The mixed bag of the community table was once an Aspen hallmark. Here’s our fantasy guest list of local newsmakers and visitors we’d like to meet.

Image: Matty Newton

Simone Leigh

During its new Recognition Week (July 12–16), Anderson Ranch Arts Center will honor the multimedia artist, frequent Ranch visitor, and first African-American woman to represent the US at the Venice Biennale (in 2022) for her astute explorations of black female-identified subjectivity.

 

 

Image: Matty Newton

Byron Gomez

The executive chef at Aspen restaurant 7908 (and Eleven Madison Park alumnus) took his knives to Portland, Oregon, for the 18th season of Top Chef and prevailed until the 10th episode, when he lost a tofu dessert duel and was sent for redemption to Last Chance Kitchen.

 

 

Image: Matty Newton

Alexandra Horowitz

The Barnard College professor—and expert on a subject dear to many an Aspenite—appears at the Aspen Institute’s Murdock Mind, Body, Spirit Series (July 28) to discuss her latest book, Our Dogs, Ourselves: The Story of a Singular Bond, and her ongoing research on canine cognition.

 

 

 

Image: Matty Newton

Stevie Nicks

When the storied songstress takes the stage for Jazz Aspen Snowmass’s Labor Day Experience, oh, the stories she could tell about scraping by in Aspen for a few months in the early ’70s, and writing “Landslide” here, before the call came to join Fleetwood Mac.

 

 

 

Image: Matty Newton

Lisa Rigsby Peterson

The Wheeler Opera House’s new executive director aims to welcome underserved audiences—including more seniors, plus those of any age who may benefit from sensory-friendly performances—while maintaining the vibrant slate of arts experiences that has made the historic venue a community treasure.

 

Image: Matty Newton

Lo Semple

Whether he’s describing partying at Cloud 9 (“a cross between a cougar den and a ‘Mommies Gone Wild!’ video shoot”), his antics while growing up here, or the recent Music Tent pricing kerfuffle, we look to the longtime Aspen Daily News columnist for his spot-on—and often hilarious—take on the town’s character and local issues.

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