Arts Appeal

This Summer’s Limelight Dialogues Help Make the Arts More Approachable

Arm yourself with insight from the experts to appreciate Aspen’s cultural offerings.

By Cindy Hirschfeld August 10, 2016

Limelight hotel bsbafb

The Limelight Hotel in downtown Aspen. 

Don’t know Bach from Beethoven, a prelude from a pizzicato, or an English horn from a French horn? Find out more on August 10 (6—7:30 p.m.) at this month’s installment of the Limelight Dialogues, an ongoing series sponsored by the Aspen Skiing Company—owned Limelight Hotel. In a presentation titled, “What Makes Classical Music Classical?” no less an authority than Alan Fletcher, president and CEO of the Aspen Music Festival and School, will help listeners get better acquainted with the basics—and likely some of the nuances—of the genre. Bonus: fourteen-year-old Japanese-American pianist Ray Ushikubo will give an intimate performance to demonstrate his innate musicality well beyond his years.

For several years now, the Limelight Dialogues have been part of the hotel’s community outreach programming, covering a range of talks by prominent Aspenites on various aspects of our town’s history and lifestyle. This summer’s four-event mini-series, billed as “Demystifying the Arts,” aims to give attendees a set of tools for better appreciating aspects of Aspen’s rich cultural scene.

Previous sessions included Jazz 101, with Jazz Aspen Snowmass president and CEO Jim Horowitz explaining the components of jazz and its evolution from a confluence of cultural and historical events, as he played piano and parts of recorded tracks. At another event, Theatre Aspen executive artistic director Paige Price talked about the differences between acting on the stage and acting for the screen, while a group of actors performed a scene from Mamma Mia, one of the theater’s current offerings.

SkiCo director of community engagement (and former editor of Aspen Sojourner) Michael Miracle was inspired to program the summer series by tying together the Limelight’s genial vibe with a desire to broaden the appeal of local cultural events. “We have so much great arts programming here, but a considerable slice of the community feels like there’s a hurdle that they can’t get over to engage with it, particularly for certain genres of performance,” he explains. “The goal is to expose people to something interesting in a way that feels accessible.”

The concluding session, on September 7, will tackle “The Mystery of Marble: How Sense of Place Directs Us Creatively.” Put together by Carbondale Arts, the presenters will include the arts association’s executive director Amy Kimberly, stone sculptor Greg Tonozzi, and Marble Distilling Company founder Connie Baker.

The series will return this winter and may include another arts focus, especially as, according to Miracle, “The first two delivered on the concept as well as, or even better, than I’d hoped.”

Admission to each Limelight Dialogue is $10, which nets you a glass of wine or beer and snacks, along with the priceless opportunity for edification.

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