The Mission of the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts is to nurture emerging artists, demonstrate cultural creativity, and promote the fine arts and humanities in the Tri- Lakes area and beyond.
Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts had its beginnings in the summer of 1998. Local artists gathered together and created an arts center for the Tri-Lakes area in one of its oldest buildings. With a generous gift from a donor and the stipulation that the Arts Center be self-supporting, the Kaiser-Frazer building was transformed into the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts. The Arts Center planned to be a non-profit entity so they would be eligible for funding through grants and charitable donations. Their purpose was to bring local artists together in a spirit of creativity and also to have a center for the community. TLCA was issued a 501(c)3 designation in January 1999.
Previously the building was the site of the Thomas A. Hanks Livery Stable and Transfer Service in 1898, Palmer Lakes first livery stable. Later owned by Charles Orr, it was an Angora rabbit wool processing plant in 1957. The Denver Rio Grande Railroad repaired train cars in the south end of the facility. For many years, the Trailways bus stopped here in Palmer Lake. Fred Walker purchased a portion of the facility in 1969. His hobby was purchasing and restoring Kaiser and Frazer cars.
From 1998 until 2010, the TLCA continually provided the community with great art exhibitions, entertaining concert events, and professional art classes. In 2010, the Board of Directors, along with new Executive Director, Dr. Michael Maddox, decided to rebrand the TLCA, transforming it from a small-town arts and crafts center into what it is today, a Front Range destination for fine art exhibitions, captivating theatrical productions, and marvelous concert events featuring nationally-recognized performers. Dr. Maddox has been able to translate his decades of professional experience from organizing events at major venues throughout the U.S. and other nations, as well as his longtime expertise at booking and marketing national shows, into promoting the TLCA.
Artists, who have graced the TLCA stage since 2010, include:
- Billy Bob Thornton & the Boxmasters (Oscar & 2-Time Golden Globe Best Actor Winner)
- Branford Marsalis Quartet (NEA Jazz Master, 3 Grammys, Musical Director for “Tonight Show” with Jay Leno)
- Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul, & Mary; 5 Grammys & 16 Nominations)
- Judy Collins (Folk & Pop Music Legend, 4 Grammy Nominations)
- Richie Furay & Paul Cotton (Richie Furay in Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Buffalo Springfield; Poco; Hillman, Souther, Furay Band). Paul Cotton ( Colorado Music Hall of Fame, Poco)
- Shawn Colvin (Folk & Pop Music, 3-Time Grammy Winner)
- Pam Tillis (Country Music, CMA Female Vocalist of the Year, 2-Time Grammy Winner, Grand Ole Opry)
- Michael Martin Murphey (Best-Selling Western Singer/Songwriter, Grammy Nominee, 3-Time CMA Nominee)
- Colin Hay (Men at Work, Grammy Winner)
- Paula Cole (Grammy Winner, Singer/Songwriter)
- Moe Bandy (Classic Country Music Legend, Ten #1 Hit Songs)
- Marty Haggard (Tribute to His Legendary Father, Merle Haggard)
- Conjure One with Rhys Fulber (Delerium, Renowned Music Producer)
- A Winged Victory for the Sullen with Adam Wiltzie (Film & TV Composer) & Dustin O’Halloran (Oscar Nominee, Film Composer, Grammy Nomination)
- Sawyer Fredericks (Winner – Season 8 NBC’s “The Voice)
- Tom Paxton (Folk Music Legend, 2009 Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement)
- David Payne (Renowned British Actor, “An Evening with C.S. Lewis” Theatrical Production)
- Ronny Cox (Actor in 140 Films & TV Shows, 2 Emmy Nominations, Singer/Songwriter)
- Bethany Yarrow & Rufus Cappadocia (Acclaimed Singer/Dancer & World Renowned Cellist)
- Terri Hendrix & Lloyd Maines (Maines in Austin City Limits Hall of Fame, Grammy Winner)
- Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams (Campbell, Acclaimed Guitarist Played with Bob Dylan for 7 Years and Levon Helm for 10 Years; Campbell & Williams Toured with Jackson Browne)
- Phil Keaggy (Glass Harp, 2 Grammy Nominations, 7 Dove Awards, Contemporary Christian Music Legend)
In addition, the TLCA has hosted fabulous fine art exhibitions, including national touring shows, in its two galleries. The Richard Pankratz Retrospective received resulted in Pankratz receiving the “Artist of the Year” Award from the Pikes Peak Arts Council. Rodney Wood, one of Colorado’s most celebrated artists, curated two sensational shows: Pathos; and Animalia. The TLCA has hosted exhibitions by Arts Guilds from Castle Rock, Woodland Park, Parker, and Aurora. The Palmer Lake Art Group holds its annual exhibitions at the TLCA. On occasion, and when the artwork merits such consideration, the TLCA will also rent the galleries for special, curated exhibitions.
Theatrical productions include “An Evening with C.S. Lewis,” performed by renowned British actor David Payne. Payne has performed Lewis at over 500 venues throughout the world. In 2018, the TLCA hosts “Wardrobes and Rings,” which will be performed by Payne and other noted actors. The play is based on C.S. Lewis and J.R. Tolkien, who were close friends, talking about their lives and careers at an English pub on their last night together before Lewis’ death.
Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts also hosts Taiko drum classes, benefits for Front Range charities, popular art classes by professional teachers, weddings and receptions, private parties, and other events. Vanguard Church rents the TLCA for its Sunday morning services.