Chapter 05 - American Samoa Cultural Arts Academy

Chapter 05 - American Samoa Cultural Arts Academy

17.0501 Purpose and policy.

The Legislature finds that:

(1) Samoan art, culture and traditions have contributed greatly to the artistic and cultural richness of the Samoan people;

(2) Samoan art and culture occupy a unique position in Samoan history as being our only native art form and cultural heritage;

(3) the enhancement and preservation of Samoan native art, culture and traditions has a fundamental positive influence on Samoans everywhere;

(4) although the encouragement and support of Samoan arts and crafts are primarily a matter for private initiatives, it is critically imperative that the American Samoa Government also establish as a matter of law, the need to provide for a national institute whereby specific programs are organized to produce needed results for the preservation and enhancement of the Samoan language, a comprehensive Samoan-English dictionary, and the transformation of English words into te Samoan language;

(5) it is appropriate and necessary for the American Samoa Government to support research and scholarship in Samoan art, culture and traditions and to complement programs for the advancement of such art, culture and traditions by private and public agencies and organizations;

(6) current initiatives in the area of Samoan cultural arts and traditions are fragmented and inadequate; and

(7) in order to coordinate efforts to preserve, support, revitalize, and disseminate Samoan art, culture and tradition it is therefore necessary for the American Samoa Government to establish a Samoan cultural arts academy for that purpose.

17.0502 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

(1) “Samoan art, culture and traditions” means, but is not limited to, the traditional and contemporary expressions of Samoan language, history, anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, music, social institutions, more/values, legends, mythologies, and other related studies, research and analyses that pertain to the Samoan culture and traditions.

(2) “Academy” means the academy established to promote and enhance the objectives and purposes of this Act.

(3) “Board” means the board of governors of the academy established under this act.

(4) “Samoan” means any person who is of Samoan ancestry and who actively participates and engages in the practice of Samoan culture, language arts and traditions.

(5) “Governor” means the governor of American Samoa.

(6) “Legislature” means the Legislature of American Samoa.

17.0503 Establishment of academy.

(a) In general: There is established a non-profit and semi-independent corporation to be known as the “American Samoa Cultural Arts Academy”, which shall be under the direction and control of a board of governors established under this act.

(b) Succession and amendment of charter. The corporation established under this act shall continue in existence until dissolved by an act of the American Samoa Government.

17.0504 Board of Governors.

(a) Composition.

(1) The voting members of the Board of Governors of the academy shall be:

(1) Secretary of Samoan Affairs.

(2) District Governor of Manu’a.

(3) District Governor of the Eastern District.

(4) District Governor of the Western District.

(5) Chairman, Senate committee on Samoan Affairs.

(6) Chairman, House committee on Samoan Affairs.

(7) President, American Samoa community college.

(8) Chairman, American Samoa arts council.

(9) Chairman, American Samoa humanities council.

(2) The non-voting members of the board of governors of the academy shall be:

(1) Governor of American Samoa

(2) Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa

(3) Chief Justice of the High Court of American Samoa

(4) President of the Senate

(5) Speaker of the House of Representatives

(6) American Samoa’s representative to the U.S. House of Representatives

(7) Territorial Historic Preservation Officer

(8) Territorial archivist

(9) Superintendent of the National Park of American Samoa

(b) Terms of office. Members of the board shall serve in accordance with their appointments or election into the offices or positions to which they are officially appointed or elected. Non-voting members may actively participate in board meetings.

(c) Vacancies. A vacancy occurs when a member is removed for cause or no longer serves in one of the positions listed in subsection (a). Any vacancy shall be filled when a successor is appointed or elected to the then vacant position.

(d) Removal. No member of the board may be removed during the term of office of such member except for just and sufficient cause.

(e) Chairman and other officers: call of meetings.

(1) The chairman and vice chairman shall be selected from the members of the board, and shall serve at the pleasure of the board.

(2) The Secretary of Samoan Affairs shall call the first meeting of the board no later than two months after the effective date of this act. The chairman and vice-chairman shall be selected at this first meeting.

(3) The board may select other officers as may be necessary.

(4) The chairman may call meetings of the board as he or she deems beneficial, and must call a meeting of the board within 10 days at the written request of any 5 voting members.

