DENVER (CBS4)– The week-long Biennial of the Americas celebration kicked off Tuesday in downtown Denver.

The epicenter of this year’s celebration will be at the newly constructed Biennial Pavilion at 16th Street and Wewatta Street.

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The Biennial of the Americas festival features art, music, architecture and symposiums at various venues around downtown Denver.

Gov. John Hickenlooper said celebrations like this one highlight just how important learning about various cultures can be in everyone’s lives.

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“These cultural gatherings, like the Aspen Institute and Idea Fest, the business leaders, foundation leaders, nonprofits, they come and try to hash through solutions to the greatest challenges facing society,” said Hickenlooper. “This year by having the emphasis on now and really looking at biennials and how we’re not going to talk about a 20-year solution, instead what we can get done in the next 12 months.”

The first symposium on style and leadership is Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Opera House.

The kickoff street party begins in front of the Biennial of the Americas Pavilion at 15th and Wewatta Street and features a free performance by the Denver band the Flobots.

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Friday there will be another free Biennial concert, at Civic Center Park featuring the Colombian band Bomba Estereo.