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Mayflower 400 Programme Of Events

  • Some Call it Home, composed by Jonathan Dawe (NYC) and Jane O’Leary (a direct descendant of Mayflower passenger Richard Warren) and taking place at Theatre Royal Plymouth. A moving and thought-provoking music, vocal and visual experience revealing how human destiny has been shaped from 1620 to the present day by our relationship with planet Earth. Created, produced, and directed by Dr. Robert Taub with music performed live by an ensemble from Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, it will feature the international soloists, Grammy-nominated baritone Randall Scarlata and soprano Deborah York. (24 & 25 March 2020)
  • Wampum: Stories from the Shells of Native America, the first commission from the UK to acknowledge the cultural connection to the Wampanoag people. A collaboration between the Wampanoag Nation, The Box and the British Museum in which members of the Wampanoag will create a new Wampum traditional shell belt. This intricate handmade artefact, which has a rich cultural significance for the Wampanoag people, will tour to Lincoln, London, Southampton and Plymouth, accompanied by historic material from the British Museum’s collection. (3 April – 24 October 2020)
  • Mayflower 400: Legend & Legacy, a flagship exhibition at The Box, Plymouth’s new multi-million pound cultural and heritage centre, which is set to open in Spring 2020. Curated by Jo Loosemore in partnership with the Wampanoag Native American Advisory Committee, and with the help of over 100 museums, libraries and archives from across the UK, the US and the Netherlands, this exhibition will present an epic journey of survival and imagination, told through objects, images and ideas from both sides of the Atlantic. (Spring 2020 – Autumn 2021)
  • This Land, a major new work of international, community theatre that wrestles with the history surrounding the voyage of the Mayflower and the impact of its arrival on the shores of Massachusetts. Performed and created by citizens of Plymouth UK and members of the Wampanoag Tribe from Massachusetts USA, with text by Nick Stimson and songs written and performed by Seth Lakeman. Directed by Alan Lane from Slung Low Company and produced by Theatre Royal Plymouth. (16 – 20 June 2020)
  • Settlement, a collaborative concept between Plymouth-based collective the Conscious Sisters and Native American artist Cannupa Hanska Luger. 20 Native American artists will present and live in a radical, large-scale installation of public art in Plymouth’s Central Park. The artists will explore colonialism and the deep effects it has had on indigenous people. Settlement will be designed by indigenous artists with the structure created by builders, makers and artists from Plymouth and the USA. A four-week long engagement programme for all to take part in will accompany the exhibition. (6 July to 2 August 2020)
  • Pilgrim Woman, a new sculpture by artist and sculptor Rachel Carter which will feature a Tudor-style dress with woven panels created by Carter in workshops with women’s groups based in the Pilgrim Roots areas of the UK. The dress, with Rachel wearing it, has been digitally scanned and will be cast in bronze and revealed in a location within the Pilgrim Roots region in 2020.

Pilgrim Woman has been influenced by the Nottingham textile trade and the practices of the Wampanoag People who traditionally wore decorative items such as belts, neck ware and cuffs depicting stories and family symbols. (Summer 2020)

  • Southampton’s Anniversary Weekend,family activities including the reveal of the newly restored Mayflower Monument; Parade of Sail; Mayflower themed musical and dance productions at the Mayflower Theatre; historical events at God’s House Tower; and activities at SeaCity Museum as part of Wampum: Stories from the Shells of Native America. (14-16 August 2020)
  • Mayflower Four Nations Ceremony, a civic ceremony attended by representatives from the UK, the US, the Netherlands and the Wampanoag nations, 400 years to the day the passengers left. This will be the culmination of Mayflower Week, which will also include a visit from Matthew, a replica 15th century tall ship and a spectacular gathering of military ships from the US, Netherlands and UK at Plymouth Sound for a Mayflower Muster. (16 September 2020)
  • From the Few to the Many, a global arts film created by international award-winning artist Hetain Patel (recipient of the 2019 Film London Jarman award) and young people in the Pilgrim Roots region. This new commission will explore how the few who set sail on the Mayflower in 1620 have become a global community of 30million descendants today. (November 2020)
  • Illuminate 2020, a multi-city light festival taking place across the UK in Mayflower 400 compact partner destinations, featuring new light art commissions and an original choral commission in response to the Mayflower values. (November 2020)
  • Mayflower 400 tours - a collection of themed scheduled and fully customisable tours launched for visitors to learn more about the Pilgrims’ lives in England before they set sail from Plymouth as well as sharing insights into the Mayflower journey. Tours will include The Pilgrim Roots region, with expert guides and visits to the key historic sites related to the story including Boston Guildhall - where visitors can sit in the cells where the Pilgrims were held – a new exhibition exploring the relationship between Gainsborough and the Mayflower Pilgrimsup at Gainsborough Old Hall and the new Pilgrims Gallery in Retford. All tours visit Plymouth, and can include London and further UK Mayflower destinations. (2020)
  • Pilgrim Roots Heritage Project, which will link key Pilgrims’ sites across North Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire and feature the new Pilgrims Gallery, which has received £450k National Lottery Heritage Fund funding. New exhibitions will tour the region at Boston Guildhall, Gainsborough Old Hall and Immingham Museum (2020)
  • Challenging the Myth, a cultural programme in Gainsborough funded by £100k from Arts Council England which will re-imagine the Pilgrims’ story for today through performance, music, storytelling, exhibitions, writing and radio. (2020)
  • ‘Pilgrim 400’ Apple Project, for which a brand new apple variety has been grown in Nottinghamshire by horticulturalist and BBC radio gardening correspondent John Stirland to commemorate 400 years since the sailing of the Mayflower to America. Twenty special variety apple trees have been grown as gifts to destinations linked to the Mayflower story across the UK and the US. The first of these trees was planted in Scrooby, North Nottinghamshire, in September 2019