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The Contemporary Gets Final Thumbs-Up From Basalt

Christin Kay
Aspen Public Radio

The town of Basalt approved construction of the mid-valley performing arts center The Contemporary on Tuesday, removing the final public hurdle for the venue. 

The Arts Campus at Willits, or TACAW, which will operate the space, changed the building plans after receiving pushback from council earlier this month.  

Credit The Arts Campus At Willits
The Arts Campus At Willits
Updated plans for The Contemporary show a natural barrier around the performing arts venue's lawn

One sticking point was a fenced-in lawn on the building’s south side. TACAW changed it to a more natural barrier created by landscaping that would provide some privacy for outdoor events.  The building size was also reduced by about 9,000 square feet. 

Basalt mayor Jackie Whitsitt said at the council meeting that the final building was a good compromise. 

"It’s just one more time where holding all of our feet to the fire gets a better product, and just saying yes to everything doesn’t," she said. 

TACAW still needs to raise half of the construction budget before breaking ground in Willits Town Center. Executive director Ryan Honey says he’s optimistic. 


Credit The Arts Campus At Willits
The Arts Campus At Willits
Rendering of the lobby of The Contemporary

"Obviously, fundraising will continue through construction, but we are more confident than ever that we’ll be breaking ground in the coming months," he said. 

Honey says TACAW aims to open the venue in about a year. In the meantime, the organization plans to host concerts around Basalt. They’re bringing the Taylor Scott band to Market Street in Willits on Friday.





Contributor Christin Kay is passionate about the rich variety of arts, cultural experiences and stories in the Roaring Fork Valley. She has been a devotee of public radio her whole life. Christin is a veteran of Aspen Public Radio, serving as producer, reporter and interim news director.
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