In the historic tradition of Venice and Sao Paolo, the world’s newest international contemporary art biennial is coming to Denver, Colorado.
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper announced the city has received a $2 million grant from the Colorado-based Boettcher Foundation to help launch the Mile High City’s inaugural Biennial of the Americas. Scheduled for the summer of 2010, the two-month-long curated event will be a celebration of contemporary art and ideas from throughout the Americas. The Biennial will feature two major cultural exhibitions, one focusing on the contemporary arts of the Americas and a secondary program, an “ideas pavilion,” that will explore themes ranging from science to urban planning. Each program will be led by a respected curator.
“From the tip of the Tierra del Fuego to the Northern Hudson Bay, we will bring together and showcase the best contemporary artists of all the Americas in what will become one of the major art celebrations in this part of the world,” Hickenlooper said.
With three new art museums, a restored opera house and a fresh symphony hall on the way, Denver is already experiencing a cultural renaissance. Hickenlooper noted, “Add the ninth busiest airport in the world and our central geographic location, and Denver is a natural place to bring the Americas together for an exhibition of arts and ideas.”
Starting in 2010, the Biennial of the Americas will be repeated every two years and is expected to grow into a major tourism attraction for Denver, attracting international scholars, art appreciators and collectors, journalists and travelers. Cultural projects and events will take place throughout the Denver metro area, integrating this festival of the arts into the civic life of the Mile High City and the Rocky Mountain region.
“Denver has experienced unprecedented growth in cultural programs and infrastructure, while continuing to raise the level of community engagement,” said Tim Schultz, president and executive director of the Boettcher Foundation. “The Boettcher Foundation is excited to be the lead contributor to the Biennial of the Americas. The Boettcher Foundation’s mission is to serve Colorado residents and institutions, and we are confident that this event will solidify Denver’s position as a leading city for culture in North and South America.”
Mayor Hickenlooper continued, “Denver is a young city that captures the vitality and energy of the Americas through our heritage our diverse contemporary culture. We look forward to the focusing the world’s attention on the art and ideas important to our hemisphere every two years.”
- Funding: Key funding for the Biennial of the Americas has been provided by the Boettcher Foundation, with additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bonfils Stanton Foundation, Coors Brewing Company, and the Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau.
- Anticipated Budget: It is anticipated that the Biennial will cost $5-6 million..
- Curator Selection Process: The Denver Office of Cultural Affairs is partnering with the Western States Arts Federation to create a curator selection team that will be comprised of leading national voices in the fields of contemporary art, Latin American culture, and community and educational integration. This seven to nine-member team will invite and review curatorial proposals for the first installment of the Biennial of the Americas. It is expected that a group of three semi-finalists will present their visions to the Denver public in the summer of 2008 with the mayor announcing the final selection in fall of 2008.
- Cultural Momentum: Denver has seen enormous cultural participation and institutional expansion in the past several years. From the Daniel Libeskind-designed expansion of the Denver Art Museum and the new permanent home for the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver designed by David Adjaye, Denver has become a city for creativity. In addition, the Clyfford Still Museum will open in 2010; housing more than 94% of the artist’s total works. With cultural visitation reaching more than 14 million people a year (according to the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District), Denver is poised for a successful Biennial.
About the Boettcher Foundation
The Boettcher Foundation is a privately endowed grant-making organization dedicated to assisting, encouraging and promoting the residents of the State of Colorado. Incorporated in 1937 under the laws of the State of Colorado, the Boettcher Foundation is a corporation for charitable and benevolent purposes and not for financial profit.
# # #