Lisa Rigsby Peterson

The city of Aspen named Lisa Rigsby Peterson the new executive director of the Wheeler Opera House. She will begin her tenure March 1.

The City of Aspen has named Lisa Rigsby Peterson as the new Executive Director of the Wheeler Opera House. Rigsby Peterson’s hire comes after an extensive national search conducted by Arts Consulting Group, including over 140 candidates, and involved the Wheeler Advisory Board, City of Aspen staff, and members of Aspen’s arts community.

“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,” said Diane Foster, assistant city manager. “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.”

Rigsby Peterson joins the Wheeler Opera House after serving most recently as the Founding Executive Director at Lone Tree Arts Center for over 10 years. During this tenure, in addition to bringing high profile performers to Lone Tree, her innovative approach to strategic artistic partnerships and programs helped identify unmet needs in the community and prompting signature programs to serve them. These programs include 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. 

Her career also includes leadership positions with Colorado’s major cultural and performing arts organizations, including The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Opera Colorado, Curious Theatre Company, the Colorado Children’s Chorale, and Phamaly Theatre Company. Additionally, she holds a Master of Fine Arts from Yale School of Drama in Theatre Management.

“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,” shared Rigsby Peterson. “And living in a place that most people only dream about. What an opportunity!”