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The Contemporary Gets Final Thumbs-Up From Basalt

Sep 25, 2019

An artist's rendering of The Contemporary stands at the future site of the performing arts venue in Willits Town Center
Credit 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.  

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

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. 


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

"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.