Guam News - Community Events
Guam - The Guam Humanities Council has announced a literary tour with internationally acclaimed writer Jimmy Santiago Baca, as part of the Guam tour of the Smithsonian Institution exhibition Between Fences and the local companion exhibit I Kelat The Fence: Historical Perspectives on Guamʼs
Themes within the authorʼs works are linked to the exhibitionsʼ subject of fences, which are a dominant feature in our lives and in our history, and are more than functional objects, but are powerful symbols of security, industry, agriculture, and land ownership. Mr. Bacaʼs themes include the American Southwest, addiction, injustice, education, community, incarceration, love and beyond.
Born in New Mexico of Chicano and Apache descent, Jimmy Santiago Baca was raised first by his grandmother and later sent to an orphanage. A runaway at age thirteen, he was later sentenced to five years in a maximum security prison at the age of twenty-one, where he began to turn his life around. In prison, he learned to read and write and found his passion for poetry. Mr. Baca is the winner of the Pushcart Prize, the American Book Award, the National Poetry Award, two Southwest Book Awards, and the International Hispanic Heritage Award.
His memoir, A Place To Stand, won the prestigious International Award and tells of his life in prison, where he discovered the power of language. The memoir is being made into a documentary feature film—examining Jimmyʼs growth from illiterate convict to award-winning poet, the film will demonstrate that there is always hope to change oneʼs life.
Baca has devoted his post-prison life to writing and teaching others who are overcoming hardship. To that end, he published a guidebook for teachers
entitled Adolescents On The Edge, co-authored with ReLeah Cosset Lent, to offer a completely new approach to teaching at risk adolescents (Heinemann, 2011). He has conducted hundreds of writing workshops in prisons, community centers, libraries, and universities throughout the country. He is also producing a Author Jimmy Santiago Baca two-hour documentary about the power of literature and how it can change lives.
The Council will host a weeklong series of readings and discussions with Mr. Baca from August 26 through September 1, which will include presentations with high school and college students, the Department of Youth Affairs, the Department of Corrections, and presentations with the larger public, including a free public lecture at the University of Guam Fine Arts Theatre on Tuesday, August 28 at 6 PM and An Evening with the Author event at the Salon, Hyatt Regency Guam on Thursday, August 30 at 6 PM.
The final leg of the Guam tour of the Between Fences and I Kelat exhibits will continue from August 23 – September 22, at the Isla Center for the Arts, University of Guam.
Museum on Main Street (MOMS) is a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and the different humanities councils in the 56 states and territories, which are eligible to host a MOMS exhibition tour. With support and programmatic assistance from the Guam Humanities Council, supplemental exhibitions are created with their own objects, stories and programs that celebrate Guamʼs unique cultural heritage and inspire community pride.
The I Kelat Exhibit and the Guam tour of Between Fences is made possible thought a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Between Fences is the third Smithsonian Institution exhibition hosted by the Guam Humanities Council, the first being the debut tour of New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music, and the second, Key Ingredients – America By Food.
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