Built in 1889, Wheeler Opera House stands for more than 100 years of cultural heritage in Aspen and serves as a present day emblem of the city’s unique and vital commitment to the arts and entertainment. It is also a symbol of cooperation, in that it is home to many of the community’s performing artists, arts organizations, festivals and other attractions.
The programming at the Wheeler Opera House had grown to fill the calendar, and not only was there more use, the needs of renters had also changed, becoming increasingly sophisticated in both technical and logistical requirements. With the increased usage, needs for additional spaces had developed and greater demand was placed on the building’s basic infrastructure.
To begin to address these needs, while continuing to serve the arts community and protect this historic cultural resource, the board of the Wheeler Opera House and the City of Aspen decided to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the building’s use.
RRC was hired to design and conduct the assessment and to deliver findings to inform facility enhancement decisions. RRC worked with staff to identify a comprehensive list of survey recipients including all current and recent users of the Wheeler, potential users, and other interested parties. From this list, 30 were selected to participate in in-person interviews.
RRC designed the survey instrument so as to cover technical requirements of current and potential users, growth projections of same, satisfaction level with the facility, wish-lists for future venue space, current limitations of the facility, and other questions.
The findings of the needs assessment served as a tool in long-range planning and budgeting regarding potential improvements, expansions and equipment purchases. Click here to visit the website for the Wheeler Opera House, or download the Assessment here.
Approaching the need to instigate a search for a new director, the Museum board decided to inform this effort with an assessment of the Museum’s leadership and business operations. The assessment considered the areas of Planning, Organizational Structure, Board of Directors, Staff, Finance, Fundraising and Marketing.
RRC was hired to conduct the assessment and write a confidential report of findings. This report was used as the basis for developing the job description and search parameters for the new director position. The position was successfully filled within six months of the assessment completion. Click here to visit the website for the Aspen Art Museum.