Regional Arts Festival Set for Guam in 2016

Art and History organizations offer workshop to prepare
In 2016, Guam will host the Festival of the Pacific Arts, a regional festival showcasing the diversity of arts and performances from over two dozen island nations and territories throughout the Pacific. The Festival of the Pacific Arts, or FestPac as it is known on Guam, originated from an effort to preserve and develop local art forms and to celebrate and share cultural heritage. It also provided a means of passing on traditional and cultural knowledge from one generation to the next. The first festival was held in Fiji in 1972, and has been hosted by a different island every four years. Guam sent a delegation to the most recent 11th Festival in 2012 in the Solomon Islands, which had over 2,500 participants from 24 different islands including Palau, Fiji, Hawaii and American Samoa. The 2016 festival will be the first time Guam will host this prestigious event.

As the host, Guam will choose what kinds of events to highlight, although traditional performances, arts and craft displays and demonstrations, music and story-telling are often part of the many activities available for participants. The festival represents an important and exciting opportunity to highlight cultural identity and heritage among a diverse group of Pacific islanders, many of whom share a colonial past and have felt its impact on traditional practices and lifestyles. In addition to the artists, there are many other people who visit during the course of the festival to see the various performances and demonstrations and to learn about the arts and rich traditions of the people of Oceania. Guam artists who participate in FestPac 2016 are encouraged to share their knowledge about history and culture in addition to their creative and artistic expressions in its myriad of forms. The Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities Agency (CAHA) is spearheading the organization of FestPac 2016, as well as organizing workshops to assist local artists, artisans and other cultural producers to tell the story behind their work.

Besides FestPac, however, the workshops are also opportunities for the arts community to engage in capacity-building, product development, marketing and product sustainability. In 2014, the Guam and Chamorro Educational Facility (aka Guam Museum) will open and local artists will have a chance to display their works and possibly sell them in the planned gift shop; in addition there are multiple opportunities that already exist for cultural producers to market their creations among Guam’s residents and visitors.

2013 CAHA Workshops

Cultural Design with History in Mind

The first workshop, Cultural Design with History in Mind, was presented in February 2013 with assistance from the Guam Preservation Trust (GPT), the Guampedia Foundation, Inc., local archaeologists Darlene Moore and Judy Amesbury of the Micronesian Archaeological Research Services (MARS), and Dr. Judy Flores, local artist and Pacific arts scholar. The workshop provided information about ancient cultural designs found in the Mariana Islands based on archeological and historical research and introduced as an online resource about Guam’s culture and history for artists and cultural producers. Additionally, the workshop was intended to provide inspiration for various areas of artistic expression. Workshop organizers believe this information will be vital for instilling confidence and pride among Guam’s delegation to appropriately use ancient traditional designs and motifs and to share their stories with other FestPac participants.

To view the presentations and summary report of the Cultural Design with History in Mind Workshop, click here.

Protecting Intellectual Property

The second workshop, Intellectual Property, was presented on 10 August 2013 at the Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities Agency (CAHA) gallery in Hagåtña. The workshop featured presentations by Attorney Vince Camacho from Carlsmith Ball, LLP; Monique Storie, Interim Director of the Micronesian Area Research Center (MARC); Robert Tupaz, a representative from Speaker Judith Won Pat’s office at the Guam Legislature; and Leo Babauta, a popular blogger and author from Guam now based in San Francisco. The goal of the workshop was to provide information about intellectual property rights and protections as they can be applied to artists and other cultural works. The term intellectual property refers to the property of one’s mind or proprietary knowledge and can be a trademark, an invention, a design or the practical application of one’s idea. A useful knowledge of intellectual property rights can help artists understand how their work can be protected or effectively marketed. The various topics covered in the workshop included legal definitions, the use and protection of archival materials, proposed legislation to create a Guam trademark commission, and an innovative approach called uncopyrighting.

To view the presentations and summary report of the Protecting Intellectual Property Workshop, click here.

2014 CAHA Workshops

What is FestPac?

This next series of FestPac workshops entitled, Connect Me | Create Me | Promote Me, offers a more in-depth look at the organization of festival committees and activities, and outlines Guam’s specific efforts to help participants prepare for FestPac Guam 2016. The first one of the series, “What is FestPac?” featured Pacific arts scholar and artist Dr. Judy Flores, cultural preservationist Toni Ramirez, FestPac Coordinating Committee chair Therese Arriola, and FestPac Programming Committee Chair Monica Guzman.

To view the presentations and summary report of the What is FestPac? Workshop, click here.

2nd Workshop: Visual Arts Committee

This second workshop in the Connect Me | Create Me | Promote Me series was organized by the 2016 FestPac Visual Arts Committee and was held May 17, 2014 at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica National Museum. The workshop featured presentations by Dr. Judy Flores, Pacific arts scholar, Ron Castro, Visual Arts committee Chair, and a panel of 2D/3D artists and filmmakers. The goal of the workshop was to report on the progress made towards the festival to date and to provide artists who will be participating in FestPac 2016 with some logistical information for consideration as they prepare their work for display.

To view the presentations and summary report of the 2nd Workshop, click here.

3rd Workshop: CHamoru Seafaring Lexicon Workshop

The third in the Connect Me | Create Me | Promote Me series, the CHamoru Seafaring Lexicon Workshop was held over two days in July 2014. The workshop was a follow up to an earlier 2009 meeting among the Chamorro seafaring community to create a lexicon of terms for various aspects of traditional canoe-building, seafaring and navigation. Presentations included an historical overview of the seafaring tradition in the Marianas and revitalization efforts, and discussions of on-going and new projects among the various Chamorro seafaring organizations.

To view the presentations and summary report of the 3rd workshop, as well as the seafaring lexicon, click here.

2016 CAHA Workshop

Chamorro Cultural Values

This workshop was held in March 2016 to be repeated for all the FestPac 2016 Guam delegates and volunteers. The summary below is the workshop facilitated by Pale’ Eric Forbes, OFM Cap. The purpose of the Chamorro Cultural Values workshop is to provide information about the values that are important in Chamorro culture and to help delegates understand how to conduct themselves as representatives of Guam. Skits, shared experiences and discussion helped to provide possible solutions grounded in Chamorro cultural values such as respetu, inafa’maolek, gineftao and hulat maisa to address problems and issues that may arise during the festival and avoid cultural misunderstanding.

To view the summary report of the Chamorro Cultural Values workshop, click here.

Jump Start Your Art

Marketing, Resources, and Guides

Second workshop hosted by CAHA on Saturday, 24 September. The first session focused on marketing, communications, having an online presence and a review of copyrighting. While the second session emphasized on great community resources and opportunists with stories of success and experience from fellow artists and entrepreneurs.

To view the presentations and summary report of the Jump Start Your Art workshop, click here.