Illuminate low res

Mayflower 400 Programme Sets Sail

As we are now in 2020, the Mayflower 400 programme happening across Plymouth and further afield is now fully underway. See the press release below from the Mayflower team.

A year-long four nation commemoration programme, involving the UK, USA, Netherlands and Wampanoag nations, will commemorate and explore the 400 year anniversary of the journey and impact of one of history’s most famous ships, The Mayflower.

  • A world class public art and cultural programme funded by, amongst others, £1.7million from Arts Council England and £500k from the Treasury/DCMS
  • Projects developed in collaboration with Wampanoag and wider Native American tribes include a Theatre Royal Plymouth production This Land; a major commission, Wampum Belt and contemporary art installation, Settlement
  • Commemorations will take place in 13 compact partner destinations across the UK (Austerfield, Scrooby & Babworth, Gainsborough, Boston, Immingham, Worcestershire; Chorley, Harwich, Southwark, City of London, Southampton, Dartmouth and Plymouth) and internationally in the USA and the Netherlands

To coincide with Thanksgiving 2019, the Mayflower compact partnership announced details of the Mayflower 400 programme. A commemorative year of events and exhibitions around the destinations central to the Mayflower story will mark the 400th anniversary of the 1620 journey undertaken by 102 passengers and crew to the ‘new world’ of America. To mark the day the ship set sail, a major four nations public ceremony will take place on 16 September 2020 in Plymouth.

H TDJH6lr 400x400

In the UK, Mayflower 400 will bring together destinations from across the UK where Mayflower history was written, including Austerfield, Doncaster; Scrooby & Babworth, Nottinghamshire; Gainsborough, Lincolnshire; Boston, Lincolnshire; Immingham, Lincolnshire; Worcestershire; Chorley, Lancashire; Harwich, Essex; Southwark, London; City of London, London; Southampton, Hampshire; Dartmouth, Devon and Plymouth, Devon. Plymouth was the Mayflower’s final departure point in the UK and the city is the lead partner in the commemorations.

The Mayflower 400 commemoration will reflect all aspects of this story and central to the programme will be the collaboration with the Wampanoag nation, who have inhabited present day Massachusetts and Eastern Rhode Island for more than 12,000 years. From aiding the survival of those who made the journey 400 years ago, to understanding the impact of colonisation on the Native American people, their involvement in the Mayflower narrative is critical.

Mayflower 400 recognises that 28 November has become a National Day of Mourning for Native American nations and will address the ongoing impact of colonialism. Members of the Wampanoag Advisory Committee have been involved in developing the Mayflower 400 programme and through events including This Land and Wampum Belt, they will tell the story of the arrival of the Mayflower passengers in their own words.

Illuminate low res

Paula Peters, from the Mayflower 400 Wampanoag Advisory Committee, said: “The Mayflower story cannot honestly be told without including the Wampanoag nation and the devastating impact of colonization on indigenous people. We are grateful to have been invited to contribute our historical and cultural knowledge to this commemoration unencumbered by centuries of marginalization and uncensored by contemporary event planners. Exhibits, events and activities produced by the Wampanoag or developed under our guidance will challenge what you may think you know about colonization in a very authentic, and we hope thought provoking way. But the biggest takeaway we hope you discover is that we are still here.”

The Mayflower 400 programme has been informed by the four key Mayflower values: freedom, humanity, imagination and future. The majority of events will be free for people to attend and enjoy.

Highlights from the Mayflower 400 programme can be found on our Mayflower events listing here.

Adrian Vinken OBE, Chair of Mayflower 400, said: “The coming Mayflower 400 year will see this historic world-changing voyage commemorated at an appropriately international level. As well as simply marking the voyage of the Mayflower and her passengers, the year will also reflect the impact the resulting colonisation had on the Wampanoag Nation through a wide range of exhibitions and theatrical productions throughout 2020. It’s been particularly rewarding to work with our Wampanoag, American and Dutch colleagues in the co-creation of many key Mayflower 400 activities ensuring that 2020 is a genuine four nations commemoration.”

For more information visit the Mayflower 400 site here