Bruce Mau

Bruce Mau

Bruce Mau Out Of Denver Biennial

Bruce Mau is out as Denver Biennial of the Americas artistic director. His studio says In Good We Trust, which informed the idea for the now month-long event, is still a work in progress.

Denver is still planning to host their Biennial of the Americas and in fact, theyve hired a new president, Donna Good, as well as a communications director and additional support staff. Former president, Jim Polsfut is now the CEO of the event, which has been shortened from 7 weeks to one month, July  1-31, 2010.

I spoke with Bruce Mau spokesperson, Christina Bagatavicius, on Dec. 4 and she told me the decision to remove Mau from the position of artistic director was amicable. and she told me that Bruce Mau is no longer acting as artistic director, that his role to create a vision and blueprint for the inaugural Denver Biennial had been completed. The decision she said was amicable.

“It was in response to the realities of the economy. Bruce has huge respect and admiration for the Mayor [John Hickenlooper],” Bagatavicius said. “Bruce is really excited to see how the biennial evolves and takes shape.”

“Denver owes Bruce Mau a real debt of thanks for his unbelievable leadership,” Good said via telephone Dec. 3.

Mau planted a seed and now Denver is going to see if they can make it grow. With Good onboard, many seem to think they might just pull it off. Good served as Director of Events during World Youth Day 1993 with Pope John Paul II and as Executive Director of the G-8 Summit held in Denver in 1997. She was living in Italy when Mayor Hickenlooper called and asked her to come back to Denver and coordinate the Biennial of the Americas. She did, even giving up a very prestigious job opportunity to take on the project.

“This has more bells, whistles and pure charm than anything Ive been involved with,” Good said. “Denver is the first to try this concept of bringing the arts and culture into the heart of the political realm where they should be.”

When I asked what made this biennial so entrancing, Good gave an example of Denver hosting a fabulous youth orchestra from Venezuela who would perform while the presidents of five different countries watch them.

Good confirmed that 36 countries will be participating in the biennial, four of them will be celebrating their bicentennials: Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and Mexico. She added that they have scheduled 44 different events. And Good wants to engage the region because she says this biennial is too big to keep in Denver. Some hints as to programming include Marin Alsop working with youth and music; environmental work being conducted in the oil industry in Belize; and muralizing high focus buildings in Denver.

Some important dates to watch for: a press roll out in January and a gala on April 8, 2010 to celebrate the McNichols building renovations in preparation for hosting the Biennial. Good also said that theys raised $1 million in corporate sponsorships and that she signed a $400,000 marketing contract to promote the event.

As for “In Good We Trust” the original biennial concept that Mau proposed, Bagatavicius said that it is still a work in process. “We are going to recast In Good We Trust to magnetize a global vision.”

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