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A Look Back on 2023 at the VPAC

Date: December 29, 2023
Author: Cat Hayes

In 2023, the Vilar Performing Arts Center celebrated its 25th anniversary in style!

The Chihuly chandelier — comprised of 205 pieces of hand blown glass perfection — was unveiled at the end of 2022 in time for a full season of celebration and delight. Hanging above the spiral staircase, this one-of-a-kind work of art dazzled as the VPAC welcomed artists and guests and saw numerous upgrades to the facility itself, including new acoustic banners and sound system, a new HVAC system, and to continue the seemingly never-ending touchups to the theater’s woodwork and the ongoing carpet replacement.

The VPAC’s original house manager, Martha Brassel, noted, “This entire facility looks even better than the day it opened.”

Norah Jones performs at the Vilar Performing Arts Center for its 25th Anniversary celebration
Norah Jones wows the VPAC crowd to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

The crown jewel of the season-long celebration was an intimate performance by Grammy-award winning artist Norah Jones. Her unique blend of jazz, pop, and country music rocketed Jones to international stardom. It was a packed house for her performance, and Jones did not disappoint. Crooning classics like “Come Away with Me” and hits from her 2021 album, ‘Til We Meet Again, Jones brought her treasured voice to the VPAC for her only Colorado performance of the entire year.

New and seasoned VPAC patrons alike were also treated to 25th anniversary performances by BalletX; Veronica Swift & the H2 Big Band holiday show; Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn with the Colorado Symphony; Styx; Preservation Hall Jazz Band; and The Wood Brothers, among other notables.

These performances and upgrades were made possible by generous commitments of VPAC donors, allowing staff to schedule these show stoppers and upgrade the facility as needed. The facility looks incredible, however, it’s a mere backdrop for the amazing things that take place on the storied stage. And while it’s easy to get wrapped up in appreciation for what’s happened in the past, there’s an incredibly bright future ahead for the Vilar Performing Arts Center as well.

Said former Executive Director (and current Artistic Director) Owen Hutchinson, “The greatest how to ever play our stage may not have even happened yet!”

Dare to dream.

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