Next Tuesday, the second Biennial of the Americas will kick off a crammed four days of programming -- July 16 through 19 -- that promises to run fast and hard, giving you little time to catch your breath. To help you plot your course, we've compiled this list of the Biennial's major events; for more details, visit the Biennial's website, Platform 5280 Facebook page or Twitter feed, @TheBiennial. For further info on the go, there's also a free Biennial of the Americas smart-phone app available from the iTunes App Store.
Symposia: Intercontinental debates and discussions
As great minds of the Americas -- gathered together from the northern reaches of Canada to the southern tip of South America -- congregate in Denver to discuss modern urban challenges during invitational daytime clínicas, they'll open it up to the public each evening of the Biennial to discuss their findings.
July 16: Inaugural Forum: Unleashing Human Potential
This opening forum, moderated by the Daily Beast's Tina Brown, features innovative international speakers, including local success stories Governor John HIckenlooper and media mogul John Malone. They all have one thing in common: They've reinvented industries in sync with fast-changing times, and they'll be sharing their stories.
July 17: Reinventing Communities and How We Live
Arianna Huffington will moderate a discussion on how communities can build on lessons from such historical advances as the industrial and technological revolutions to meet the demands of 21st century concerns, from population growth to the growing importance of sustainable resources. Speakers include Peter Kareiva, Jim Rogers, former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Ambassador Carlos Urrutia, Steve Williams and Alberto Alemán Zubieta.
July 18: Reinventing Business As Usual
The discussion will target changing business models in a world re-emerging from recession. Speakers include Jean Case, Christopher Harland, José Miguel Insulza, Paul Jacobs, Julie Katzman, John Malone and Danilo Santos de Miranda.
July 19: Reinventing Education for the Global Market
CNN's Patricia Janiot moderates this look at what's needed to prepare the emerging workforce for the future through advanced educational models. Speakers include Daphne Koller, Secretary Arne Duncan and John Hendricks.
"The MIne Pavilion," rendering.
Draft Urbanism: The grand tour
The artsy side of the Biennial will also take a forward-looking approach with a series of satellite shows addressing the idea that cities are constantly in flux, with one structural set segueing into another through time. Draft Urbanism, put together by a curatorial team led by international star Carson Chan, examines urban change in many sizes and shapes, playing with the definition of "draft" with references to architecture, creating models and even that favorite local pastime, brewing better beer.
To begin with, these four large-scale installations scattered around downtown Denver will focus on the architectural angle.
The Mirror Stages by Meyer-Grohbrügge & Chermayeff, 16th Street Mall
A series of net structures containing butterflies cover urban furniture along the mall, creating an interactive space to draw in bystanders.
Mine Pavilion, Pezo von Ellrichshausen, Larimer Street and Speer Boulevard
This immense wooden structure serves as a wall-like metaphor for the way Speer Boulevard perceptually distances downtown Denver from nearby Auraria with a river of rushing traffic. In form, it also harks back to the region's mining past.
Skyline Cloud, plan:b arquitectos, Skyline Park
These shady, umbrella-like modules will turn an underused portion of Skyline Park into a more inviting place by providing quiet spots in a bustling urban setting.
The Hotel Rehearsal, Alex Schweder, 15th and Welton streets
A statement about the precious space wasted by downtown surface parking lots, a product of urban renewal, the installation -- a scissor-lifted hotel room that rises from a parked van -- imagines a time, maybe not so far away, when buildings will again rise from the empty lots.
In addition to the installations, artwork and ideas by local and international names alike will grace billboards and other forms of signage throughout the city. A map is available at the website, and stay tuned to Show & Tell at Westword.com for a more complete guide.
Devon Dikeou, "Open Art Fax Line," from "First Draft"
First Draft, McNichols Building
A more traditional gallery show, First Draft, opens on the evening of July 16 and continues through September 2, showcasing a young, emerging crowd of Colorado artists chosen by curator Cortney Lane Stell of the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. Stell asked the 22 artists to create work inspired by the idea of researching and embarking on creative avenues new to them.
Parties and public celebrations
These free events, as described below by the Biennial, invite international guests and the local community to mingle over art, performance, music and free discourse in public places.
July 16: Art Opening -- Draft Urbanism, 7:30 p.m., McNichols Building
Kicking off the week's festivities, the Draft Urbanism art opening will bring together international artists and architects to examine the evolving relationship with the urban fabric our cities. Patrons have the opportunity to meet the curators and artists behind the Biennial installations and celebrate the public art designed for Draft Urbanism.
July 17: Canada Night , 7-11 p.m., Sustainability Park
RedLine, Mile High Connects, Canadian General Consulate and Suncor present Imagined Realities, a public block party in the park that explores the intertwined concepts of energy and sustainability through food, fun, music and installation.
July 18: Mexico Night -- La Noche de Mexico , 6:30-11 p.m., Civic Center Park
The Mexican Cultural Center Denver, Consulate General of Mexico in Denver, Civic Center Conservancy and the Denver Film Society present a free public festival to celebrate Mexico. Mexico Night will be filled with free family activities, including live performances of traditional dances representative of Mexico and finally, a special film presentation of Bajo la Misma Luna (Under the Same Moon) from the Denver Film Society.
July 19: Denver Night -- "Music for Animals," 6:30-11:30 p.m., Civic Center Park
The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation presents Denver Night, a free public event celebrating Denver's unique cultural community. Adam Lerner and Chris Kallmyer have curated an eclectic evening of music and art, including folk, classical, jazz, rock and avant-garde music in addition to video, art, sculpture and dance. Contemporary artist Nick Cave will transform Civic Center Park with HEARD•DAM, a specifically choreographed performance in connection with Cave's exhibition at the Denver Art Museum, Nick Cave: Sojourn.
The event will feature local performers, life-sized horse Soundsuits as well as music and movement in an electrifying and inspiring performance. The live show also includes a dog opera performance accompanied by the Colorado Symphony, as well as a special acoustic performance by members of Denver's own The Fray.
In collaboration with the Denver Film Society, the Biennial will sponsor film screenings and events, some in conjunction with the Cinema Q Film Festival, at the Sie FilmCenter on July 17-19 and July 22.
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