Article and Photos by Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media (see photo gallery below)
The 2017 edition of the Biennial of the Americas kicked off last night at the Seawell Grand Ballroom in Denver with an opening gala that brought together nearly 500 participants from around the Americas to celebrate a four day long festival of ideas, art and culture. The festival assembles the most dynamic leaders in the arts, business, government, civic life and philanthropy to examine the critical issues impacting life across the Western Hemisphere.
During a morning press conference Colorado Governor Johh Hickenlooper welcomed the festival to Denver calling it a one of kind gathering anywhere in the world. The governor also talked about the advantages of doing trade with the rest of Latin America including Cuba, Mexico and Colombia. “I am open to reviewing trade agreements with these countries. There are always winners and losers but they can always be made better to the benefit of everyone.” said the Governor.
At the evening gala the governor was recognized with a proclamation in appreciation as the founder of the Biennial of Americas in 2010 while he was Mayor of Denver.
Feature speaker, Brian Winter, editor-in-chief of Americas Quarterly magazine and the vice president for policy at Americas Society/Council of the Americas and a leading expert on Latin America talked about the widespread corruption in several Latin American countries pointing out the criminal activity of several top government officials in those countries.
Winter did not touch upon corruption in the United States nor the Trump scandels other than to say that Trump’s low 37% approval rating was still higher than the leaders of the other countries he cited.
Second only to Argentine President Mauricio Macri who enjoys a 50% approval rating. Joe Salazar, a member of the Colorado House of Representatives, said Winter may have shied away from the topic given the make up of the people in the room.
The Biennial continues today with a Lunchtime Innovation panel featuring Alejandra Mustakis, Idea Factory Chile, Mike Fries, Liberty Global, JB Holston, University of Denver, former Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukahn
This evening at 6pm The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver is presenting an outstanding exhibition with guest curator Patrick Charpenel. The exhibition features artists from Guadalajara, Mexico.
See the complete schedule of events at BiennialoftheAmericas.org
Photos by Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media