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Aspen's arts & culture institutions were developed alongside the ski lifts, back in the late 1940s. The town's modern-day founders—Elizabeth and Walter Paepcke—envisioned Aspen as a destination for renewing the mind, body, and spirit; their concept was called The Aspen Idea

The Aspen Idea was the driving force behind the inception of the Aspen Institute and the Aspen Music Festival & School as well as many of the world-renowned arts and cultural organizations created throughout the following decades. 

Today, Aspen's arts scene thrives, with more music, theatre, art, and public discourse events than any one person could attend. We have listed some of our favorite cultural offerings below, and our Events Calendar highlights the marquee festivals and events throughout the year.

Let us offer recommendations

Our Concierge Team is eager to give additional recommendations about which recurring events or special festivals you might enjoy based on your interests.  

Displaying 1 - 10 of 12
Anderson Ranch Arts Center Things to do in aspen
(970) 923-3181

The Anderson Ranch Arts Center celebrates art in all its form. With workshops covering such topics as sculpture, ceramics, painting, and more as well as artists-in-residence programs and gallery exhibits, Anderson Ranch is an ambitious proponent for art.

Aspen Art Museum things to do in aspen
(970) 925-8050

Presenting a non-collecting, rotating display of the newest, most important evolutions in contemporary art, the Aspen Art Museum has been a staple...

Aspen Film
(970) 925-6882

Aspen Film was founded in 1979 and aims to "enlighten, enrich, educate, and entertain through film," and this beloved organization presents unique experiences for both the serious cinephile and casual movie lover.

aspen ideas fest aspen institute things to do in aspen
(970) 925-7010

The Aspen Institute is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue. Through seminars, policy programs, conferences and leadership development initiatives, the Institute and its international partners seek to promote nonpartisan inquiry and an appreciation for timeless values.

Aspen Music Festival and School
(970) 925-9042

Founded during the same era as Aspen's ski areas, the Aspen Music Festival and School has brought high culture to the high country for nearly seven decades. The summer season runs for eight weeks and includes more than 400 classical music events attended by more than 100,000 audience members.

(970) 925-3122

As one of the nation's most prestigious literary workshop and festival, the celebration lasts six days in Aspen each year.

Chris Cornell at the Belly Up Aspen
(970) 544-9800

With a capacity of just 450 guests, Belly Up Aspen is a renowned, intimate venue that hosts top headliners for concerts year-round. A night out on the town is not complete without attending a concert at the Belly Up!

Jazz Aspen Snowmass
(866) 527-8499

Jazz Aspen Snowmass presents incredible performances throughout the year, from the intimate JAS Cafe performances at venues throughout town to the true festival experiences afforded by the JAS June Experience and JAS Labor Day Experience.

(970) 923-8898

The Snowmass Rodeo is the longest running rodeo in Colorado. This authentic western event takes place every Wednesday evening as the sun sets behind the surrounding mountain peaks.

A Snowmass summer tradition 28 years in the making, the Snowmass Free Concert Series is a must-do summer music event. Every Thursday evening (and two bonus Saturdays), locals and visitors alike gather to enjoy some of the country’s best live bands in a relaxed atmosphere with a spectacular mountain backdrop.


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