FIA Breaks Attendance Record During First Weekend

    The13th edition of the International Arts Festival (FIA), organized by the Ministry of Culture and Youth (MCJD) and the National Theater, has been a total success among the residents of the great metropolitan area.

    The festival’s producers reported than an estimate of 400 thousand people attended the festival last weekend, a turnout that surpassed everyone’s expectation.

    For instance, Manuel Obregon, Minister of Culture, indicated that they were expecting about 30 thousand people to attend Calle 13’s concert during the festival’s official inauguration last Friday, but in the end more than 60 thousand people showed up to see the reggaeton band perform.

    In addition, the Museum of Art had more than 22 thousand visitors during the weekend, which represents 4 times the number of visits they usually get in a whole year.

    The success of the FIA is due to the diversity and high quality of its activities and shows.

    “We thought of program that was innovative, inclusive, fun, surprising and with a great quality. We have worked hard in getting top-level national and international artists,” said Anselmo Navarro, Director of the FIA.

    Indeed, the festival has something for everyone. Attendees can choose from a wide variety of shows in the categories of film, scenic arts, visual and plastic arts, literary production and boulevards. For example, the FIA offers activities such as dance performances, plays, music and puppet shows, storytelling, poetry recitals, parades, circus art and street entertainment, and others. Several art conferences and workshops are being held too.

    All these activities are taking place at the different locations of the festival in San José, including La Sabana Metropolitan Park on the westside of the city, La Libertad Park in Desamparados, Plaza de la Cultura, the National Theater, as well as several other theaters, auditoriums, plazas, boulevards and galleries through out the city.

    One of the surprises of the FIA this year is the “Environmental Space” located in La Sabana, where nature has been beautifully combined with the work of craftsmen, thus promoting respect towards the environment.

    The stand consists of a 2-metter long fish tank which contains a great variety of fish, many of which were seen in the movie “Finding Nemo,” a serpentarium, and a butterfly farm. There is also an exhibit of bonsai trees, gardening workshops, and a space with products made from recycled materials.

    Since its creation in 1989, the goal of the festival has been to promote the development of the artistic community of Costa Rica, as well as encourage cooperation among the national and international artists, institutions, organizations and companies involved in the festival.

    For that reason, the FIA gathered more than 2000 artists from 28 different countries including Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Panama, Mexico, the USA, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Holland, France, Switzerland, Spain, Israel, Russia, Germany, Bután, Benin and Korea, which is this year’s guest of honor.

    Given the large number of people that have attended the festival so far, FIA producers are confident that this upcoming weekend will also have a great turnout. One of their goals is to break the attendance record of one million attendees reported in last year’s festival.

    If you have not been to the FIA yet, do not miss out!

    It is a great opportunity for residents and tourists to enjoy and celebrate national and international art. Most of the activities are open to the public free of charge. Only those being held at the different theaters have a cost between ¢4000 and ¢10000. Tickets can be purchased at the National Theater, either at the box office, online or by phone.

    The FIA will end Sunday, March 25th.

    For more information activities and shows, visit the FIA’s website: http://www.festivaldelasartes.go.cr/

    By David Gomez