The Biennial of the Americas returns this September 12 through 16. Gathering leaders from around north, south and central America, the event is known as a confluence for the Western Hemisphere. Today the four-day event announced leaders from 20 countries will participate. This includes everyone from Pulitzer Prize Winning author and screenwriter Dave Eggers to Colombian Mayor Federico Gutiérrez Zuluaga. Conversations will range from sustainability to politics and business development. New this year is also a series of “Eats and Inspirations” that gives the public the opportunity to have lunch and dinner with leaders and artists over a panel discussion.

Art is also an important component of the Biennial. With four primary exhibits this year, the featured artists include photography from Brazil’s Guy Veloso and still photography from Gabriel Figueroa. Mi Tierra, an exhibit featuring 13 Latino artists at the Denver Art Museum will also be the main focus. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) will also highlight the artisanal workshops of Jalisco, Mexico in SABER ACOMODAR: Art and Workshops of Jalisco 1915-Now. In addition to these exhibits, the Black Americas Project —  a year-long series of events and conversations that explore the African Diaspora in the Americas — will happen concurrently with the Biennal.

Photos courtesy of Biennial of the Americas on Facebook.

Established in Colorado by Governor John Hickenlooper during his time as Mayor of Denver, the Biennial is now in its fourth year. For 2017, the event returns during a time of political tension in the states and abroad. But the intention of the event remains the same.

“The goal of Biennial of the Americas is to bring together the most innovative leaders from across the Western Hemisphere for activities and events intended to accelerate and transform how we do business and live together,” said Erin Trapp, CEO and director of Biennial of the Americas. “…This year’s Biennial of the Americas promises to convene a diverse array of public figures, global topic experts, innovative artists and deep thinkers packaged into one riveting international festival.”

In 2015, the Biennial hosted more than 100 events. This year the event promises to bring groundbreaking art installations, engaging conversations, live performances and free festivals. And while the full schedule of events has not yet been released, below you’ll find the initial lineup for public events. Tickets and additional information is available at the 

September 12, Opening Day

Mayors of the Americas Panel “Entrepreneurial Cities” featuring Michael Hancock (Denver); Federico Gutiérrez Zuluaga (Medellin) 12 p.m. @ Born Hotel

Opening Night Gala @7:30 p.m. @ Born Hotel 

September 13, Innovative Americas Day

Lunchtime Innovation panel featuring Alejandra Mustakis, Idea Factory Chile, Mike Fries, Liberty Global, former Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukahn and more. 12 p.m. @ Born Hotel

MCA Opening: Saber Acomodar (Know-how) is presenting an outstanding exhibition with guest curator Patrick Charpenel. The exhibition features artists from Guadalajara, Mexico. 6 p.m. @MCA Denver 

September 14, Civic Americas Day

Lunchtime Civic Innovation panel featuring Scott Sherman of the Transformational Institute on “How to Change the World.” 12 p.m. @ Born Hotel

Americas Symposium explores “The Long View: The Next 50 Years of Partnership in the Americas.” Featuring CNBC’s Becky Quick, LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman, Pulitzer Prize Winning Author and Screenwriter Dave Eggers, and more.  7 p.m. @ Ellie Caulkins Opera House

September 15, Sustainability Day

Lunchtime Sustainability panel featuring Secty Tom Vilsack facilitator; Jim Lochhead, Denver Water; Bruce Karas, Coca-Cola.  12 p.m. @ Born Hotel

HAVANA NIGHTS Concert will feature the first U.S. outpost of the international spectacular “Fábrica de Arte Cubano” (FAC), curated by Cuban rocker, rapper and filmmaker Equis Alfonso.  @ Denver Rock Drill project (time TBD)

Saturday, September 16

Site visits featuring innovations in sustainability with Denver Water burn site; Rocky Mountain Wildlife Arsenal and Chatfield State Park @ 8 p.m.

Encore performance of HAVANA NIGHTS concert.  @ Denver Rock Drill project (time TBD)

Editor’s note: The article was updated to accurately reflect the exhibit SABER ACOMODAR: Art and Workshops of Jalisco 1915-Now. It consists of multiple artists, not just one. We regret the error.