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July 01, 2010 - Celebrating the Americas in Denver

What: Biennial of the America Opening Gala

Where: The McNichols Building at Civic Center Park

When: Thursday, July 1, 2010

Time: 5:30-10:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $75 young professionals, $100 Individual, $250 VIP

Honoree(s): Mayor Hickenlooper, Donna Good, Erin Trapp

Presenting Sponsor(s): Xcel Energy and The Boettcher Foundation

Executive Director: Veronica Figoli

Speaker: Donna Good, Mayor Hickenlooper, David Eves


Sponsors: Xcel Energy, The Boettcher Foundation

Gala Production: Holly Barrett

Quote of the evening: Here in Colorado we stand for opportunity and change. - Donna Good

Menu: Light appetizers

Event Coordinator: Holly Barrett

Steering Committee: Darby Donohue, BJ Dyer, Amy Harmon, Joanne Katz, Doug Lane, Karen Moore, Stuart Noble

Blacktie Photos by: Steven Shoppman

 The Consul General of Canada, Dale Eisler, came down to give a speech and he had one of the Canadian Mounted Police cut the cake.
The Consul General of Canada, Dale Eisler, came down to give a speech and he had one of the Canadian Mounted Police cut the cake.

Civic Center Park was created by Mayor Speer after the McNichols building was erected.  His idea was to make a park that would connect the Denver government to the state government.  Inside this park lies the McNichols building that has been everything from offices to a library, but until July 1st was never used for such a groundbreaking purpose.  While the park was built with his vision, the building was not following through with his overall idea.  July 1st marked the re-opening of the building as an exhibit for part of the Biennial of the Americas Celebration and completed the park as a place for connection and thinking. 

This celebration is in honor of the culture, ideas and people of the western hemisphere, and it has been executed with a note of perfection.  With attendees from all over the Americas from Argentina to Canada, it is truly an international event and a great way to finally fulfill the vision of past leaders of Colorado and Denver. The park was originally made to bring two separate institutions together for the State of Colorado, but now Mayor Hickenlooper, with the help of an ambitious staff, have made the park a place to bring the entire hemisphere together.

With artists from all over the world participating in the Biennial celebration, it is off to a great start with the Nature of Things Exhibit.  The building is now open to the public so everyone can come and see for themselves, but the event goers for this gala really got the VIP treatment as the first to see it and did not have to fight any crowds.  Many of the artists and the curator were there showing people around the different installations using everything from reconstituted weapons made into shovels to pennies representing taxes paid by undocumented workers.  The messages from the exhibit are powerful making us all think about how we need to work together as a hemisphere and collaborate with each other.

Outside, there was a band playing a mix of tunes from Latin to American jazz.  As if the ribbon cutting ceremony, exclusive curator tour, and first look at the exhibit were not enough, the Biennial team had another surprise up their sleeve.  The Consul General Dale Eisler was there with one of Canada's own Mounted Police to bring the Canada Day Celebration (Canada's Birthday) to Denver.  There was a cake and Mr. Eisler said a few words.  Listening to him and the other speakers of the night really gave a feeling that something truly valuable is happening in Denver this summer with the Biennial event, and each person who was able to hear these speeches was lucky to hear such eloquently spoken words.

At the ribbon cutting ceremony Donna Good said, "Here in Colorado we stand for opportunity and change."  The exhibit most certainly takes that point home and everyone attending left knowing that they did not just attend another gala event. This one will become a part of history, not just for Denver, but for the entire western hemisphere. 

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