Telluride Museum: Feasting on History 2017, 8/24, plus Ken Burns

Telluride Museum: Feasting on History 2017, 8/24, plus Ken Burns

Join the Telluride Historical Museum for the 13th annual “Feasting on History,” a benefit dinner for the Museum, on Thursday, August 24, 6:30- 10 p.m., at the Sheridan Opera House.

Tickets prices are Museum Lover at $275; Museum Friend at $200. Entertainment includes a cocktail hour prior to dinner, live jazz and a silent auction. 

Also, on Sunday, August 27, the Museum is pleased to announce its 4th annual “An Evening with Ken Burns.” This year’s event features a screening of Episode 4 – “The True Welcome” – of the acclaimed documentary series, “ Jazz.”  The evening also includes a post-screening audience Q&A session with Ken Burns, as well as a book and DVD signing presented in conjunction with Between the Covers Bookstore.

Tickets for that event are $25 for general admission; $20 for Museum members; $5 for students. 

“We continue to be appreciative of Ken Burns’ gracious commitment to the Telluride community and to the Museum specifically,” Executive Director Kiernan Lannon said. “We are once again providing the community with the rare opportunity to see one of America’s foremost documentarians and historians present his work and engage with this great community. We’re looking forward to another fantastic event!”

Purchase tickets online at, at the Museum or by calling 970.728.3344. 

What’s in a name?

In the case of the Telluride Historical Museum, understatement: the institution offers its patrons far more than artifacts under glass.

We are talking a museum about yesterday re-imagined for today.

Museum 2.0.

For starters, the Telluride Historical Museum is an award-winning Smithsonian affiliate – located in a restored 1896 miners’ hospital.


And yes, the local institution does, as expected, offer engaging annual exhibitions along with a permanent collection of artifacts from the region’s Ute heritage; robust mining, ski and festival history too. In all, the Telluride Museum boasts 10 rooms, each with its own theme, to showcase those different aspects of Telluride’s wild-and-woolley past.

But there are also hands-on interactive and rotating displays to engage all the senses, giving visitors new experiences on each and every visit.

Guests and locals can also enjoy historic walking tours of Telluride, including visits to the cemetery and the Red Light District; Fireside Chat lectures; Hikes into History that explore the high country with the dual goal of nature bathing, while celebrating the sights in Telluride’s rear view mirror.

To support the basic program and creative initiatives, on Thursday, August 24, the Telluride Historical hosts its 13th Annual “Feasting on History,” a fundraiser. The event, held at the Sheridan Opera House, features a cocktail hour, silent auction, and – in accordance with the theme – live jazz music performed by local Telluride band, Spaghetti Sweater.

According to Executive Director Kiernan Lannon, the 2017 theme is in keeping with other Museum programs and events.

“We wanted to make the theme of Feasting on History ‘Jazz’ for two reasons: first, to drive home our new collaboration with Telluride Jazz Fest, and also, because we’ll be screening an episode of Ken Burns’ ‘Jazz’ series as part of this year’s ‘An Evening with Ken Burns.’”

While previous “Feastings” featured a speaker or lecture, Lannon explained that music, not words, is the centerpiece of the evening.

“While there is quite a bit one can talk about with regard to jazz music, I like to think that it’s better to experience jazz than explain it,” Lannon said. “Besides, we’d like the overall vibe of ‘Feasting on History’ to be more along the lines of a great night out on the town. So you, as a Feasting guest, can be out with your friends, hear some wonderful music, and have a great dinner, all while supporting the Telluride Historical Museum. We’d like to think that everyone wins at such an event.”

“Feasting on History” is the largest fundraiser the Museum holds each year. Funds raised through the event offer crucial support of the Museum’s mission to preserve the rich, colorful, and diverse history of the region and bring history to life through exhibits, programs, and enrichment education.

“The are a number of crucial areas in our budget that require ongoing financial support,” Lannon explained. “Everything from planning and presenting free or low-cost programming to exhibit creation and maintenance and artifact preservation, all of which rely on the support of the wonderful, generous Telluride community. ‘Feasting on History’ is one of the most important and prominent ways in which we receive funding to do what we need to do for the town.”

Fundraisers such as “Feasting on History” and “An Evening with Ken Burns” make up about 12% of the Museum’s overall operating budget. Public support in general, including membership and donations, comprises about 50%.

“The Museum is very blessed to receive mill levy funding,” Lannon said. “But that only takes us so far. The public’s ongoing support of the Museum is absolutely essential. We couldn’t dream of offering the slate of programs and services we offer without the incredible and generous support of our members and the Telluride community.” 

And why is the Museum so important to its context? Again, what is the bang for buck offered to its public?

“The Museum’s value to the Telluride community, any fine museum’s value to any community, is undeniable. It is really hard for anyone to get a sense of a place, of community, unless you know its history,” Lannon explained. “And without that sense of the past, you’re going to have a tough time moving forward or growing. In essence, you can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. A community that knows and respects its history is just a better place to live, work, and play.”

Therefore, according to Lannon, support for the Museum extends beyond the Museum per se.

“Given how important history is to any place in general and Telluride in particular, it’s not much of a stretch to contend that an investment in the Museum – through buying a membership or attending a fundraiser like the Ken Burns screening or ‘Feasting on History’ – is essentially an investment in a greater Telluride community.” 

Tickets for “Feasting on History” are on sale now and can be purchased online at or by calling the Museum at (970) 728-3344. The cost is $200 for the “Museum Friend” category and $275 for the “Museum Lover” category. The difference between the two levels is largely the tax deduction: the “Museum Lover” deduction is higher. There are also better seating options and special recognition for “Lovers.”

“A number of guests have purchased at the ‘Lover’ level, which is amazing,” Lannon explained. “But we are incredibly grateful for the support from either level and there are still plenty of tickets available. At the end of the day, we’d just love to have more guests at either level. What could be better than the chance to enjoy a special night out while also supporting one of the most important nonprofits in town?” 

For more information, or to order tickets, email or call (970) 728-3344.

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