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Let's Put On a Show!

City boosters suffering performance anxiety over the upcoming Democratic National Convention should take heart in the major gathering that hits town today: the National Performing Arts Convention, with more than two dozen disciplines banding together at one confab to share thoughts on the challenges they face — and then sharing their talents with the public at special shows. “We’re so excited about it,” says Peter Russell, one of the local co-hosts (along with Stephen Seifert). “I think it’s shaping up to be exactly what we hoped it would be, and more.”

They started hoping back in 2004, when just four disciplines met at a convention in Pittsburgh. Denver made its pitch to host the next, expanded gathering, with an appearance by Mayor John Hickenlooper putting this town over the top, Russell says, “as a vital, thriving performance-arts community” — and one capable of putting on a great show.

As a result, over the next five days, arts groups from around the world will be able to experience everything Denver has to offer, including 125 different performances, four of them world premieres. And that’s not counting some of the Tier 3 organizations, including the Denver Brass and the Spirituals Project, that will perform in the Galleria and the Colorado Convention Center during breaks between sessions. Or a final performance on Saturday for the 3,000 convention-goers by Dianne Reeves, an international star who just happens to be from Denver. For a complete schedule, go to
June 10-14, 2008


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