Sunday Newcomers Reception
This casual event for first-time conference attendees will provide a quick overview of conference events to help you get the most out of your conference experience. You will also have the opportunity to meet GIA’s board members and staff. The reception will be held in the conference hotel, Sheraton Denver Downtown at 1550 Court Place. The conference Opening Reception will follow immediately after this event.
Sunday Opening Reception
The opening reception will take place on Sunday evening in the Grand Ballroom Plaza of the I.M. Pei Tower. The Opening Reception will kick off the conference in a fun and casual atmosphere, with music provided by front range musicians. A special spoken word performance from Denver’s young poets will close out the evening’s festivities taking attendees into the deep and powerful spoken word culture of Denver.
Film Screening and Discussion
This year is the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans to be sold into bondage in North America beginning in 1619 at Jamestown. In observation of this historic tragedy, conference attendees can join an intimate screening of Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, about the most prominent slave trade trading family in America. Traces of the Trade, a documentary by Katrina Browne, premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival on the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery. The film follows the family’s journey – whose members live in Arizona, Rhode Island, and Colorado – from Bristol to Ghana to Cuba, delving into issues of privilege, responsibility, and race relations in America. Following the screening, participants will be invited to discuss their reflections, share personal experiences of oppression and resistance, and offer opportunities to address ongoing inequities.
Celebrating Cultural Intersections @ McNichols Civic Center Building
On the final night in Denver, conference attendees will gather at the McNichols Civic Center Building at the northwest corner of Civic Center Park for a celebration and dinner from 6:30-8:30pm. The McNichols Civic Center Building is a contemporary hub for arts, culture, and events with a unique activation model that addresses the space needs of our creative community. Through the Cultural Partner Program, 50% of the venue’s bookings are provided rent-free to artists and cultural organizations that wish to feature public cultural programming. This stunning Greek Revival building features a diverse and recognized art exhibition series, and hosts public events, weddings, receptions, performances, private events, and more.
The evening’s festivities will be held on all three levels of the McNichols building, with access to Civic Center Park, where guests can gather together, taste the global fair from Comal Heritage Food Incubator, dance to the eclectic and energetic vibes of two of Colorado’s most exciting artists, and explore the three special exhibits.
In addition, several local artists will present artworks in the Cultural Intersections Artists’ Marketplace, an art fair curated by the Denver Conference Planning Committee. Cash or check may be required for purchase.
Buses to the McNichols Civic Center will begin to depart the hotel at 6:00pm.
Comal Heritage Food Incubator is a lunch restaurant + training program started by Focus Points Family Resource Center, a non-profit that serves families in the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods. Its goal is to provide skills in culinary arts and business as a platform for economic development to aspiring women – many originating from Mexico, El Salvador, Syria, Iraq, and Ethiopia – to maintain and celebrate their traditions through entrepreneurial ventures.