Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Mile-High Biennial

Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Mile-High Biennial

Article excerpt

It's the largest and one of the most exciting international events in the United States scheduled for 2010, and it's happening in Denver. Launching July 1, the Biennial of the Americas, will be a World's Fair of art and ideas for the Western Hemisphere.

Throughout the entire month of July, the Biennial celebration will offer visitors cross-cultural experiences through a wide array of art exhibits, live music, and special cultural programming. Emerging talent and leaders in the sciences, politics, economics, and technology will also convene roundtable discussions and policy summits designed to create a shared vision for a more cohesive hemisphere.

"Starting with the Western Hemisphere, we are working to position Denver as leader in fostering a global community," said Donna Good, President of the Biennial. "Through art and culture--a beautiful commonality all the counties in the Western Hemisphere share--we can gain a new perspective about each other."

To get the full perspective on the Biennial, first stop by the McNichols building located in the heart of Denver's downtown Civic Center park. This historic monument, currently undergoing substantial renovations, will serve as the Biennial's main-stage. A team of curators from throughout the Americas is transforming this 30,000 square foot drab office space into a gallery displaying artistic practices inspired by the Americas. These will include art works, concerts, live dance performances, videos and shorts film, lectures, a gift shop, and kid's workshop area that will offer children a chance to learn more about the hemisphere through fun, interactive games, and activities.

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The theme for McNichols is, "The Nature of Things," which comes from a first century Roman poem by Lucretius. The poem is about how we perceive the world and make sense of our surroundings.

"The plan is to take this title one step further to examine the idea of how we explain the world to ourselves through perception with the goal of these observations being filtered through the Biennials four themes--innovations, sustainability, community, and the arts," said Paola Santoscoy, lead curator for McNichols.

After touring McNichols and visiting the welcome center to figure out what other Biennial adventures await you, jump on the Biennial bus tour. The bus will make stops at Denver's finest large and small cultural institutions who are partnering with the Biennial. Each institution will feature a special Biennial exhibit. At the Denver Botanic Gardens there will be three exhibits that focus on the native plants and the shared resources of the Americas, while at the Museo de las Americas the Liberadores/Liberators exhibit will teach you about visionaries who dared to challenge Old World paradigms in pursuit of a new world.

"More than a dozen cultural institutions are expected to participate in the Biennial," said Steve Katich, Director of Arts and Culture. "From a self-guided tour of butterflies and tropical plants native to the Americas at the Butterfly Pavilion to a night out for an art walk in the Santa Fe Art District, there will be plenty to choose from."

Art and cultural exhibits will bloom around the city giving the Biennial a distinct presence but, unlike most biennials, this one has an added awareness-raising component about the Americas with a series of roundtables and policy summits. Some of the hemisphere's most distinguished thinkers will come together to discuss and formulate calls to action for some the region's most pressing issues, like education, poverty reduction, and public health. …

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