TACAW, The Arts Campus at Willits, is moving forward with plans for a multi-disciplinary performing arts building at the Center of the Roaring Fork Valley. We anticipate diverse programming in the performing arts, culture, and education - programming and opportunities that will increasingly define our community and it’s future.

  • nth
  • Create an arts and cultural campus
  • Enrich quality of life and community vitality
  • Strengthen economic diversity
  • Increase arts education and awareness

“There are two ways of being creative. One can sing and dance. Or one can create an environment in which singers and dancers flourish.”

— Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Leadership USC






TACAW will be an umbrella for collaboration with partners here in the valley, across the country, and around the world. We are planning more than 200 events by our third year – films, lectures, theatre, jazz, rock, classical, comedy, dance, food classes, events and mini-festivals in the summer – Latin Music, Film and Food, Ted Conference,  Family Film Festival,  Comedy Fest,  Wine and Food.  We anticipate a broad offering of after-school and weekend educational programs. Much more than something for everyone. 




“Art is a nation’s most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and to others the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.”
— Lyndon Johnson, on signing into existence the National Endowment on the Arts







The building is an articulated one-story building combining block and translucent glass walls subtly and mysteriously activated by the action within. An expansive canopy floats over the outside courtyard and protects the activities flowing inside and out.  Generous landscaping offers spaces for relaxing, watching films and simple dining and picnicking. A forward looking building, the TACAW design will connect with the Willits and Basalt neighborhoods, past, present, and future.

The Building’s main Performance Space will hold 350 people standing and will seat 280 in a range of configurations including concert, performance, club, in-the-round theater, and dancehall. Additionally, there is an intimate raked 90-seat theater for lectures, talks, and movies.  An airy lobby opens to the covered Courtyard which doubles as another event space.  A central Kitchen serves the Performance Space, the Lobby and Courtyard. A broad exterior screen is contemplated for movies, art, and live feed video of inside events.

  • nth one
  • Mixed-use space, 350 standing, 250 seated

  • Film and lecture hall for 80, sloped floor

  • Industrial demonstration kitchen

  • Lobby, dining room, exhibit space

  • Events courtyard, under roof

  • An incubator for arts, technology, and culture.

“In my own philanthropy and business endeavors, I have seen the critical role that the arts play in stimulating creativity and in developing vital communities….the arts have a crucial impact on our economy and are an important catalyst for learning, discovery, and achievement in our country.”

— Paul G. Allen, Co-Founder, Microsoft









Combining the Arts and Civic Parcels creates an extraordinary, perhaps once in a Town ‘s lifetime, opportunity to create a campus devoted to non-profits in the arts, culture, and education. The combined parcels can accommodate 3 more buildings with footprints comparable to the Performing Arts Building as well as some small houses for faculty and staff.







Willits was conceptually approved in the mid-nineties as a new community within the Town of Basalt intended to establish a focus and town center for the expanding Midvalley. Long-range plans anticipated residential neighborhoods and 10 blocks of traditional downtown development with ground floor shops with 2nd and 3rd floor residences. With a long view, a Performing Arts Parcel and an adjacent Civic Parcel were platted and a Real Estate Transfer Assessment (RETA) was established with a portion supporting the Performing Arts Parcel.
Willits now has a population of about 1400, will reach around 2750, and will increasingly offer restaurants, retail, services, medicine, jobs, public transportation, parks, art, culture and a vibrant community to the entire Roaring Fork Valley. Now is the time to move forward with the multi- purpose Performing Arts Building and begin to contemplate the transformative opportunities of an Arts and Cultural Campus.






In 2015 the Town of Basalt hired JVA Consulting for an independent in-depth study of the opportunity and impacts of TACAW. The study* concluded that the community wants it, that it’s the right time, that it’s in the right place, and that it will succeed. In addition there will be significant economic impacts to Basalt businesses in spillover spending, which will benefit shops and restaurants in the TACAW vicinity:

240 Events (32,000 Attendees) X $24.60 per Attendee = $787,200

* The Arts Center at Willits: Further Strengthening the MidValley Through a Culture of the Arts. Learn More

"As Chairman of the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce, I visited almost every city and town in the state. There is a visible difference in places with an active cultural community. I see people looking for places to park, stores staying open late, and restaurants packed with customers. The business day is extended and the cash registers are ringing."

