By Libby Smith

DENVER (CBS4) – Denver will host the Biennial of the Americas in September this year. The ideas, arts, and cultural event will run Sept. 12-16 with various symposiums, working groups, and cultural celebrations.

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“The goal is that people come together and talk about culture, and then, once they get to know each other and build up a relationship and ultimately trust, then they can do business together,” said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

LINK: Biennial of the Americas

The Biennial of the Americas will kick off with a preview party on May 19. Tickets will go on sale for that on March 13. There will be arts and cultural events throughout the summer, and then the week-long festival in September. Business, civic, and cultural leaders will meet during that week to talk about challenges faced throughout the hemisphere.

“I think a lot of what we’re doing about getting better yield out of the water we have, a lot of these innovations that come out of Colorado have direct applications in Latin America, or even to a certain extent in Canada,” Hickenlooper explained.

Colorado trip to Cuba (credit: Biennial of the Americas)

As part of the Biennial celebration, Hickenlooper and 40 civic leaders from Colorado traveled to Cuba a few weeks ago.

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“The experience was amazing because Cuba is changing,” Hickenlooper told CBS4.

Colorado trip to Cuba (credit: Biennial of the Americas)

The Colorado contingent met with entrepreneurs and government ministers while in Cuba and got a good look at what Cuba looks like now.

Colorado trip to Cuba (credit: Biennial of the Americas)

“It’s a decent size country that we should be doing business with,” Hickenlooper said. “They import a huge amount of their food from Asia, from China and other countries. Well, if they’re looking to import wheat, I think we can provide better wheat at a lower price. If they’re looking to import beef, which they do, I think we can provide a higher quality at a lower price just because of our geography, where we are.”

The Biennial of the Americas schedule:

  • May 19, Biennial Preview Party
  • September 12, Opening Night Gala
  • September 13, MCA Opening: Know-how
  • September 14, Americas Symposium
  • September 15, Biennial Night
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Libby Smith is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. If you have a story you’d like to tell CBS4 about, call 303-863-TIPS (8477) or visit the News Tips section.