Last night The Wheeler Associates Board of Directors gathered at the beginning of Aspen City Council's regular meeting to receive a proclamation by Council honoring the Associates' 30 years of service to the Wheeler Opera House.
Following the Council's proclamation related to its upcoming 30th anniversary year, The Wheeler Associates presented City Council with a check for an additional $65,000 to purchase new balcony seating, a primary historical source of patron complaints. The Wheeler Associates' $65,000 gift will be acknowledged with a plaque in the balcony indicating that the new seats were paid for by their generosity.
Formed in 1984, The Wheeler Associates is a nonprofit organized to support the Opera House after its expensive and extensive renovation 30 years ago. That support came in the form of equipment which the Wheeler needed but had no budget to acquire. Over the 30 years since then, The Wheeler Associates has given more than $350,000 for such items as two Baldwin pianos, an air-cooling system, a thrust stage, a Green Room, a new dance floor, a sound system, and the first ticket office computer system.
The Wheeler Associates will kick off its 30th Anniversary Celebration and the Wheeler's current balcony refurbishment with a grand opening performance on December 21st this year. The Wheeler is closed for the off-season due to the extensive construction work on the balcony seating and the installation of the new digital projection equipment.