— Ken Fergeson, Chairman and CEO, NBanC


  • nth
  • 2009 Board was formed to explore the opportunity for TACAW
  • 2011 Town of Basalt Board of Trustees endorsed preliminary plans
  • 2015 JVA Endorsement, 501C-3 Designation, Agreement with the Town of Basalt


  • nth
  • 2018 Begin construction of sustainable 21st century Facility
  • 2019 Open TACAW and begin programming events
  • Ongoing Evolution of the TACAW CAMPUS

Project Costs (Mil)

Land Value $2.25
Building Cost $7.25
Year One Operation $0.55
Total Project Costs $10.05

Funding (Mil)

Land Value (In Place) $2.25
RETA (In place) $0.75
Building Capital Campaign $8.0


Contact Us

Contact Us



TACAW Board / Staff Members

Julia Marshall: President Julia Marshall returned to the Roaring Fork valley in 1988 to start the landscape architectural firm of Mt. Daly Enterprises, LLC after graduating from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. She chose the field of landscape architecture as a way of bringing her passion for painting and design together with her love of the natural environment. The skillset gained from practicing landscape architecture, where handling design details and understanding their cost implications, has served Julia well when she has participated in various community organizations. Over the years, Julia has dedicated a part of her time to such community improvements as the creation of the Rio Grande Park and the establishment of the Red Brick Art and Recreation Center in Aspen, running the capital campaign for building improvements to the Carbondale Community School while serving on the Compass Board, participating in the development of the Carbondale Recreation Center and serving on the Art Base board during its transition into its current space in downtown Basalt.

As a landscape architect, Julia has worked on Willits since the very first discussions of developing a live-work community in the mid-valley. The building of TACAW will bring full circle ideas spoken about, refined, and built over the last twenty years.

As a separate business venture, in 2015, Julia and three other partners founded The Whole Works, a cut and sew apparel manufacturing factory in Rifle, Colorado.
Marc Breslin: Vice President Marc Breslin most recently served as general manager of Belly Up Aspen, a state-of-the-art entertainment venue. His responsibilities included booking world class entertainment, overseeing an annual 360 days of programming, including special events with the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festival and the Aspen Food and Wine Classic.

Prior to Belly Up Aspen, Breslin spent nearly two decades with Jazz Aspen Snowmass, starting in 1993 as Marketing Director and then becoming Chief Operating Officer. Breslin’s tenure at JAS included growing the organization from a small event to a twice a year multi-day festival attracting 30,000 attendees. Breslin helped create JAS’ free concert series in Snowmass Village and JAS’ valley-wide music education programs, which included partnering with Washington, D.C.’s Thelonious Monk Institute.

Breslin was instrumental in helping JAS create a sister festival, Sonoma Jazz Plus in Sonoma, California. Breslin has resided in the valley for 35 years and lives in Carbondale with his wife and daughter.
Michael Lipkin: Treasurer Michael Lipkin moved to Aspen in the early ‘80’s and with David Warner formed Lipkin Warner Design and Planning, a broad based architecture and development practice. Lipkin is the founder of Willits and with his firm has been responsible for the vision and master planning as well as the design of virtually every building. Willits, conceived to in-fill a town center and community into the sprawl of the Midvalley, increasingly represents smart growth, appropriate density, and access to retail, services, jobs, public transportation, parks, culture and a vibrant community.

Lipkin and his wife, the artist Jody Guralnick, raised 2 children in Aspen, now 23 and 27. In recent years his photographs have been shown at the Aspen Institute Gallery, the 212 Gallery in Aspen, and at The Kim Foster Gallery in Chelsea. His undergraduate training was in sculpture and architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. He received a Masters in Architecture from Yale.
Jeffrey Orsulak: Secretary Jeffrey Orsulak a graduate of Virginia Tech School of Architecture has been living and working in the Willits community for 15 years as a project manager and designer. A key member of the Willits design team, Jeff has helped shape the Willits Community into a thriving place to live and work.

Jeff has served as a board member for the Mid-Valley Metropolitan District for the past 10 years. In that time the board has overseen 2 major expansions to the district and several capital improvement projects.
Richard Carter: Board Member Richard Carter is a graduate of Villanova University BA and has been a resident of the Roaring Fork Valley since 1971. He has a long history of involvement with numerous visual arts organizations and film production companies in Colorado and Los Angeles.

A working artist for over 45 years, his work is in many private, corporate and Museum collections. He maintains a studio in Basalt CO and was the studio assistant to Bauhaus Master Herbert Bayer. He was a founder of the Aspen Art Museum and is currently on the boards of the Basalt Art Base and The Art Campus at Willits.

Mary Conover: Board Member
Wendy Hahn: Board Member
Loren Jenkins: Board Member
Soren West: Board Member
Tara Carson: Board Member
Ryan Honey: Managing Director

Contact Email: