On April 24, the Denver Art Museum will host the 20th anniversary of the Día del Niño celebration. The day (Día) is dedicated to recognizing the value of children (Niño/niños) and to making adults aware of the fact that—as established by the Convention on the Rights of the Child—“For every child, every right.”
During the twentieth century, wars and economic conditions around the world profoundly affected children in particular. In 1924, the League of Nations, recognizing the injustices and exploitation children suffered all over the world, adopted the Geneva Declaration on the Rights of the Child. This declaration proclaimed that all people owe children the right to, among other things, “means for their development; special help in times of need; priority for relief; economic freedom and protection from exploitation; and an upbringing that instils social consciousness and duty.” From that moment on, the need to protect the most vulnerable members of the population has continued. In 1989, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Read and download the child-friendly text of this Convention.
According to the language in the internationally recognized document, “children are not just objects who belong to their parents and for whom decisions are made, or adults in training. Rather, they are human beings and individuals with their own rights. The Convention says childhood is separate from adulthood, and lasts until 18; it is a special, protected time, in which children must be allowed to grow, learn, play, develop, and flourish with dignity.”
It is in this spirit that the DAM will engage in a globally oriented celebration of all children. On Sunday, April 24, this event will consist of free general admission to the entire museum for the entire day, from 10 am to 5 pm. Visitors will be able to enjoy stellar exhibitions such as Traitor, Survivor, Icon: The Legacy of La Malinche and ReVisión: Art in the Americas.
Music & Dance Performances
Also included in the free general admission is a diverse program of live music and dance by local and international artists. Included in this vast array of talent are performers such Jorge Torres Chavez, who is arriving directly from Mexico City and will share the art of the charro (the cultural root of the American cowboy). Chihera African marimbas from Zimbabwe, will share music from the African continent. Additionally, dance traditions from Spain (Maria Vazquez Flamenco Denver), and Ireland (Celtic Steps) will be featured.
Families will also have the opportunity to enjoy Mexican traditional dances from pre-Columbian times (Grupo Tlaloc Danza Azteca), and the stunning costumes of Comparsa Morelos (Chinelos) and energetic dances of Danza Matachina Guadalupana. The fantastic Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Folklórico will delight audiences with their mastery dances from Mexico. Visitors will be treated to the joy of children’s voices with a performance by Aplausos de Colorado Children‘s Chorale; the Rancherita de Colorado, Johaly López, and the beautiful music of Mariachi Corazón de Oro. In addition, Fiesta Colorado, Colorado Mestizo Dancers, Academia de Ballet Nezahualcoyotl, and Grupo Xochipilli will share their art of Mexican folkloric dances. And, to close the day of performances in style, the Montbello Drumline will bring the festivities to an exciting conclusion.
For those who are looking for activities designed for infants and toddlers, the Denver Preschool Program has invited local television personalities Luis Canela and Jessica Crawford to read out loud the book titled The Little Red Fort by Brenda J. Maier, in Spanish and in English respectively. Children attending this reading will receive a free book, while supplies last. There will be many more delightful ways to commemorate this occasion. Families wanting to keep a memory of the day can have their picture taken at the photo booth decorated by Adrián Marbán and Isabel Medina. At the Storytelling Studio, the demonstrating artist Chris Jones will share his techniques in pen and ink illustration and photography.
Explore the Whole Museum & More
In addition, families can relax and enjoy the entire museum’s complex, its new spaces: Family Central, Sensory Garden, Creative Hub, and the Wonderspace, where the DPS citywide elementary schools art show can be admired.
The celebration does not stop at the Denver Art Museum. Our neighbors at the Golden Triangle Creative District will also celebrate children and their families with free admission and activities at the Denver Public Library, Clyfford Still Museum, History Colorado Center, and the Center for Colorado Women’s History at the Byers-Evans House Museum.
We hope you join us at this marvelous celebration of children, family, and community!