The Festival of Pacific Arts has venues all around the island of Guam this week and next. The main site at the Paseo Festival Village next to the Chamorro Village is a great place to get started. There you can see demonstrations and art work from all 27 Pacific Island nations in attendance, as well as listen to musical groups throughout the day and into the night. However, I highly recommend checking out some of the other sites as well.
The outdoor stage at the new Guam Museum is a great place to watch films or performances once things cool down a bit in the evening. It’s easier to see and hear what’s happening on stage at the museum than it is at some of the other venues. You can sit down on the ground along paved pathways or stand in the back. There is also artwork displayed inside, along with indoor scheduled events everyday. Proa is serving their spectacular bar-b-que in their parking lot near the museum, and most of the local restaurants seem to be open during the festival.
For a nice change of pace, stop by the Agana Mall to see some of the work by featured artists from various countries. There is a visual arts installation on the second floor of the mall. It’s indoors and less crowded than the festival village, with ample parking. There are also poetry workshops and literary arts events happening at the mall venue.
Many of the dance performances are taking place down in Agat. The downside is that the stage is small and not optimal for the main dance performances. The dances are on the ground below the stage, which makes it difficult to see what’s going on. Also, the sound system is somewhat lacking, so it’s difficult to hear what’s being said unless you’re right up front. I recommend bringing a blanket and sitting down in front for the best view. For a little more comfort, there are chairs set up in a covered area in the shade, if you don’t mind a partially obscured view. There are also a few food and drink vendors at the Agat location.
Both the University of Guam and Guam Community College have speakers, films, and other events on the schedule. There are several field trip opportunities to learn more about the healing arts, tattooing, and body ornamentation. Many of the dance performances are also taking place at the Farmers Co-Op in Dededo. Culinary Arts demonstrations can be found at the Hotnu Bakery in Inalahan. Traditional games take place at Guerrero Field near the main festival village. The Hagatna Library is hosting story telling, book sales, and literary art sessions. For a complete list of venues and events, check the Guam Pacific Daily News for more detailed schedules.
The options are almost endless. It’s a good thing this festival is two weeks long. Even then, it will be impossible to see and do it all. I plan to try my best though!