Summary Workshop Report e-publication

In May-June 2016, Guam is hosting the Festival of the Pacific Arts (FestPac), a region-wide festival celebrating the various arts and cultures of the Pacific. FestPac 2016 will showcase traditional performances, arts and craft displays and demonstrations, music and story-telling. Hosting the Pacific wide 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 and has organized workshops to assist local artists, artisans and other cultural producers to tell the story behind their work. Over the past two years, Guampedia has assisted CAHA in the development and recording summaries of these workshops, which can be found among our e-publications.

The latest workshop was on CHamoru/Chamorro Cultural Values and was held on 12 March 2016 at the Guam Community College Multi-purpose Room, located on the Mangilao campus. The workshop summarized here was facilitated by CHamoru historian and scholar, Pale’ Eric Forbes, OFM Cap. The workshop will be repeated for all the FestPac delegates and volunteers with different facilitators.

The goal of the Chamorro Cultural Values workshop was to provide information about the various cultural values that are important in CHamoru culture. Workshop organizers believed that as Guam welcomes delegates from 27 island nations and territories from across the Pacific region to participate in the two-week long arts festival, it is imperative that Guam’s representatives conduct themselves appropriately and with cultural sensitivity and respect towards the other delegations. Through discussion and skits, the workshop was also designed to help delegates consider the many challenges, potential issues and problems that may arise from such close interaction and apparent (and perceived) cultural differences. Delegates who have participated in previous FestPacs were also able to provide perspectives and possible approaches for dealing with issues, and to promote cultural understanding by falling back on the core CHamoru values that emphasize respect, cooperation and treating others with kindness, generosity and dignity.

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Download Summary here.