The Sheridan Arts Foundation
The Sheridan Arts Foundation (SAF) was founded in 1991 by Sandra and Keith Carradine 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 CROWN JEWEL OF TELLURIDE
The Sheridan Opera House is a stunning theater with a variety of configurations suitable for concerts, movies, lectures, conferences, weddings and more. To learn more about renting the Sheridan Opera House, go to our rental web page.
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 and restoration efforts taken on by The Colorado Historical Society. Learn more about the History of the Opera House.
Since its creation in 1991, the Sheridan Arts Foundation has continuously served to fulfill its three-part mission 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. See our historic restoration process here.
Some of the SAF’s annual highlights include:
- Wild West Fest program: hosting 30-50 youth from various Boys and Girls Clubs across the country in Telluride for a week of confidence-boosting activities including the Chip Allen Mentorship Program each summer since 1992. Children attend at no cost to their families.
- Programming: The Sheridan Opera House is in use approximately 250 days a year, with 70 nights of programming from the Sheridan Arts Foundation, an additional 70 nights of programming or private events from renters and over 100 days used for Young People’s Theater rehearsals. Notable performers include Smokey Robinson, Shawn Colvin, Darlene Love, Chuck Jackson, Jackson Browne and Jewel.
- Telluride Plein Air: hosting nationally renowned plein air artists since 2004 to paint the architecture and landscapes in the Telluride region and raise necessary general operating and programming funds.
- Young People’s Theater: involving 2oo local youth ages 2-18 each year, producing three full-length musicals and a variety of classes.
- Rental Subsidies: subsidizing rent to local non-profits, schools and small local businesses averaging $80-$100,000 each year.
- Building Preservation: Restoring and preserving the historic Sheridan Opera House is an ongoing effort with more than $2.4 million spent on the restoration process since 1999. Projects in the last ten years alone include the creation of the SHOW Bar on the first floor in 2016, the $75,000 replacement of the aging roof and reinforcement of the building’s trusses in 2017 and the $100,000 replacement of our 70+ year old theater seats in 2019.