Michael D. Palm was a gifted scholar and accomplished musician; a successful businessperson and dear friend to all who knew him. An openly gay man in the top ranks of the corporate world, Michael was a leader in the fight for equal rights for gay Americans. A leading philanthropist, his legacy is keenly felt in other areas as well including his passion for music and the performing arts and the battle against AIDS.
Michael died of complications from AIDS in his home in Telluride on Sunshine Mesa in August, 1998. It is our hope that all who attend performances at The Michael D. Palm Theatre for the Performing Arts will reflect on Michael’s values and his belief that through service, each of us is able to make a difference in our individual communities and the world beyond.
The Live at the Palm Series brings national touring productions of artistically and culturally diverse programming to the region, generally suitable for all ages.
The Palm’s Artists in Schools Program brings select artists into the school for workshops, cultural presentations, and demonstrations as part of the school curriculum.
The Palm Theatre is proud to present the Metropolitan Opera and London’s National Theatre's high definition transmissions of select performances.
To make the arts more inclusive, the Palm developed two scholarship programs providing Palm Presents Series tickets to underserved students and families. The first program is administered through the school, and the second is in partnership with the One to One Mentoring Program.
By balancing theatre access for the students and teachers with community group users and the Palm Presents Series, use of this community treasure is cleverly maximized. Often theatres sit empty, particularly during the weekday hours, until a weekend event occurs. Not so at the Palm! Educational uses include: band and choral concerts, renowned speakers, films, science fairs, poetry readings, and student presentations, to name a few. The R-1 School District also provides drama programs, at no fees to participate, so all students have access to perform on the Johnson Stage at the Palm!
To further the Palm’s mission to expand and enrich educational and performing arts opportunities for the Telluride region, the Palm implemented a non-profit rate structure and a subsidy fund, which covers a portion of the production expenses for non-profit community groups. This has proven to be instrumental for community groups presenting their work.