(f) Support staff. Secretarial and administrative staff support for the purposes of maintaining a proper records, financial reports and all important decisions of the board shall be provided through the office of the President of the American Samoa Community College, until established otherwise by the board.

(g) Powers. The board is hereby authorized to conduct the following:

(1) to achieve to the maximum extent possible, the findings contained in this act;

(2) to establish a duly organized program whereby the Samoan language is given under study to the fullest extent possible in terms of origin and meanings, diction, grammar, and usage of Samoan words and the Samoan language. This program shall be called the “Samoan language institute”;

(3) to establish an organized program to properly transform as many words as practical of the English language into words of the Samoan language. This program shall be designated the “Samoan-English words transformation institute”;

(4) to organize and establish a program whereby a comprehensive Samoan-English dictionary text be written and compiled. This program shall be called the “Samoan-English dictionary institute”;

(5) to properly screen, review and give approval, support or non-support of proposals that claim expertise on Samoan culture;

(6) to establish a cultural center;

(7) to direct and manage the academy;

(8) to adopt a corporate seal and logo;

(9) to make agreements and contracts with persons, private or governmental entities and to make payments or advance payments under such agreements;

(10) to sue and be sued in its corporate name and to complain and defend in any court of competent jurisdiction;

(11) to represent itself, or to contract for representation, in all judicial, legal, and other proceedings;

(12) to solicit, accept, and dispose of gifts, bequests, devises of money, securities, and other properties of whatever character, for the benefit of the academy;

(13) to receive grants from, and enter into contracts and other arrangements with, federal, state, or local government, public and private agencies, organizations, institutions, and individuals;

(14) to acquire, hold, maintain, use, operate, and dispose of such real property, including improvements thereon, personal property, equipment, and other items, as may be necessary to enable the board to carry out the purposes of this act.

(15) to obtain insurance to cover all activities of the academy including coverage relating to property and liability, or make other provisions against losses;

(16) to exercise all lawful powers necessarily or reasonably related to the establishment of the academy in order to carry out the provisions of this act and the exercise of the powers, purposes, functions, duties, and authorized activities of the institute.

(h) Accounting and audit reports. The executive director, through the board, shall be responsible for the submission of an annual audit report of all official expenses, assets, liabilities and financial operations. The report shall be submitted to appropriate federal and local agencies, and major private donors. The report shall be made available to any person or organization who has an interest in the activities of the academy.

(i) Interest and income. Interest and earnings on amounts received by the academy shall be the property of the academy and shall be expended to carry out the purposes of this act. The board shall be held to a reasonable and prudent standard of care, given such information and circumstances as existed when decisions are made.

17.0505 Executive director of the academy.

(a) First executive director. After the first organizational meeting of the board and for no more than 2 years thereafter, the President of the American Samoa Community College shall serve as the interim executive director.

(b) Other executive directors. No more than two years after the initial meeting of the board, the board shall appoint an executive director.

(c) Duties of the executive director. The executive director is responsible for the administration of the policies and functions of the academy as determined by the board. The executive director shall be responsible for the preparation and submission of an audit and annual financial report which shall include statements of all significant financial activity, as well as its assets and liabilities.

(d) Compensation. The Executive director and clerical staff shall be compensated as determined by the board.

17.0506 Finances.

All funds received by the Institute from any source whatsoever, shall be deposited in an account or accounts at a federally-insured banking or savings institution.

17.0507 Nonprofit and nonpolitical nature of institute.

(a) Stock. The academy shall have no power to issue any shares of stock or to declare or pay any dividends.

(b) Nonprofit nature. No part of the income or assets of the academy shall insure to the benefit of any board member or employee, or any other individual except as salary or reasonable compensation for services.

(c) Nonpolitical nature. The academy shall not contribute to, or otherwise support, any political party or candidate for elective public office.

17.0508 Tax status—Tort liability.

(a) Tax status. The academy and the franchise, capital, reserves, income, and property of the academy shall be exempt from all taxation now or hereafter imposed by the American Samoa Government.

(b) Tort liability. The academy shall be subject to liability relating to tort claims to the same extent as other eleemosynary or nonprofit corporations.