Mission & History
As the 20th Century began to fade into the rearview mirror, a number of journalists, promoters, and musicians started to push for a way to honor the music and musicians that made Colorado their home. Various efforts from local papers to arts organizations approached the task, but none succeeded.
Colorado Music Hall of Fame’s mission is to celebrate our state’s music heritage by honoring those who have contributed to that legacy and by sharing it with the public through exhibits of historic artifacts, educational programming and musical events.
The brainchild of legendary Colorado music promoter and artist manager Chuck Morris, Colorado Music Hall of Fame was founded in 2011. After attending hall of fame inductions for musician friends in other states, Morris recognized the need to create a similar program in Colorado. After a few months of bouncing the idea around with colleagues and friends, he pulled together a group of volunteer board members to transform his idea into a nonprofit entity, and Colorado Music Hall of Fame was born.
A kick-off fundraising dinner was held at founding board member Jay Elowsky’s Boulder restaurant, Pasta Jay’s, with impromptu musical performances from some of the state’s most well-known musicians, many of whom have since been inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. A month after that dinner, the inaugural CMHOF class was unveiled at a sold-out 1STBANK Center induction concert celebrating music legend John Denver and the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
Serving as home to the Hall for the first few years, 1STBANK Center provided space to display our induction exhibits for public viewing. Unfortunately, the exhibits could only be shared when concerts or events were happening at the venue, limiting the public experience.
While looking for a permanent home for the Hall’s exhibits, founder Morris approached Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Denver Arts & Venues, the agency that oversees many of the city’s largest cultural facilities.
In 2015, Colorado Music Hall of Fame was welcomed as a partner on the campus of Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The Hall’s induction exhibits are now open for free public viewing at the Trading Post at Red Rocks every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Colorado Music Hall of Fame has operated for almost a decade as a mostly volunteer-led organization, employing just one staff member, who serves as executive director.