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Arts Council program kicks off Flag Day festivities

The American Samoa Council on Arts, Culture & Humanities will look at selecting members of the Territory’s traditional dance and singing delegation for the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts, and they will be chosen from this week’s 39th Annual Flag Day Performing Arts Festival, which opens tomorrow night at the Fagatogo Pavilion.

The Arts Council sponsors the annual program, which ends Friday night.

A total of 29 groups have been selected to perform for the three nights starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday eve — which averages to at least 9- 10 performances scheduled each night.

This week’s Arts Council Flag Day program officially kicks off activities of the 2012 Flag Day celebration marking 112 years since American Samoa became part of the United States family.

According to the Arts Council program, Gov. Togiola Tulafono will deliver special remarks tomorrow, the first night of the Arts Council festival, after welcoming remarks by Sen. Paogofie A. Fiaigoa, chairman of the Arts Council board of directors.

Nine groups and one band — the Mad Hatters — are the first performance for the night. The groups are from public and private schools, one village group and the rest from local churches. The local Tuvalu Association is also scheduled to perform.


Arts Council executive director Leala Pili says local officials are looking at about 50 plus members of an American Samoa delegation to attend the regional Arts Festival this summer hosted by the Solomon Islands.

She also says that they are working on putting together performers and artists, adding that about 20 members will be part of the dancing/singing group, while the rest are for other categories.

Pili said American Samoa will only participate in 12 events and some participants have already been selected, while they plan to finalize the traditional song and dance group before the end of this month.

The local delegation is set to depart the territory late June via Samoa for Solomon Islands’ capital Honiara, where the festival is scheduled for July 1-14 under the theme, “Culture in Harmony with Nature”.


The Governor’s Office is expected to release this week the official 2012 Flag Day program, in which there are two days of celebration, Apr. 17 and 18, at the Veterans Memorial Stadium.

There will be one fautasi from Samoa participating in the much anticipated fautasi race — it’s from Salelologa, Savai’i.

Also invited from Samoa to be part of the Flag Day traditional Samoan siva and pese is the village of Lano, also located on Savai’i island and the Saleaumua village on Upolu island.

The MV Lady Naomi will first bring the Lano group, due to arrive at 8 a.m. on Apr. 11; and it will then return to the Aleipata wharf on Upolu to pick up the Saleaumua group— which will be due to arrive at 9:30 p.m. on the same day (Aleipata is closer to Tutuila).

Attending the Flag Day celebration is a perennial favorite — the Samoa Police Band. Members of the band are scheduled to sail in on the Samoa police boat Nafanua.

Part of the Flag Day program also includes the Apr. 16 official dedication ceremony of the ‘Faletele’ at Utulei Beach, and the Public Works Department crews are busy with final touches to the traditional Samoan fale.

Updates of the month of April celebrations, which include not only the Flag Day events, will continue to be brought to you daily in the Samoa News. Stay ‘read’ for the latest, it begins this week!