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Lawmakers to probe Culture Minister about International Arts Festival fiasco

May 7, 2015

Culture and Youth Minister Elizabeth Fonseca Corrales will appear next Tuesday before lawmakers to explain the failed organization of this year’s International Arts Festival (FIA).

All party leaders unanimously agreed Thursday to call Fonseca to explain before the full Legislative Assembly the reasons behind the festival’s flop.

The hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday because Monday is the deadline set by President Luis Guillermo Solís for the minister to submit a full report on the festival failures.

Solís said at a public event Thursday that dismissals at the Culture Ministry “are among the possibilities” depending on Fonseca’s report. The president said he hopes the report “will shed light on the causes of the organizational problems that left everyone in Costa Rica disappointed.”

He wouldn’t confirm whether Fonseca’s job was on the line.

This year’s arts festival was scheduled to take place from April 23 to May 3 in the capital’s southern communities of Desamparados, Alajuelita, Acosta and Aserrí. However, the traditionally-successful festival, which started in 1989, angered artists and the general public after many of the major events — including concerts, performances, workshops and artisan fairs — were cancelled.

Improvisation, inexperience and lack of coordination between ministry officials have been cited by many members of the country’s cultural circles — including musician and former Culture Minister Manuel Obregón — as the major reasons behind the festival flop.

Some of the concerts, including performances by Argentine singers Miguel Mateos and León Gieco, and Chilean band La Ley, were rescheduled for June at the Antigua Aduana, east of downtown San José.

Recommended: How Costa Rica’s 2015 International Arts Festival flopped

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