The 4th of July celebration in Aspen is a long-standing tradition. This year, as the community continues its cherished tradition, local institutions are also recognizing the change.
For the first time, the Aspen Art Museum will host a free street party to coincide with Aspen’s 4th of July celebration celebrating art and community for all cultures.
The inaugural event, called Calle Artística, kicks off Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring interactive creations, artistic programming and live music from two street bands: Brothers of Brass and Brass Queens.
The block party will include free ice cream offered by its vendors. Hot dogs and burgers will be available for purchase at AAM Rooftop Café.
Calle Artística is part of the City of Aspen’s “Community Village” — a new concept this year that invites local artists, businesses and organizations to host free activities on various downtown streets and at Wagner Park. Village programming will complement the traditional Fourth of July parade, which returns in full force from 11 a.m. to noon after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
AAM’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheri Suarez Foreman, has been a big part of the street party culture. Foreman explained how, with so many 4th of July festivities already happening in the city, she wanted to create a culturally inclusive experience, reflecting Aspen’s international community and the museum’s bilingual education efforts to attract more diverse groups to the city. valley to access and benefit from art.
“We thought the best way to do that would be to create a 4th of July event without it necessarily being a 4th of July event — you know, making sure he speaks an international language,” Foreman said. “It’s a way for people of all cultures to visit the museum, experience the art, and join in the celebration without feeling like they don’t know what they’re celebrating.”
Calle Artística is a family event, Foreman said, and the hands-on art-making projects all tie into the museum’s ongoing exhibits — from creating crepe paper flowers and floral decorations to sewing felt bear claws. and working with stained glass. There will also be stilt walkers, dance activations by Stretch Zone and alternate interactions between the two groups, Foreman added.
“Art is universal and we are an art museum,” Foreman said. “Art and celebration should be accessible to everyone.”
The inaugural AAM street party is sponsored by the Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation of Miami. Foreman said she hopes to make it an annual event.
She said it’s not meant to be exclusive to what’s already happening; rather, quite the opposite.
“It’s not that we’re changing things, but things have changed; the population of the Roaring Fork Valley is changing, and if you look around this town, most of the people who work here speak different languages,” Foreman said. “So I think all we do is pay attention to the demographics, what’s needed, and then just try to create something for everyone.”
Calle Artística will take place along East Hyman Avenue, from the corner of the museum to 637 E. Hyman Ave. at the clothing store entering Alo Yoga at the opposite end of the block. The street will be closed to traffic for the festival. All are invited to participate.