Telluride isn’t just about skiing. It’s just one of many wonderful offerings. You won’t be disappointed with alpine adventures, but scratch the surface a little deeper, and you’ll find much more. For the second time in two years, Telluride has been recognized by the state of Colorado for its commitment to the arts, sharing the prestigious Governor’s Arts Award with the town of Creede in 2010.
Telluride’s robust cultural life is as much a surprise to the uninitiated as the double rainbows that make rogue appearances at end of the valley during the summer. Insiders, however, know that the art scene is vibrant and sets this region apart from almost every other ski resort in the country.
For over 30 years, the name “Telluride” has been synonymous with its signature events whether musical, cultural, culinary, scientific, athletic or unusual and From Memorial Day to late September there’s one festival or another, almost every weekend.
With many festival offerings heading into their third decade, Telluride’s festivals have evolved and grown, and continue to inspire the loyal fans who make the annual journey to this beautiful canyon. With variety ranging from arts and music to outdoor pursuits, there’s an event to match every passion.
Long-standing offerings such as the Mountainfilm Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Bluegrass Festival and Jazz Celebration are known among film and music aficionados for attracting the best filmmakers and musicians in the world. Some locals claim that Blues & Brews, scheduled the third weekend of September, is the favorite because it signifies the start of fall colors and the coming of ski season. Mushroom Fesitval and the Imogene Pass Run further exemplify the eclectic offerings of Telluride.
Clearly, Telluride is a little town that does everything in a big way. The numbers alone speak to the region’s deep commitment to the arts and specials events. While the head count is low just 3,000 individuals call this place home all year the cultural economy is strong. Three major entities dole out private and public funds in support of non-profits: Telluride Foundation, Telluride Mountain Village Owner’s Association and Commission for Community Assistance, Arts & Special Events. In 2009, these three grant machines gave in more than $500,000 collectively to arts-based non-profit organizations.
Ah Haa School for the Arts is a community center of learning and culture that offers a wide variety of programs and seeks to inspire individuals of all ages to explore, develop and celebrate their creativity.
Sheridan Opera House
The Historic Sheridan Opera House is a critical part of the arts and cultural fabric of the Telluride community, hosting a wide range of events year round, from concerts to movie premiers. Built in 1913 by local miners, the opera house is home to a variety of popular Telluride events including the Chamber Music Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival and Telluride Film Festival. Created in 1991, The Sheridan Arts Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the Opera House from any developments that may be damaging to the venue. The Foundation also supports the Opera Hosue as an artistic venue and attracting quality arts and cultural events to Telluride. Encouraging the development of young playwrights and performing artists in the area has also been a mission of the Foundation since its birth in 1991.
The Telluride Palm
The 30,000 square foot Palm Theatre is a state of the art, multi-use performing arts facility located on the Telluride Middle-High School Campus. This educational and performance venue is a tribute to the citizens of the Telluride R-1 School District whose vision and commitment exemplify the highest standards of a supportive community. The Palm Theatre has become well known through out Telluride as a great place to experience the diverse mountain town culture.