The Crown Jewel of Telluride
The Sheridan Arts Foundation was founded in 1991 as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization to:
- Restore and preserve the historic Sheridan Opera House as an arts and cultural resource for the Telluride community
- Bring quality arts and cultural events to Telluride
- Provide local and national youth with access and exposure to the arts through education
The Sheridan Opera House is a beautiful theater with a variety of configurations allowing it to host events of all types such as movies, concerts, and recitals as well as lectures, conferences and weddings. We also subsidize rent to local non-profits, schools and other community entities with an average of $80-$100,000 in subsidizes each year.
Built by J.A. Segerberg in 1913 as a vaudeville theater and cultural center, the Sheridan Opera House attracted variety shows, orchestras and touring theater companies. In the early 1990s, the Sheridan Opera House was in jeopardy of commercial development; but was saved from demolition by the creation of the Sheridan Arts Foundation (founded by Sandra and Keith Carradine) and restoration efforts taken on by The Colorado Historical Society.
Today, this 240 seat intimate theater which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is home to the Sheridan Arts Foundation and has become a non-profit venue benefiting a number of charitable organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of America. Some of today's top performers such as Jewel, Smokey Robinson, John Prine, Taj Mahal and more have performed at the Sheridan Opera House to benefit the Sheridan Arts Foundation and its educational programs.
Since the Sheridan Arts Foundation was founded in 1991 as a non-profit organization, it has served to protect and preserve the historic Sheridan Opera House as an arts and cultural resource for the Telluride community, bring quality arts and cultural events to Telluride & provide local and national youth with access and exposure to the arts through education. Some of the SAF's annual highlights include:
- Wild West Fest program: hosting 30-50 underserved youth in Telluride for a week of mentorships and outdoor education programs each summer for more than 25 years.
- Young People's Theater: involving 250 local youth ages 2-18 each year, producing three full-length musicals and a variety of classes each year.
- Rental Subsidies: We subsidize rent to local non-profits, schools and others averaging $80-$100,000 each year.
- Building Preservation: The Sheridan Opera House is a hitoric building, constructed over 100 years ago, as such it require a great deal of maintenance to keep it preserved and operational. Restoring and preserving this historic landmark is an ongoing effort with more than $2 million spent on the restoration prcess since 1999. In 2017 we reaised more than $25,000 to replace the aging roof and reinforce the building's trusses. In early 2019, we raised over $100,000 to replace our 80+ year old theater seats.
"I LOVE this, it's like playing in my living room!" - Jackson Browne