On September 12th, 2017, the fourth Biennial of the Americas kicked off. The Biennial Of The Americas (or BOTA) is a week long festival celebrating the cultures, cities, and people from all around the Americas. A program started in 2010 by former Denver mayor, now Governor John Hickenlooper, the Biennial of the Americas helps people from all different countries to get to know each other and improve their business and trade relations.
BOTA has been helping countries all across the Americas work productively together since 2010. Now Governor John Hickenlooper, spoke at the opening press conference. He called this event “friendly friction”. He claims that by bringing people together, they come up with some great ideas. So far, it has worked. Since the first BOTA in 2010, attendance has grown from 2 American countries to 20 in 2017.
The Biennial of the Americas has had lots of positive impact on communities and countries throughout the Americas. Thanks largely in part to this program, Colorado has been able to sustain healthy trade relations with Mexico. Also, all around the city of Denver, private corporations, nonprofits, and the government are working to make the culture of this great city more rich and vibrant. For example, The Denver Art Museum and The Museum of Contemporary Art are both hosting exhibits that feature several of Latin American artists.
This year the festival opened with a meeting between the mayor of Denver, Michael Hancock, and a representative from Medellin, Colombia. They talked about how in the last 20 years, their cities have undergone such positive changes, and how BOTA can help them continue forward with this positive energy. Medellin, for example had the highest murder rate in the world 15 years ago, at 380 homicides for every 10,000 residents. Now, that number is down to 8/10,000 thanks to programs like BOTA which give cities the opportunity to brainstorm ways to improve their culture and city.
Now, six years after the founding of the Biennial of the Americas, it is still helping cities throughout North, Central, and South America become safer, wealthier, and, most importantly, happier. So in 2019, come and engage in some of the events BOTA has to offer and enjoy watching change happen, one meeting at a time.