Biennial of Americas rumbas into the Mile High City

The 2010 Biennial of the Americas kicks off July 1, beginning a month-long celebration of the culture, art, music and ideas of the Western Hemisphere. Hosted by the City of Denver, the first-of-its-kind festival offers a cross-cultural experience filled with art exhibitions, concerts, food, film and dance, all celebrating the 35 countries of the Americas.

"This is an exciting time for our hemisphere with Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Argentina each celebrating its bicentennial in 2010, and the Organization of American States celebrating its centennial," states Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. "This is the perfect time to bring together artists, musicians, thinkers, businessmen, scholars, filmmakers, and leaders to celebrate the rich culture and amazing creativity of the Americas."

The international event also includes a speakers series titled "The Americas Roundtable," that offers a public dialogue on topics ranging from energy to climate change. Speakers include former heads of state from Mexico, Brazil, Peru and Argentina.

Concerts will fill the Mile High City with the music of the Americas, offering everything from hot Latin bands like Panama's Horacio Valdes to a steel drum workshop with Ray Holman, renowned steel drum performer from Trinidad and Tobago.

At the center of the celebration's visual arts is The Nature of Things, a 24-artist exhibition at the restored McNichols Building in Denver's beautiful Civic Center Park. A variety of the city's museums, including the Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Butterfly Pavilion, and Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, will host special tours, exhibitions, and other events throughout the month.

Twenty-six restaurants will offer a series of themed happy hours, fine-dining feasts, and wine pairings exploring the tastes of food and drink that originated in the Americas.

"During the entire month of July, visitors will be able to choose from a diverse program schedule ranging from concerts by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra to public art installations by renowned artists such as Janet Echelman to discussions with world leaders, all celebrating the culture of the Americas," said Richard Scharf, president & CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. "We also have incredible hotel rates and packages, and blockbuster events including the King Tut exhibit at Denver Art Museum, Body Worlds at Denver Museum of Nature & Science, two-ton sculptures by Henry Moore displayed in Denver Botanic Gardens, and a myriad of festivals filling our streets and cultural facilities. This truly is an extraordinary time to visit the Mile High City."

Two special events of international importance will include a Summit of Bilateral Ambassadors luncheon on July 8 and a Summit of Former Heads of State as a roundtable on July 12.

Energy Effects: Art and Artifacts From the Landscape of Glorious Excess is a large-scale exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver exploring the relationship between energy and aesthetic power. Expanding the definition of energy, this exhibition presents a variety of ways that creativity advocates energy expenditure, including the arresting sculpture from Mexican artist, Gonzalo Lebrija, featuring a Chevy Malibu suspended perpendicularly into a man-made lake in downtown Denver.