On Wednesday, August 1 world-renowned cellist, Yo-Yo Ma will bring J.S. Bach’s unaccompanied solo cello suites to life at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Ma believes that during this time of great change and divisiveness, Bach’s suite has the ability to bring people of all generations and backgrounds together through the beauty of song. In addition to bringing people together through song, Ma is collaborating on more local events tomorrow, Thursday, August 2 to bring people together through dialogue and speaker panels as well.
Following his Red Rocks Performance, Ma will join some of Denver’s many organizations to talk about some of the challenges that face the region. The topics will include refugee integration, food security, homelessness, urban growth and displacement throughout the day. His stop in Denver marks the start of a two-year social impact initiative for the musician and activist in conjunction with his tour.
Events begin at 9 a.m. at Civic Center Park with performances and remarks from some notable faces from around Denver. Featured at the kick-off will be Governor Hickenlooper, Yo-Yo Ma, Take Note Colorado with Isaac Slade from The Fray, Cleo Parker Robinson and the University of Colorado horn Quartet.
Following the kick-off event, there will be four conversations about culture’s role in Denver area neighborhoods held in Aurora, Westwood and Five Points. In Aurora at the People’s Building, the conversation is intended to provide an opportunity for new Americans to come together with other members of the community to share stories and experiences as well as share some challenges they face, all in hopes of creating stronger bonds throughout the community. In Westwood, the activities will be based around Re:vision’s attempts at building a thriving, resilient community through local-led approaches to food justice, cultural participation and agriculture. In Five Points, community members and local artists are coming together to discuss how the arts and homelessness intersect. They are highlighting what each community member can bring to the community as well as the ongoing displacement that is occurring in the neighborhood. Both the event at Civic Center and Aurora are free and open to the public.
The afternoon’s activity is taking place in Mariposa, where Youth On Record is bringing together dozens of local organizations for a performance-based dialogue regarding culture’s role in creating a strong, vibrant Denver.