The City of Aspen has named Lisa Rigsby Peterson as the Executive Director of the Wheeler Opera House, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). She began her tenure on March 1, 2021.
A long-time Colorado resident, Ms. Rigsby Peterson most recently served as the Founding Executive Director of the municipally-owned Lone Tree Arts Center. During her decade-long tenure, she brought high-profile performers to Lone Tree, presenting up to 80 performances annually. Her innovative approach to strategic artistic partnerships and programs helped identify unmet needs in the community as well as curate signature programs to serve them. These included sensory-friendly performances to engage those with autism or intellectual/developmental disabilities, programs for those with Alzheimer’s or early memory loss, and extensive youth, school, and family programs. Ms. Rigsby Peterson has also held leadership positions with some of Colorado’s most significant cultural and performing arts organizations, including the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Opera Colorado, and Curious Theatre Company.
Ms. Rigsby Peterson has served as President of the Rocky Mountain Arts Consortium and on the Steering Committee of the Art of Access Alliance, leading accessibility issues in metropolitan Denver, as well as the Executive Committee for the League of Resident Theatres. A frequent presenter at conferences such as Association of Performing Arts Professionals, Arts Midwest, and Denver Sensory Friendly Summit, she holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Colorado Boulder and a master of fine arts degree in theatre management from the Yale School of Drama.
In making the announcement, Assistant City Manager Diane Foster said, “Lisa differentiated herself from a strong pool of candidates with her depth of experience with a similar venue and a strong educational background in the arts. At a time when we are navigating the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on programming opportunities and repair work to the facility, Lisa brings a wealth of arts management leadership to help us restore Wheeler as the community treasure we know it to be.”
“Joining the City of Aspen to lead the team at the Wheeler Opera House ties together so many threads that have been important to me: leading a dedicated team to create exceptional arts experiences in a memorable setting, working in a community that is passionate about the arts and the impact they can make, and living in a place that most people only dream about,” said Ms. Rigsby Peterson.
“ACG was honored to work with the City of Aspen to fill this key role to lead the Wheeler Opera House,” said ACG Vice President María Muñoz-Blanco. “Congratulations to Lisa Rigsby Peterson on her appointment as Executive Director. We are confident that her passion for the performing arts and commitment to public service will help this historic venue successfully reopen with a focus on presenting artistic and cultural programming of the highest caliber.”