In 2009, City budget cuts threatened to end the Festival, but Mayor Michael Coleman approached CAPA to review the Festival model. CAPA, which has a commitment to Latino programming through its Caliente Series and Caliente Advisory Committee, began to talk to leaders in the Latino and majority communities to assess both interest and feasibility. Community interest in the Festival remained significant and previous sponsors remained committed to providing financial support, leading CAPA to agree to produce the Festival on the City's behalf.
Under CAPA's management, Festival Latino was changed to a free event on Saturday and Sunday from 11am-8pm, making it much more family friendly. The 2009 Festival was heralded as a great success by members of the community as well as participants and sponsors, drawing 20,000 over the two-day event.
As part of CAPA's ongoing commitment to the Festival, we will continue to rely on the guidance of the Festival Steering Committee established to help transition the event to CAPA's management. The committee is currently comprised of 20 community leaders and sponsor representatives who advise CAPA on all aspects of the Festival.