Lone Tree Arts Center to reopen soon

First concert since shutdown scheduled July 24

Posted
As the Lone Tree Arts Center nears the traditional start of its fall programming, Director Lisa Rigsby Peterson finally has the answer to the question on her mind since March 15: What is to become of the center’s 2020-21 season?
 
“We are planning for our 20-21 season because if we don’t have a plan, we’re not going to be able to move forward,” Peterson said.
 
The Lone Tree Arts Center will reopen its doors and begin hosting live performances once again, with the first in-person concert since March scheduled for July 24 as of press time.
 
The State of Colorado approved a Douglas County variance request June 26, allowing theaters to reopen and permitting indoor and outdoor events under certain guidelines.
 
The Lone Tree Arts Center will host a Tunes on the Terrace concert by the Mary Louise Lee Band July 24-25, its first live performances since the start of statewide shutdown orders. Tickets went on sale July 8. (Lee is the wife of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.)
 
The arts center will host concerts through early September, including Hazel Miller and the Collective Aug. 14-15 and Soul-X Aug. 28.
 
“Our goal is to unite those audiences and performers in the magic that only happens when we are together and to do it as safely and enthusiastically as possible,” Peterson said.
 
Arts center officials have established protocol for patrons, staff and guests to follow to maintain safety. The center’s 484-seat main stage theater will seat 120 people to accommodate social distancing.
 
The arts center officials surveyed patrons about what would make them feel safe returning to the Lone Tree Arts Center. Overwhelmingly, Peterson said, people wanted others to wear masks and practice social distancing.
 
Some national and international touring artists have canceled their appearances due to concerns about the novel coronavirus. As a result, Peterson said, the arts center is emphasizing shows with homegrown talent. The adjustment gives local performers an audience, provides more flexibility for last-minute changes and helps protects everybody from potential spread of the virus, Peterson said.
 
“We do have touring performers that we’ve confirmed are ready, willing and able to come back,” Peterson said. “We want to make sure we are aware of what’s happening from a health perspective.”
 
The Lone Tree Arts Center had postponed 18 shows since March 15. The loss of shows and rental activities has contributed to a significant revenue drop. To make up for the decline, the center launched a fundraising program in anticipation of holding more consistent shows.
 
“No one is unaffected by the COVID pandemic. In this time, even though our doors have been closed, we have been working around the clock to plan for what can happen when we can reopen,” said Michelle Sosa-Mallory, director of corporate and foundation giving for the Lone Tree Arts Center. “The need is really pretty pressing now so that we can continue to build on the successes we had in the past, and, as we reopen, continue to be the arts center that has become the center of the community.”
 
Peterson and Sosa-Mallory lead the “Set the Stage” fundraiser with the goal of $180,000, with most of that total already raised at press time by community leaders and business partners.
 
“This is the community’s asset and it’s an asset to Lone Tree and the South Metro area” as well, Sosa Mallory said.
 
The arts center, which opened in 2010, generated about $4.1 million for the local economy in 2019, officials said. The center receives funding through grants, ticket sales and rentals.
“Since we are able to start back up again, that need for the support from the community as people are able is even more important because we want to be able to climb back to the heights we’ve reached in the past,” Peterson said. “We can’t do it ourselves.”

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