Last Thursday, November 10th, folks gathered at Ruby Hill Park to celebrate the groundbreaking of what will be Denver’s newest (free!) concert venue: Levitt Pavilion. The hour-long ceremony featured speeches by Mayor Michael Hancock, Parks and Recreation’s Executive Director Happy Haynes, a number of the city’s council members, as well as a serenade from the talented RL Cole, who later shared his thoughts on the concert spot with us. While listening to so many influential city leaders speak, it was hard not to leave feeling uplifted and optimistic about Denver’s cultural prowess in the national music scene.
Following the ceremony, we sat down with Chris Zacher, CEO/Executive Director of Levitt Pavilion, who shared his thoughts with us about the soon-to-be concert venue and its positive impact on the local community.
They say that 80 percent of success is showing up, but what if you can’t afford a ticket? The cost of entertainment today can be high, and sometimes seeing live music — especially big-ticket national touring acts — can seem like a pastime for the wealthy only. In Denver, a nonprofit is seeking to remedy that disparity with the opening of a large new venue. On Thursday, November 10, Levitt Pavilion will celebrate the groundbreaking of its newest concert venue in Denver’s Ruby Hill Park — one that will showcase fifty free concerts a year, as well as local beer and food trucks in a custom-made, open-seating facility. The venue will be operational sometime after July 15, 2017.
On Monday, October 3, a motley crew gathered at Syntax Physic Opera for happy-hour drinks and industry talk. But this wasn’t your typical after-work wind-down: It was the ninth installment of the Colorado Music Collective.
Levitt Pavilion opens summer 2017, and with it comes a variety of free live shows for Denver. The nationwide organization is constructing its next community music amphitheater in the massive 83-acre Ruby Hill Park.
In April 2015, Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) announced the winners of the inaugural Cultural Leadership Award. The Cultural Leadership Award recognizes outstanding alumni of CBCA’s Leadership Arts program who have made a significant impact on arts & culture in Colorado through a personal commitment to the arts.
Chris Zacher (Leadership Arts 2013) – Chris is a champion for live music that is accessible for all. He is credited with the sustainability and overwhelming popularity of City Park Jazz, having sat in board leadership positions since 2006. Since 2012, he’s led Denver’s effort to create the new Levitt Pavilion at Ruby Hill Park, which will offer 50 free concerts a year when it opens summer 2016.
Meet our featured Wixii™, Megan Zacher. She is in her late 30s and mother to a 5 year-old son. She received her B.A. in Architectural Studies and Anthropology from Brown University and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She is a graphic designer for print and web, and she and her husband run their own consulting firm, Zebra Incorporated. She has summited over 30 of Colorado’s beautiful Fourteeners, many of them several times.
On November 20, 2013 Chris Zacher was honored as a nominee for SCFD's prestigious Rex Morgan Award. The award recognizes Denver residents whose leadership has made a significant impact on the arts, scientific and cultural community in the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District.
Recipients must have advocated on behalf of the cultural community; demonstrated vision and persistence in pursuing goals to benefit the cultural community; promoted community participation in pursuing cultural objectives; worked as a volunteer supporting cultural initiatives or institutions; acted to benefit a municipality or county region[s]; initiated, collaborated, or supported innovative policies to enhance the regional cultural community.
On August 20, the Denver Business Journal honored 12 women in the Metro Denver Area for their business accomplishments, entrepreneurship, innovation and community contributions. Megan was honored as a finalist in the Marketing and Communications category.
Sgt. Betty Hale, a Denver police spokeswoman, said officers are hired to provide security for the event, and she did not know of any specific changes the department had made to increase safety at City Park Jazz.
Chris Zacher, president of the City Park Jazz board, said the shooting had been a cloud over the event, but the community remained supportive.
"The first show of the 2013 season reassured us that the support we received from the community after June 24, 2012, was just as strong if not stronger than it was before June 24, 2012," he said. "The Denver community is resilient and supportive."
Chris Zacher – music fans may know him from his years with the City Park Jazz series – is executive director of Levitt Pavilion Denver. Zacher explained that overall construction costs for the new facility are estimated at $4 million. Levitt is providing $400,000 in construction money, as well as $775,000 in operational funds over the first five years, and $100,000 per year after that, in perpetuity. The city is putting up $2 million in Better Denver bond money, leaving it up to Levitt Pavilion Denver to raise the remaining money needed to complete the deal.
The Denver Business Journal named Chris Zacher as one of their 2013 "Forty Under 40," honoring business professionals under 40 years old who have made significant community and business contributions to Denver. Chris is being recognized for his role as long-time Board President of City Park Jazz and his recent appointment as Executive Director of the Levitt Pavilion Denver.
"With a solid twenty-five years under its belt, City Park Jazz is one of Denver's most cherished Sunday evening activities, attracting hardcore jazz aficionados, folks that jump at anything free, high-schoolers and families alike--and showcasing all-local talent. Its inception in 1986 was intended to liven up the City Park area, which, at the time, was a neighborhood in need of something safe and unifying. Christopher Zacher sits on the all-volunteer board of City Park Jazz as president..."
June 20, 2010: Megan Moye Zacher accepts the Membership Advocate Award from Brad Buchanan, DDP Chair, at the Downtown Denver Partnership's 2010 Annual Meeting. "Megan’s energy and enthusiasm for our urban core is evident in everything she does, and has truly been contagious in the community."
In August 2009, Megan Moye Zacher was honored as a finalist in the communications category for the Outstanding Women in Business Award from the Denver Business Journal. The award honors women “who have achieved great success through leadership in business and community contribution.”
Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce awarded Zebra Incorporated the Emerging Business of the Year Award recognizing businesses that have "truly defined entrepreneurship, personified success, and exemplified a unique business beginning."
Megan was selected for the Denver Business Journal's "Forty Under 40" list in 2007, honoring Denver's “young, dynamic business leaders... recognizing forty outstanding local professionals under age 40 for their business successes and community contributions.”