An immersive art experience called Fábrica de Arte Américas came to Denver last week as part of The Biennial of the Americas. This festival wove together art, culture, and community. A once empty warehouse was brought to life with live music, DJ sets, dance performances, fashion shows, and visual arts. The festival took place from April 26-30 2023 and the art showcased each day was different from the last.
On opening day, Wednesday April 26th, I had the privilege of experiencing the world premiere of TLAOLLI, a performance by Pardo Heli of Mexico. This was a contribution of the Latino Cultural Arts Center (LCAC) who said this on their Facebook page of the performance:
“TLAOLLI follows the Indigenous, Afro-Descendant and Mestizo peoples on a sacred pilgrimage to the mountains. We are given colorful corn seeds to share a unified message against racism, classism and xenophobia with inhabitants of Tatei Yurienaka (Mother Earth). Through music, theater, and dance, TLAOLLI invites us to use ancestral knowledge to understand our present. ”
Multidisciplinary artist Jairo Heli along with dancers Angelica Baños and Nandy Luna took to the stage with musician Topiltzin Borsegui for an unforgettable performance.
Sandra Lopes, Curator of Fábrica de Arte Américas, joined us on The Morning Set April 21st to preview the festival with her partner, Curator X Alfonso. I was able to catch up with Sandra Lopes for a walking tour that evening. I also got the opportunity to speak with dancers Jairo Heli, Angelica Baños, and Nandy Luna to learn more about the story of TLAOLLI. Lastly I spoke with Joyce Sanchez, Operations Manager of LCAC who sponsored the event, for a behind the scenes view of what it takes to bring an initiative of this size to fruition and the impact it has on Denver.
Special thanks to LCAC Founder and Chair Adrianna Abarca for introducing me to Heli, Baños, and Luna and for her help translating.