Festival Latino brings in international, Ohio-based talent

CAPA Director of Programming Rich Corsi serves as festival coordinator for central Ohio's annual Festival Latino. This year's festival is set for Aug. 10-11 on the downtown Columbus riverfront. Corsi discusses this year's festival -- Q&A style -- with The Beat.

The Beat: The festival is expanding to include Bicentennial Park this year. Pretty exciting! Can you talk about this?

Rich Corsi: Since (CAPA) took over (festival operation) in 2009, we have been very happy with the increase in attendance each year. Additionally, we didn't have enough space for the number of vendors and sponsors that wanted to participate. So, we decided to expand this year's festival.

TB: What can you tell us about headliners Diana Reyes and Ruben Blades?

RC: Diana and Ruben are both pretty big names in each of their genres. One of our goals is to increase festival attendance, and drawing high-caliber artists is a big help in that regard.

TB: There is some pretty good local talent as well.

RC: We like keeping some local musicians in the mix each year. It's nice to have Ohio-based artists performing at the festival along with the national and international artists.

TB: Of course, there's more than just live music: food, culture and plenty of stuff for families.

RC: Yes. When we took on the festival, we changed the hours and added more children's activities. That was very successful, and this year, we will be moving the Children's Area to Bicentennial Park with tons of fun stuff to do.

TB: Is it a challenge to represent such a broad cultural spectrum?

RC: That's the great thing about the Latin culture -- there are many subcultures within it. But they all share the love of great food, great music, great dancing and unforgettable celebrations!