebrate the way Aspen rejuvenates our mind, body and spirit. Whether its the new colorful mural at Elk Camp Restaurant (pictured), our annual art on our lift tickets, or Walter Niedermayr's numerous Aspen Series photographic installations, you'll regularly discover "art in unexpected places."