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Departures: Peace Corps Pandemic Stories

Promotion poster for Departures: Peace Corps Pandemic Stories

Departures: Peace Corps Pandemic Stories

March 1-10, 2022

Opening Reception: Tuesday, March 1, 2022 from 4:00pm-6:00pm


The multimedia exhibit Departures: Peace Corps Pandemic Stories invites audiences to engage with the voice and stories of Peace Corps Volunteers and staff who were impacted by the global suspension of Peace Corps programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between February and March 2020, the United States Peace Corps–a volunteer service agency established by President John F. Kennedy–evacuated over 7,000 volunteers from sites in more than 60 countries.

A short documentary and an interactive map installation feature oral history interview excerpts, volunteer and staff photos, personal updates, press releases and other artifacts, exploring multiple experiences and meanings of departure. Additionally, a virtual version of the gallery exhibit is available for visitors to scroll through at a computer terminal or on their smartphones. An activity guide and other resources are also available for class and group visits.

This exhibit is the first to feature the Evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers Oral History Project archive. Coinciding with the two-year anniversary of the Peace Corps evacuations and the emergence of coronavirus, the exhibit documents a pivotal moment in the agency’s 60-year history, and it chronicles how the pandemic has shifted lives and communities worldwide.

Adjacent to the exhibit is a Story Station where visitors may stop to sketch, write and map their own pandemic pictures, memories and journeys.


Opening Reception 

Tuesday, March 1, 2022 | 4-6 pm

Emery Community Arts Center | University of Maine at Farmington


Project Lead

Olivia Donaldson was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin from 2001-2003. She is currently an associate professor of French and the director of International and Global Studies at the University of Maine at Farmington. She developed this exhibit in cooperation with the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience, Peace Corps Oral History, and the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History–University of Kentucky Libraries. 


UMF Research Assistants

Andrea Bouthillette (English ‘21), Page Brown (Secondary Education–Social Studies ‘22), and Daniela Lilly Rodiles (English & International & Global Studies ‘22) provided invaluable support during various phases of this project. 

Published in Exhibitions

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