Culturefest 2020 to share international traditions online

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of International Programs (OIP) and the International Student Association (ISA) will highlight the international community at the University of Maine by celebrating Culturefest 2020 online. A Culturefest website will be launched on Monday, Nov. 23, to highlight the rich traditions of UMaine’s international faculty, staff and students. 

The website will incorporate many of the aspects of live Culturefest — food, exhibits and arts — which will be accessible to the public online far beyond one celebratory weekend.

In addition to sharing recipes, modeling traditional clothing, and providing information about their countries and their cultures, student groups are working with local photojournalist, Ellie Markovitch, to produce multimedia projects that vividly convey the stories of UMaine’s international students.

Visitors to the website will learn about diverse cultures through the lens of individual students and their lived experiences.  

The Culturefest website will evolve as new groups share their stories. At this time, 10 groups are planning projects, but additional participants will be welcomed through the end of winter break in Jan. 2021.

OIP staff hope that the live event, which is historically well attended, will be revived in the future, when conditions allow.

“Although we are saddened to miss hosting a live Culturefest, we are excited that this 2020 initiative will create a lasting product that can be expanded over time, and will ultimately serve as a companion to Culturefest long after the pandemic is over,” wrote Sarah Joughin, senior associate director of the Office of International Programs.

More information about Culturefest, including instructions for participating via the website, is available online.