Since 1995, the Ministry of Culture and Youth (MCJ) established the Arts Festival program, with the purpose of strengthening identity, creativity, and coexistence, as well as facilitating a citizen’s right of access to art and cultural manifestations that strengthen democracy and the integral development of society.
Through the Center for Artistic and Cultural Production (CPAC), a Festival of the Arts is produced and held annually, alternating between the national and international versions, with artistic excellence and broad public participation as the pillars of production.
For this 2021, the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado Quesada and the Minister of Culture and Youth, Sylvie Durán Salvatierra, announce the signing of Decree No. 42759-C “Reform of Executive Decree No. 38002-C, Creation of the Centre for Artistic and Cultural Production, of September 26, 2013, published in the Official Gazette No. 220 of November 14, 2013 and reformed by Executive Decrees No. 39629 of March 15, 2016 and 42036-C of October 31, 2019”, which makes it possible for the Festival of the Arts 2021 to be national and, in this way, ratifies the commitment to the sector and the actions to reactivate production and have a positive impact on society.
“With this National Arts Festival 2021, we will prioritize the recruitment of national talent and the cultural particularities of our communities and regions, to offer productive options to the artistic-cultural sector; at the same time, we will encourage the circulation and the linking of its activities to the enhancement of the memory and cultural richness of the country at a territorial level. There is still a long way to go in the face of the pandemic, so we must continue to build together, so that we can guarantee that the spaces for coexistence, access to culture and the diversity of our expressions promote the conditions and alliances for the economic recovery of the sector while maintaining health security,” said the Minister of Culture and Youth, Sylvie Durán Salvatierra.
Together with different bodies, the Ministry of Culture and Youth (MCJ) has been working on common actions and agreements to deal with the situations generated by the COVID-19. As a result of one of the spaces for dialogue with the artistic and cultural sector, together with MPs Karine Niño and José María Villalta, progress was made on this decree, which also opens up participation to “any public or private entity, in accordance with their material and legal possibilities” and enables the Centre for Artistic and Cultural Production “to support activities that seek to increase the cultural offer and which may take place simultaneously or in association with the National Arts Festival, also in virtual or face-to-face format, always in accordance with the financial, legal and administrative possibilities of the institution”.
“I welcome this achievement by the culture sector and this decision by the Ministry of Culture and Youth to support people working in the arts by ensuring that a National Arts Festival is held in 2021. Allocating resources to cultural activities is an investment that contributes to the development of populations, critical thinking and free expression, which are fundamental to democracy and the economy. We will follow up on the management,” said Deputy José María Villalta.
“This request had been raised from the Manifesto of Artists and Cultural Workers, signed by thousands of artists and, moreover, we had included it among the points to be defended in Law 22,163, the Law of Cultural Emergency and Rescue, because we consider these messages of solidarity important and to agree to the Cultural Sector in one of the most difficult moments it has gone through. We hope that this is the first of many great pieces of news that have come about as a result of the work we have been doing,” the Cultural Emergency Network said.
“More than a year ago, a group from the cultural sector knocked on my door and since then, I have made a commitment to them. A commitment that was materialised in a series of meetings and working groups that resulted in bills that are now in the legislative stream. This sector has not only been the most affected by the pandemic, but before it, it was already suffering the effects of being invisible and underestimated as a sector. We are going to continue fighting for them, so that they do not continue to be the ones sacrificed, to generate tools and contribute to the construction of a country that gives them the value they need,” said Deputy Karine Niño.
In 2020, the National Festival of the Arts was held virtually, with headquarters in the community of Barva de Heredia, whose authorities and community stated that they “have a fundamental heritage in culture and history for the well-being and projection of the canton”. More than 500 artists participated in this edition, with around 85 presentations of music, dance, theatre, visual arts, masquerades, maroons, sculpture, audiovisuals and other expressions. Before the closing day, the festival counted more than a million visualisations, giving a wide scope for its first virtual edition.
Decree No. 42759-C, will soon be published in the Official Gazette to enter into force.