Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Chamorro Journey Stories in the US Military

Guam Humanities Council to host Smithsonian Institution Exhibit Journey Stories, Opening June 26, 2014

The Guam Humanities Council is partnering with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program to bring to Guam the national exhibit, Journey Stories.

Many of us have powerful journey stories in our personal heritage. It may be a story of a family uprooting itself in order to stay together, or of sons and daughters moving to another land, or of a distant ancestor. As part of the Guam tour, the Council has developed a local companion exhibit with complimentary programs entitled, Sindålu – Chamorro Journeys in the U.S. Military, to explore the many significant and oftentimes unrecognized journeys of Chamorro men and women who currently serve or have served in the U.S. Military. Chamorro servicemen and women, along with their families, have moved all over the world, some returning home, others resettling permanently in communities across the country. Their rich and complex history of service, sacrifice, travel, and a sense of place and identity beginning with World War I into the present will be told in the Sindålu exhibit. Unique exhibit programming will engage diverse Guam audiences, both civilian and military, with these compelling journey stories.

The Council worked with Chamorro scholar and historian Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua to develop the Guam - focused exhibit. Tiffany Ruhl, Curatorial Assistant for the Smithsonian Institution MoMS program, will be on island for the exhibit installation and public opening. The Council is also partnering with the Agana Shopping Center to launch the tour and present the opening venue and programs.

The exhibits will open on Thursday, June 26 at 6:00 p.m., at the second floor gallery space in the Agana Shopping Center. This new exhibition project is modeled on three successful exhibition tours the Council hosted in Guam in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, including in 2007 with New Harmonies! Celebrating American Roots Music, in 2009 with Key Ingredients – America By Food, and in 2012 with Between Fences. Executive Director for the Guam Humanities Council, Dr. Kimberlee Kihleng attributes the successful tours with local support and the partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, “Our participation in the Smithsonian Institution MoMS program has allowed the Council to provide our underserved community access to Smithsonian-quality exhibits, educational resources, grant support and technical assistance.” The tour of Journey Stories and Sindålu is made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Sponsors for the tour include Triple B Forwarders, the Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities Agency, the Agana (Shopping Center and the Guam Naval OfficersSpousesConnection GNOSC). The Guam Museum, the University of Guam Micronesia Area Research Center (MARC), Guam National Guard, and Isla Center for the Arts have provided additional support. The Guam Humanities Council is a non-profit organization that provides foundational support and educational programs for the people of Guam. The mission of the Guam Humanities Council is to foster community engagement and dialogue, inspire critical thinking, celebrate diversity and enrich the quality of life of island residents through the power of the humanities.

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