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Published: December 6, 2023
What is Breaking Wave Theatre Company?
Breaking Wave Theatre Company (BWTC) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based on Guam that aims to use theatre and the arts to nurture individuals and build communities. For the past five years, we have engaged in various events that have benefitted local creatives, at-risk youth, and the community at large. Our goals are to use the arts to promote lifelong learning, to improve well-being through self-expression, and to foster a community of artists and audiences. BWTC believes in promoting accessibility for the arts and highlighting the diverse community on the island.
Some of our projects include Unspoken, which we have done for three years. Unspoken is a collection of original works that explore the themes of mental health, substance abuse, and suicide prevention. We believe in the healing power of the arts, and this series has been a great way to combine our love for theatre with our passion for uplifting the community and breaking the stigma surrounding these issues. In addition to this, we focus on fostering the creation of original works, because it is so important that we write our own stories and that audience members can see themselves onstage. Aside from shows, we have run summer camps for teens and children, workshops that are free to the public, and we even most recently traveled to Brazil to represent Breaking Wave and Guam at an international theatre festival. We are excited to keep doing this work with the community and worldwide.
How and why did it all start?
Breaking Wave started in 2018, and was founded by myself, Chris Santiago, Jerome Ocampo, Sierra Sevilla, and Joey Datuin. After graduating from the UOG Theatre program, we knew we wanted to eventually start a theatre company on Guam, but thought of getting stateside theatre experience first. However, in 2018, we had the moment of "why not now? Why wait?" We decided to take the leap, and after getting our first grant, we created the company and put on a production of "Tuesdays with Morrie" that year.
When we started, the arts community was already so rich on Guam - from local musicians, to amazing visual artists, to UOG Theatre, GATE VPA Theatre, and so much more. We wanted to create a space where artists and community members alike could continue to do work. Whether they were students looking to gain more experience, graduates trying to build their portfolio, or even just someone who wanted to learn more about theatre.
Beyond this, we had a dream of starting a creative economy on Guam, because we believe artists should not have to leave home just to get paid for their work. Through the support of the community, we're happy to share that we continue to make that dream a reality, and we're so grateful for all those who continue to help us do that."
What can attendees expect at a BWTC event?
When you come to a BWTC event, whether it's a show or workshop, you can expect to feel at home. We believe strongly that the arts should be accessible to all, and so we seek to foster an environment that is welcoming. From our crew, to our actors, to our audience members, everyone is a part of the family that we strive to build. While a lot of our work addresses important social issues, we believe that theatre is storytelling and theatre is about playing - we want everyone to have fun, be comfortable, and enjoy the events we offer.
Any words to those who have attended or helped at one of your events?
I want to give a special shoutout to James Aevermann, Jerome Ocampo, Joyce Torres, and Hannah Elmore who serve with me as the current BWTC leadership team. Without them and without our past leaders, this would not be possible. It also would not be possible without every single member of BWTC, everyone who has worked with us in a show, and everyone who attends our events. We started as a very small company with a lot of dreams, and we are so grateful to everyone who continues to believe in these dreams.
Published: November 7, 2023
What is Picasso Nenis?
Picasso Nenis is a creative pop-up shop providing unique workshops around the island for children and families to partake in. Each session is designed to engage children with nature and creativity. We have grown into areas of private parties, adult creative classes, event partnerships with other businesses, and children programs. Our newest program, the Nenpire, is a kid entrepreneurial literacy program introducing children (7-13 years) to the world of entrepreneurship. This program includes educational workshops, mentorship and empowerment activities, and culminates with the one of many NENI MARKETS where they bring their "small" businesses to the community.
Why did you two create Picasso Neni?
Picasso Nenis started when we were raising our kids at home and saw a need for children/family activities on Guam. We really enjoyed connecting our kids with nature and creative outlets and wanted to share that joy with the community. From there, we started a business and gained a following and community of amazing parents and children who share the same love for creativity, fun, and our island of Guam.
What can attendees expect at a Picasso Neni event?
Participants can expect a unique experience that is designed to foster creativity, adventure, nature, and fun! Our goal is to spark inspiration through our activities and reconnect our people to our island.
Any words to those who have attended or helped at one of your events?
Each child and parent/guardian we encounter has inspired us to never take the little moments for granted. We know how important it is to slow down, touch the grass, and imagine a world where our children are at the center of our decisions. Our island, our supporters, and our partners have been the fuel that keeps us inspired and going, and for that we are forever grateful for all the opportunities and memories we have created. Si yu'os ma'ase from the bottom of our hearts. BIBA NENIS!
Published: October 17, 2023
What made you create Påtgon?
I created Påtgon Jiu Jitsu Tournament for the future of our local Jiu Jitsu community. I started training Jiu Jitsu at 11 years old — about 14 years now. Jiu Jitsu has a lot to do with shaping who I am today. I was very fortunate to have parents that invested in me to compete in major overseas tournaments such as the IBJJF Pankids, Worlds, etc . I wanted to create that same experience without our local BJJ practitioners having to spend thousands of dollars until they are ready to compete internationally.
In our culture, Påtgon (kids) are valued and it’s everyone’s responsibility to raise them.
As a product of youth Jiu Jitsu it seemed fitting to give back what Jiu Jitsu has given to me by starting with our Påtgon.
What is the goal of this event?
The goal of Påtgon is to create an enjoyable competition experience and opportunity for our local youth grappling practitioners. Our program gives them the tools to grow allowing them to gain the confidence and experience to compete internationally. Ultimately, we hope that our events give them the courage to represent Guam in the highest levels and platforms of Jiu Jitsu.
What can attendees expect?
Attendees can expect a high energy, fun filled, and family friendly event! Family and friends of all ages not only come out to support their youth Jiu Jitsu competitors. They also have the opportunity to experience crafts and activities from local vendors.
Any special thanks to your team?
A BIG thanks to my family and PGE/Påtgon team for staying true to the mission “For The Kids”. They have always had the focus on being consistent and improving each time with our mission in mind. They are the reason why we have nothing but great feedback. A simple thank you is never enough for the team.
Any words to the community?
Thank you to the Jiu Jitsu community and supporters for growing with us. Let’s keep moving and learning together!
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