About the Sherbino
On August 27 1915, the Ouray Herald reported on Ridgway’s newest building, “The new theater being erected by Louis Sherbino and son is nearing completion and will be ready for the opening show and dance the first week in September. The theater will be one of the most up-to-date on the Western Slope, with comfortable chairs, best of lighting fixtures, perfect ventilation and an ideal floor for dancing.”
Nearly 100 years later, Louis Sherbino’s vision remained intact—sort of.
For the entire winter of 2009 the Sherbino Theater sat dark. And after a brief re-opening as the White Horse Saloon, the Sherbino again went dark in 2011. Many of us began asking if we citizens of the community could find a way to get the Sherbino back open. Some people suggested the Town government should buy it, but we quickly tossed that suggestion out, for a number of very good reasons.
Fast forward to December 20th, 2011, when we were told that the theater would close for good. That catalyzed us to spring into action. Eleven days later, we staged the “Emergency New Year’s Eve Party”. Our motto “Think Globally, Party Locally.” Two breweries donated beer. Three liquor stores donated wine and tequila. Two bands played for free. The newspapers gave us discounted ad space. The word went out on Facebook.Over 200 people showed up on December 31, 2011which helped us realize how important the theater was to our community. We decided, with passion and gusto, to incorporate and re-invent the Sherbino Theater.
On February 11 2012 we incorporated as the Ridgway Chautauqua Society Inc., dba the Sherbino Community Theater Association. We have a Board of nine Directors, and another dozen people sitting on committees. In July, we received our 501(c)3.
There is much to do and a long road ahead, but we’re extremely excited to re-open and operate The Sherbino-- Ridgway’s Community Theater. In 2014, the Sherbino partnered with Weehawken Creative Arts to enter into a very unique staff-sharing arrangement. In this, Weehawken offered up some of it's talented team on a part-time basis to the Sherbino to get programs and operations up and running. Fast-forward two years, and you'll find that the Sherbino's programming and overall quality has grown with two part-time administrators and one full-time programs manager. It's been a wonderful partnership and has helped to keep costs low and expertise high as we move forward achieving our mission.
Ridgway’s Sherbino Theater is the community’s premier venue for arts, culture, creativity, and lifelong learning.
The core values of the Sherbino Theater are rooted in our deep commitment to the Chautauqua principles of lifelong learning including the sharing of art, craft, and music while promoting intellectual and civic engagement. The organization believes in:
- Excellence in the promotion and teaching of the arts;
- Enrichment though spirited programming focused on entertainment, the arts, and community issues;
- Collaboration and partnerships with local, regional and national arts and cultural organizations to further our mission;
- Commitment to the sustainable development of our facilities and to act in an environmentally sound manner for the benefit of generations to come.