​In 2016, Guam hosted the Festival of the Pacific Arts (FestPac), a region-wide festival celebrating the various arts and cultures of the Pacific. As the host of FestPac 2016, Guam chose 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. 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 participated in FestPac 2016 were 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) spearheaded the organization of FestPac 2016, as well as organized workshops to assist local artists, artisans and other cultural producers tell the story behind their work.

The first workshop, Cultural Design with History in Mind, was held in February 2013 and focused on finding inspiration in traditional Chamorro designs and motifs evidenced on material culture of the Mariana Islands. The second workshop, Intellectual Property, was presented in August 2013 and provided information about intellectual property rights and protections as they can be applied to artists and other cultural works.

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

The history of Guam’s involvement in FestPac and the impact the festival has had on Guam’s cultural identity and representation at the festival were discussed. In addition, the workshop included an introduction of festival protocols and a breakdown of the various subcommittees and chairpersons; lastly, a list of future goals and tasks for Guam by festival participants was compiled and presented.

The Festival of Pacific Arts

A History of Guam’s Participation
By Dr. Judy Flores, Pacific Arts Scholar and Artist
In this presentation, Dr. Judy Flores discussed the history of Guam’s involvement in FestPac since the first festival was held in 1972. Through research and interviews of festival participants, Flores demonstrated how Guam’s perception of the festival have changed over the years from when few on Guam knew about becoming the premier arts festival for Guam’s arts community. In addition, she highlighted perspectives of other island countries and how they changed their view of Guam and the cultural arts of the Chamorro people. She pointed to FestPac as an interesting way to view the history and evolution of Chamorro cultural arts and identity over the last 40 years.

Dr. Judy Flores e-publication

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Hafa i Yota Ginen i Finapos’ta

What We Own is From Our Past
By Toni “Malia” Ramirez, Cultural Preservationist and Historian
Cultural preservationist Toni Ramirez discussed his involvement in FestPac as an historian who has attended several festivals over the years. He described his own lack of knowledge of FestPac to begin a discussion on the impact the festival had on Pacific and Chamorro cultural heritage. He highlighted some of the important concepts participants and planners needed to consider as they continued to organize FestPac for a large Pacific Islander audience.

FestPac Protocols, Permissions and Logo Use

Therese Arriola, FestPac Coordinating Committee
FestPac Coordinating Committee chair Therese Arriola provided an overview of FestPac, including the festival’s theme and logo for Guam 2016. In addition, she discussed the proper use of the FestPac logo by participants and organizers for marketing and publicity. Arriola also announced a new contest/incentive to encourage participates to spread the word about FestPac to friends and family on Guam and off-island.

What We’ve Done and What We Need to Do

Monica Guzman, Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities Agency and FestPac 2016 Programming Committee Chair
This presentation by FestPac Programming Committee Chair Monica Guzman provided information on the work that had been done so far for the 2016 festival and the work that had yet to be completed. A breakdown of the various subcommittees, chairpersons and activities was also presented. Along with the workshop participants, a list was generated of various tasks and issues that needed to be addressed as Guam continued to prepare for the festival.

Monica Guzman e-publication

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Summary Workshop Report e-publication

Written and presented by Guampedia.com

Download Summary here.

Guampedia.com slideshow presentation

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