The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music: Performance Venues on the Western Slope

Music and performing arts are a big deal and big business in Colorado, even in some of our smallest communities. There are unique challenges and opportunities to running a performance venue is one of our mountain or rural communities, before and during a pandemic. This candid conversation will explore the innovation, endurance, creativity, and wisdom with the leaders of some of these treasured venues on Colorado’s Western Slope.

Rick Christensen
General Manager / Talent Buyer, Mesa Theater
Grand Junction, CO

Courtney McClary
Director of Operations, SBG Productions
Telluride, CO

Michele Redding
Owner / Operator, Animas City Theater
Durango, CO

Moderator: Jessi Whitten, Director of Development and Marketing, Levitt Pavilion Denver

This event is part of a monthly series co-presented by the Colorado Independent Venue Association (CIVA), Levitt Pavilion Denver and Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA). CBCA participation supported by Ent Credit Union and Kenneth King Foundation. 


Rick Christensen

Rick Christensen has been booking and promoting events in Colorado for over 15 years now. The general manager and talent buyer for Grand junction’s Mesa Theater. co-owner of R&B Sound Reinforcement a one-stop shop for the industry Providing backline, marketing, design, staff and also produces events across Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

Michele Redding

Michele Redding and her husband, Chris, own the Animas City Theatre (the ACT), as well as Cuckoo's Chicken House & Waterin' Hole and The Roost restaurants all located in the same building. Having been in the restaurant industry since she was 16, taking over the vacated Abbey Theatre space was a great opportunity, providing a diverse business that complemented the restaurant. Renaming it The Animas City Theatre, the Redding's continued to bring live music featuring local, regional, and national touring acts to Durango, along with their production manager, Eugene Salaz. They also show independent films, NTLive and Bolshoi Ballet Productions, and provide a space for community events and private rentals. The ACT has been voted Durango & LaPlata County's Best Live Theater for several years.