Arts festival this year will be a social experiment

The culture ministry is making a $1.5 million bet that cantons outside San José Centro will appreciate culture.

The 24th edition of the Festival Internacional de las Artes will take place in at least 20 locations in the cantons of Desamparados, Aserrí, Alajuelita and Acosta. The venue for years has been Parque las Sabana in San José.

An explanation offered by the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud said that the festival believes in the transformative power of culture and that the cultural process will be promoted in each of the communities visited.

The presence of the festival will contribute to citizen security, it added.

Desamparados has been the scene of a war among drug gangs for at least the last six months.  Alajuelita also is a troubled canton.

The Ministerio de Seguridad Pública announced Tuesday that a strong presence of police would be maintained in each of these cantons.

One principal location will be the new Parque de la Libertad in Desamparados.

The festival announced that it has a 782 million colon budget of both public funds and private donations. Some 75 percent of this money will go to the 300 artists and artistic groups that participate, it said.

The four cantons, despite being near the capital have urban and rural characteristics and development indexes lower than the ideals for a country like Costa Rica, said the festival. The four cantons have a combined population of  364,115, the festival estimated.

The festival will begin April 23 and run through May 3.  A list of artists and groups is HERE!

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