The Crown Jewel of Telluride

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Our Mission

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 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, click on the "Weddings and Event Space Rentals" tab or go to www.SheridanOperaHouseRentals.com.

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 intimate 238-seat theater is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and remains home to the Sheridan Arts Foundation (SAF). This historic landmark, referred to as both "Telluride's Living Room" and "The Crown Jewel of Telluride," has become a non-profit venue benefiting a number of local charitable organizations, community endeavors, small businesses as well as Boys and Girls Clubs 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 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • Young People's Theater: involving 250 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 $2.2 million spent on the restoration process since 1999. Projects in the last five 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.