2017 Bi­en­nial re­veals no­table names, tick­ets

The Denver Post - - FEATURES - By John Wen­zel John Wen­zel: 303-954-1642, jwen­zel@den­ver­post.com or @john­wen­zel

Cul­tural, po­lit­i­cal and busi­ness lead­ers from more than 20 coun­tries will re­turn to Den­ver Sept. 12-16 for the fourth Bi­en­nial of the Amer­i­cas, an arts and pol­icy fes­ti­val that seeks to unite many of the West­ern Hemi­sphere’s most vi­brant thinkers and cre­ators.

A good chunk of the pro­gram­ming for the 2017 Bi­en­nial, which was es­tab­lished in 2010 by Gov. John Hick­en­looper (then mayor of Den­ver), is open to the pub­lic, with a mix of on­go­ing art ex­hibits, pan­els, sym­po­siums and fes­ti­val-end­ing cul­tural per­for­mances.

And if past Bi­en­ni­als are any in­di­ca­tion, many of th­ese ses­sions — mod­eled in part af­ter the an­nual World Eco­nomic Fo­rum in Davos, Switzer­land, the Venice Bi­en­nale and the Aspen Ideas Fes­ti­val — will fill up fast.

“This year’s Bi­en­nial of the Amer­i­cas prom­ises to con­vene a di­verse ar­ray of pub­lic fig­ures, global topic ex­perts, in­no­va­tive artists and deep thinkers pack­aged into one riv­et­ing in­ter­na­tional fes­ti­val,” said Erin Trapp, CEO and direc­tor of the Bi­en­nial, in a press state­ment.

The 2015 Bi­en­nial hosted more than 100 events and at­tracted 25,000 par­tic­i­pants, ac­cord­ing to Bi­en­nial of­fi­cials.

High­lights of this year in­clude four ma­jor art ex­hibits: the Latino-fo­cused “Mi Tierra” at the Den­ver Art Mu­seum; “Saber Aco­modar,” an ex­plo­ration of artistry and craft­man­ship in Guadalajara, Mex­ico, at the Den­ver Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art; video and still pho­tog­ra­phy from renowned cin­e­matog­ra­pher Gabriel Figueroa at the McNi­chols Build­ing; and “Pen­i­tents: World End Rit­u­als of Faith,” fea­tur­ing the work of Brazil­ian pho­tog­ra­pher Guy Veloso.

In ad­di­tion to lunchtime pan­els fea­tur­ing po­lit­i­cal and busi­ness lead­ers, in­clud­ing Den­ver Mayor Michael Hancock, one of this year’s big­gest events is the Sept. 14 Amer­i­cas Sym­po­sium at the El­lie Caulkins Opera House, which in­cludes Pulitzer Prizewin­ning writer Dave Eg­gars, CNBC’s Becky Quick, LinkedIn’s Reid Hoff­man and oth­ers.

The fes­ti­val closes out with the Sept. 15-16 “Ha­vana Nights” shows, fea­tur­ing the first U.S. ap­pear­ance of “Fábrica de Arte Cubano,” cu­rated by Cuban rocker, rap­per and film­maker Equis Al­fonso. The con­cert will in­clude per­for­mances and ex­hi­bi­tions of dance, mu­sic and vis­ual art at the new Den­ver Rock Drill project, at the in­ter­sec­tion of the RiNo and Cole neigh­bor­hoods (within walk­ing dis­tance to the 38th and Blake RTD sta­tion).

The full lineup, fes­ti­val regis­tra­tion and in­di­vid­ual tick­ets are avail­able at bi­en­ni­aloftheam­er­i­cas.org. Tick­ets range from $10 for the sym­po­sium and “Ha­vana Nights” to $50 for the lunch se­ries. Full day pack­ages are $125.

Karl Gehring, Den­ver Post file

Mem­bers of the Lisa Tru­jillo Dance Academy per­form dur­ing Mex­ico Night in Civic Cen­ter Park as part of the 2013 Bi­en­nial of the Amer­i­cas.

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