Biennial of the Americas Shines Cultural Spotlight on Denver
This September, Denver will once again host the Biennial of the Americas, a highly regarded gathering of top business, cultural and elected leaders from the Western Hemisphere. The fourth edition of this festival of ideas, art and culture – which was established by former Denver Mayor and current Colorado Governor, John Hickenlooper – will take place in The Mile High City from September 12-16 and will feature symposia, cultural celebrations, visual and performing arts, a new “Havana Nights @ Biennial” public event and more at some of Denver’s top attractions.
The goal of the Biennial of the Americas, which occurs every two years, is to create and curate content and partnerships in the ideas, arts and cultural fields, and develop new ways of building thriving businesses and communities throughout North, Central and South America. The four-day series of events will feature thought leaders from 20 countries; it will also draw artists, scholars and involved community members from across the Americas, fostering cross-cultural discussion and business opportunities while showcasing Denver’s and Colorado’s cultural strengths.
“We are proud that this significant event brings so many thought leaders, artists, activists and people of various backgrounds and cultures to Denver,” said Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. “It is an honor to showcase not only how welcoming The Mile High City is, but also to highlight our own diversity and rich cultural institutions. The Biennial’s local partnerships with organizations like the Denver Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and other civic organizations – really validate Denver as a cultural leader.”
The 2015 event hosted more than 100 events with more than 25,000 participants attending the weeklong program of events; this year, organizers moved the festival to September and are expecting larger numbers, since it no longer interferes with summer holidays.
Highlights of this year’s event include the new “Lunch and Learn,” series – public lunch and dinner events with panel discussions led by artists, business leaders and politicians. There will also be a spotlight on Denver’s cultural institutions and exhibitions, including Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place at Denver Art Museum; the opening of Saber Acomodar (Know-How), a multi-artist exhibition from Guadalajara, Mexico, at Museum of Contemporary Art Denver; and photography from Guy Veloso at Museo de las Americas. Concurrent with these exhibitions is the year-long Black Americas Project: The Evolving Black Experience in the Americas, which explores the cultural, political and economic impact of the African Diaspora on the Americas through a series of events around the city. An “Americas Symposium” night on September 14 will feature speakers including Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Dave Eggers, and host of CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Becky Quick.
The main public event, “Havana Nights @ Biennial,” at the Denver Rock Drill project in the RiNo (River North) Arts District on September 15 and 16, will feature free concerts from international artists including hip-hop star and filmmaker, X Alfonso. “Havana Nights” will feature a unique blend of Cuban and U.S. arts and culture offerings including visual programming, dance performances and more.
There will also be events and celebrations throughout The Mile High City throughout the Biennial; and, before and after the festival, Denver’s cultural attractions will continue to provide inspiration and opportunities to be a part of the deep connection that North, Central and South America share.
Kick off Hispanic Heritage Month at the Fiestas Patrias Festival at Civic Center Park
The Fiestas Patrias commemorate the Mexican struggle for independence from Spain, which began on September 16th, 1810 with a march led by Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a priest in the town of Dolores. The celebration begins at 11am and goes through 7pm on Sunday, September 10th, and will feature events for the entire family.
Explore Art, Culture and History, all within a few blocks
Four of Denver’s most popular destinations sit within a short walking distance from Civic Center Park in the Golden Triangle Creative District. Admire one of the world’s best collections of Western art and Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place at the Denver Art Museum; learn about Abstract Expressionist art used to convey universal themes about creation, life, struggle, and death at the Clyfford Still Museum; and take in Colorado history and culture at the Byers-Evans House Museum and the History Colorado Center.
Take in the View from a Rooftop Restaurant
With 300 days of sunshine, Denver is a city that loves to live outdoors. There are 42 outdoor cafes on the 16th Street Mall alone. Huge rooftop cafes at many restaurants around the city offer views of downtown and the nearby Rocky Mountains. And don’t miss the Rooftop at Coors Field – the largest outdoor bar in any sports stadium in the nation that is exactly one mile above sea level with a bar 52 feet 80 inches long.
Denver has one of the largest bike trail networks in America — some 850 miles of paved, off-street bike trails. A perfect way to explore the system is on Denver B-cycle, which was the first bike sharing program in America. More than 700 sturdy, red Trek bikes are available at 84 stations across the city. Swipe a credit card, and for just $9 a day, unlimited rides of half hour or less are included. Hop on, pedal across town, and leave the bike at another station to explore the city.
About VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau
Celebrating 108 years of promoting The Mile High City, VISIT DENVER is a nonprofit trade association that contracts with the City of Denver to market Denver as a convention and leisure destination, increasing economic development in the city, creating jobs and generating taxes. A record 17.3 million visitors stayed overnight in Denver in 2016, generating $5.3 billion in spending, while supporting nearly 55,000 jobs, making Tourism one of the largest industries in Denver. Learn more about Denver on the VISITDENVER website and at TOURISMPAYSDENVER or by phone at 800 2 Denver. Denver International Airport (DEN; flydenver.com) connects The Mile High City to more than 180 destinations worldwide including nonstop service to 24 international destinations in 10 countries. Follow Denver’s social media channels for up-to-the-minute updates at: Facebook.com/visitdenver; Twitter.com/visitdenver; Instagram.com/visitdenver; and YouTube.com/visitdenver.