In 1999 a group of returned Peace Corps Volunteers in Portland, Oregon, established the Committee for a Museum of the Peace Corps Experience. The group managed acquisition of objects, organized professionally curated exhibitions, and pursued funding sources.
The Portland committee expanded its membership and vision to the national level in 2016. Representatives from around the country met prior to the Peace Corps Connect 55th anniversary conference in Washington, DC, to strategize how to launch a national collaboration. The following year, the committee gathered for its first in-person planning retreat in Denver, in conjunction with the 2017 Peace Corps Connect.
The group formulated four strategic initiatives: operations, collections, fundraising, and technology. Goals focused on expanding the Museum’s operation and visibility, including logo and website design, accessioning and storing collections, launching of virtual exhibits, reestablishing a board of directors, securing paid staff, and identifying a site for the physical museum.
The Committee supports the three goals of Peace Corps:
- Help the people of interested countries meet their need for trained men and women.
- Help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
- Help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
An institutional member of the American Alliance of Museums, the Museum preserves and exhibits objects, shares Peace Corps stories, and educates visitors, all in compliance with best practices and highest standards of museum management.
The Committee for a Museum of the Peace Corps Experience is a National Peace Corps Association affiliate and a 501(c)(3) private nonprofit corporation neither affiliated with nor acting on behalf of the U.S. Peace Corps.