Denver support for Biennial celebration is growing |

Denver support for Biennial celebration is growing

Kevin Simpson
The Denver Post

It took a while, but Denver finally seems to be buying into the Biennial.

Hatched amid a crippling recession and operating at a fundamental disadvantage – few understood what a Biennial was – the July-long celebration of the Western Hemisphere found potential supporters “rightfully skeptical,” said Erin Trapp, director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.

“Now,” said Trapp, “they understand what I’m talking about. It seems to have penetrated. They’re not always aware of the details, but they know the Biennial is important in our effort to revitalize Civic Center.”

For those who still wonder what a biennial is, it is an arts and cultural exhibition held every two years.

At last count, 41 “cultural partners” have committed to performances or exhibits celebrating the Biennial of the Americas, ranging from the Mexican National Music Conservatory to the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys.

A long list of experts, former heads of state and assorted dignitaries will address pressing issues such as trade, poverty, health and security at roundtable discussions and other speaking events.

Activities at venues throughout the metro area revolve around themes of innovation, sustainability, community and the arts.

On the walls of the event’s 18th-floor downtown headquarters, rectangles representing a calendar of July are crammed with color-coded scribblings as organizers have added art exhibits, cultural displays and other events.

“Nothing compares to the breadth and pure excitement of this,” said Donna Mullen Good, the event’s president of operations and finance. “Nothing.”

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