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, 23 November highlight the rich traditions of UMaines’s international faculty, staff and students.

The website will cover many aspects of Foodfest live food, exhibitions and arts, which will be accessible to the online public beyond a festive weekend.

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

Visitors to the website will learn about different cultures through individual student lenses and their lived experiences.

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

The OIP staff hopes that the live event, which is quite historically followed, will be revived in the future, when conditions allow.

Although we are saddened to lose holding a Culturefest live, we are excited that this 2020 initiative will create a sustainable product that can expand over time and ultimately serve as a long-time Culturefest companion after the pandemic is over, wrote Sarah Joughin, associate senior director of the Office of International Programs.

More information about Culturefest, including participation guidelines through the website, is available in the Internet.