Biennial of the Americas 2015 Announces Schedule, Begins to Fill in the Blanks

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The last two incarnations of Denver’s hemispheric Biennial of the Americas have caught a lot of flak for a variety of reasons. But the team programming this year’s event has been hard at at work for many months now conceiving a Biennial with lasting power and a theme that couldn’t be more relevant: Now! Ideas director Meegan Moszynski and artistic director/curator Lauren Wright say it’s been a true collaboration from the start, which already sets this Biennial apart from its predecessors.

“Since it is neither a traditional biennial that is just about art, nor is it a conference, we’re trying to bring both fields together to address issues,” Moszynski explains. And as a team, she and Wright are looking to be very specific about current Western world issues — “energy reforms in Mexico or public spaces in Cuba,” as Wright describes — while sending audiences home seeing things in a new light.

“We want to have a conversation that really crosses borders, that will affect lots of people at once,” Wright adds. “We encourage people to reflect on these situations and look sideways at the world.” This Biennial, they hope, will have people looking at their world in the moment.

To that end, Moszynski cites three major symposia — Generation NOW!: New Leadership for a New World, Business NOW!: The Case for a New North-South Vision and Community NOW!: Legalization: The Next Phase in the War on Drugs? — as central to the flow of the Biennial, while Wright calls her major exhibit Now? NOW!, which will unfold at MCA Denver, “the intellectual heart of program.”

Although the symposium panelists haven’t been pinned down yet, Moszynski leaks one name: journalist Tina Brown, who will be returning for her second BotA appearance. New this year: a Biennial central pavilion, where the spirit of the event will carry on throughout the summer, beyond the opening week. And the popular public party in Civic Center Park — this year called a Festival of Now! — will bring the whole city together once again.

Get out your calendars: Here's the opening week schedule for Biennial of the Americas 2015, July 14-17.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Generation NOW!: New Leadership for a New World
Symposium Panel: 7 p.m. at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House

The Generation NOW! symposium panel will explore new priorities and approaches to participation in business, civic and social life that are fueled by evolving technologies, methods of learning and interaction. Speakers and moderators to be announced soon.

Biennial Pavilion Opening Celebration
Evening, Location TBA
Activities daily from July 14-18, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Open to the public on weekends, July 19 - August 30, 2015

The Biennial Pavilion is a free drop-in site, featuring engaging and accessible programming, talks and events created with collaborating organizations from Denver and the Front Range. Additionally, the Pavilion will feature an exhibition created by Mexico City cultural practitioners, curated by the curatorial collective de_sitio.

Denver International Airport Public Art Installation
Main Terminal
Opening Event TBA
Continues through August 30, 2015

A major new artwork will enliven Jeppesen Terminal. This large-scale temporary commission, involving live performance, video, sound and sculptural installations, will highlight the site’s complex and evolving architecture, functions and dynamics and its relationship with neighboring communities. Featured Artist: Erick Meyenberg (Mexico City)

Downtown Denver and Mexico City Public Art Installations
Locations and times to be announced in late Spring 2015
Continues through August 30, 2105

An ambitious two-sited temporary artwork will be located in prominent public areas in Downtown Denver and in Mexico City. These works will invite the public to imagine and experience a relation between the two cities across time and space. More information on times and locations will be provided in May. Presented with support from the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation.
Featured Artist: Marcela Armas (San Miguel de Allende and Mexico City, Mexico)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Business NOW!: The Case for a New North-South Vision
Symposium Panel: 7 p.m. at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House

The Business NOW! symposium panel will seek the next big idea for trade in the Americas, exploring the strategies, tools and policies that can jumpstart business growth in the hemisphere. Speakers and moderators to be announced soon.

Now? NOW! Opening celebration
Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
Opening celebration 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Exhibition open to the public July 14 – August 30, 2015

Now? NOW! is the central art exhibition of the Biennial of the Americas. MCA Denver returns as a key cultural partner to the Biennial. Artists from across the hemisphere explore the nature of the present, imaginatively responding to pressing issues and capturing the atmosphere of our time. Featured artists to be announced soon.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Community NOW!: Legalization: The Next Phase in the War on Drugs?
Symposium Panel: 7 p.m. at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House

This symposium panel will examine how illicit drug markets affect communities in the Americas and will explore effective approaches to legalization and policy. Speakers and moderators to be announced soon.

Biennial Ambassadors Residency Exhibition Opening Celebration
Boettcher Cultural Pavilion at McNichols Building
Opening celebration 9-11 p.m. 
Exhibition open to the public July 14 – 31, 2015

This exhibition features work created during Biennial Ambassadors residencies in Denver and Mexico City. Organized in collaboration with ArtPlant, Denver and SOMA, Mexico City. Featured artists: Cristobal Gracia (Mexico City), Daniel Monroy Cuevas (Mexico City), Melissa Furness (Denver), Mathew Scobey (Denver).

Friday, July 17, 2015

Special Presentation: The Return of the City-State: Security, Growth and Urbanization
Location and Time to be Announced in late Spring

This panel will convene Mayors and former Mayors from across the Western Hemisphere to discuss the growing importance of local leadership in relation to national and international issues. Hosted by Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock

Festival of NOW!
Free Evening Festival in Civic Center Park

Festival of music and performance celebrating the Biennial of the Americas and our dynamic present, featuring some of the most exciting artists from throughout the hemisphere. Featured artists to be announced soon.

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