Tourism Grant Supports Peace Corps 50th Anniversary Exhibit

 A $16,000 grant from the Tourism Commission of Oregon City will support an exhibit next spring commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps. The exhibit will open in spring 2014 and will be on display until August.

Martin Kaplan, a part-time instructor at the college and a former Peace Corps volunteer applied for the grant. Kaplan is president of the Committee for a Museum of the Peace Corps Experience (CMPCE).

The exhibit will be displayed in three or four college buildings and will feature panels that include information on all phases of Peace Corps service from recruitment, overseas service and finally the return home.  In addition there will be many examples of art and artifacts brought back to the United States by returned Peace Corps volunteers from their countries of service.

The Peace Corps started in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, who challenged students to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. Kaplan joined the Peace Corps in 1962 and served two years in Somalia.

“I was inspired by JFK’s words ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,’” he said. “I thought if I ever had grandchildren, I’d want to be able to tell them what I did in the Peace Corps.”

The CMPCE has sponsored exhibits about the Peace Corps in the Portland area. The nonprofit organization is working to build a museum in the Portland area that will house items that Peace Corps volunteers brought home with them from overseas.

For more information, contact Martin Kaplan, 503-699-9833.

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