Aspen Community Programs

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It all began with an inspired idea. During a visit to Aspen, Colorado in 1945, Chicago businessman Walter Paepcke and his wife, Elizabeth were moved by its great natural beauty. They envisioned Aspen as an ideal gathering place for thinkers, leaders, artists, and musicians from around the world to step away from their daily routines and reflect on the underlying values of society and culture.  It was also important to the Paepckes to create a community where residents could nurture their mind, body, and spirit, a notion that was coined, The Aspen Idea.

More than seven decades later, the Aspen Institute continues to offer opportunities for Aspen-area residents and visitors to participate in intellectually stimulating programming which harkens back to the Aspen Idea.  Our Aspen community programs provide adults, and teens, the chance to convene to discuss timeless and contemporary ideas in a format conducive to thoughtful conversations, and civil engagement.  Scholarships are made available and program fees are kept affordable so that a diversity of voices and perspectives are part of the dialogue.

We hope that you will join us at an event, watch on our website or contribute to our scholarship fund. The Aspen Community Programs offer a diverse mix of opportunities, taking place in Aspen year-round, and attract locals and visitors alike who share a desire for learning and reflecting on the ideas that shape us, our society and the world in which we live.

We look forward to seeing you in Aspen soon.