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HomeTopicsArts and CultureAfter 'FIAsco' Culture Ministry regroups with National Arts Festival 

After ‘FIAsco’ Culture Ministry regroups with National Arts Festival 

After a disastrous International Arts Festival (FIA) last year, Costa Rica’s Culture Ministry announced Thursday it would regroup with another festival that will focus exclusively on national artists and performers in the country’s Southern Zone. FIA will resume in 2017 and 2018.

Culture Minister Sylvie Durán Salvatierra told The Tico Times the ministry is working to re-establish public confidence in the government’s ability to put on the marquee public arts event and others. The arts festival is scheduled for Aug. 5-14 and has a budget of ₡600 million, roughly $1.2 million.

This year’s National Art Festival will be held in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone, an area that encompasses the southernmost parts of the provinces of Puntarenas and San José. Durán said the exact locations would be announced in March. She added that President Luis Guillermo Solís’ administration sees large culture events as a strategic way to motivate tourism and economic growth in different parts of the country. The Southern Zone has many cultural attractions that are little known and the festival could help awareness and greater interest in the area.

Durán said the Culture Ministry is still conducting feasibility studies for the cities in the area that could host events. Specifics are expected in March, she said.

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

Traditionally the arts festival alternates between national and international offerings, Durán said, but the Solís administration decided to hold two FIA’s back-to-back in 2014 and 2015. “That’s been the traditional logic and it’s the correct one. Last year it fell apart so we need to leave it well organized.”

Durán asked people to note that the ministry has hosted several successful events since the “FIAsco” last year.

“[Last year’s festival] was an accident. We have to learn everything we can from it, but look at the last 45 years of events,” Durán said. “We should put things in perspective.”

Artists interested in participating in the festival should visit after March 8.

In addition to the national arts festival, the Culture Ministry announced its schedule for 2016:

  • Enamórate de tu cuidad – various communities between April through June.
  • National Awards – National Theatre, May 25.
  • “Hecho Aquí Fair – Antigua Aduana, July 1-3.
  • International Book Fair – Antigua Aduana, July 22-31.
  • Multiethnic and Plurinational Celebration Week – CENAC and National Theatre, Aug. 24-29.
  • Oxcart Parade – San José, Nov. 26-27.


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