Located at an elevation of 8,000 feet, Aspen draws outdoor adventurers from across the country. The area has garnished a reputation for its endless hiking trails, ski resorts, lakes, and rivers. However, this natural oasis is also home to an established cultural scene with some of the best arts, music, and entertainment in the region.
Nestled among the pristine woodlands and mountains are luxury shops, fine dining restaurants, and famed music festivals and entertainment venues. Aspen, Colorado, is a community that is truly one-of-a-kind and is a place where residents can enjoy some of the country's best natural spaces and endless cultural activities. If you are traveling to Aspen or looking to call this luxurious resort-town home, learn more about the myriad of cultural activities in Aspen.
The Aspen Art Museum
The Aspen Art Museum is renowned in Colorado for its extensive international exhibits, contemporary arts, and display of works from local artists. The Aspen Art Museum has been a fixture in the Aspen community since 1976 and has since then become an advocate for local and global art communities. Today, they showcase contemporary paintings, drawings, sculptures, and multimedia installations. Interactive and immersive activities engage visitors in unique ways and bring the works to life. Aspen’s youngest residents can also enjoy several annual events that teach them how to express themselves through art and creativity.
Located inside a historic Queen Anne-style Victorian mansion built around 1887 is the Wheeler/Stallard Museum. This attraction offers educational exhibits for guests to experience. On the first floor, the Victorian mansion was brought back to life with period furnishings. Upstairs is a rotating gallery that features exhibits detailing the area’s history. The building serves as a historical archive for the town and brings the area’s unique history to life. The Wheeler/Stallard Museum is a great stop for those looking to reconnect with history and learn more about the local area.
Red Brick Center for the Arts
Back in the 1950s, this distinct red brick building served as Aspen’s public school. Passed by a narrow margin of votes in 1992, the Aspen Snowmass Council for the Arts was able to turn the old schoolhouse into a center of the arts. Today, the building has been transformed into a modern art center for the community. At the Red Brick Center for the Arts, guests can view exhibits and galleries featuring a variety of mediums and styles. Rotating exhibits give residents a chance to experience a variety of local and global art. Numerous annual art classes and events allow members of the community to show off their artistic abilities.
Aspen Music Festival and School
World-class music is brought to the Aspen community by the Aspen Music Festival and School. Students aged 18 and older can choose between ten programs of study that include orchestras, opera, chamber music, performance classes, and lectures. This intensive study involves one-on-one instruction and professional performance experience that Aspen residents get to enjoy. Throughout the summer, the Aspen Music Festival and School provide education to students and live performances to the community. Aspen residents can enjoy orchestras, fully-staged operas, and chamber music performances, as well as recitals and music education programs during the winter.
Wheeler Opera House
The historic Wheeler Opera House offers spectacular performances year-round. The theater first opened in 1889 and was a shining staple in Aspen as one of the first buildings in town to have electric lighting. Today, the Wheeler Opera House is a state-of-the-art performance center that hosts festivals and live music as well as local and national acts. Residents always have a world-class performance to look forward to at the Wheeler Opera House.
Belly Up Aspen
Belly Up Aspen is an intimate performance venue that is a favorite stop for live music lovers in the Aspen area. With an open seating policy, guests of Belly Up can get up close with the action and enjoy their favorite local and national artists in a small setting. With a state-of-the-art stage, big-name acts, and two full bars, Belly Up Aspen has everything you need to have a great night out.
Jazz at Aspen - Snowmass
For over 30 years, Jazz at Aspen - Snowmass has been preserving jazz music and related genres by offering world-renowned performances, events, and educational programs. Some of the biggest names in music have performed at Jazz at Aspen - Snowmass, including Lake Street Drive, Maroon 5, Mumford and Sons, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Weezer.
Theatre Aspen brings world-class entertainment and arts programming to the Aspen community. For the past 40 years, Theatre Aspen has provided locals with award-winning theater performances and robust education for the next generation of performers. Broadway talents and local performers come together at Theatre Aspen to deliver a variety of classical and new plays and musicals. In 2012, a theater redesign brought a stunning garden scape and pond to Theatre Aspen, creating a one-of-a-kind place where Aspen’s cultural scene merges with Colorado's majestic scenery.
Movie lovers in Aspen have access to several exciting events because of Aspen Film. Each year this organization hosts Aspen Filmfest, Academy Screenings, Aspen Shortsfest, and Film Educates, as well as offering over 200 regional debuts, allowing Aspen residents to see movies they may not have been able to otherwise. They also have educational programs and special presentations from over 100 film artists every year.