25 Aug - 2020

New Mayflower 400 cultural programme dates and online anniversary event announced for 400 year commemorations

Following the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown, the main programme, supported by Arts Council England, has now started in Southampton from August 15 with Wampum: Stories from the Shells of Native America, a national touring exhibition curated by The Box, Plymouth and the continuing search for a lost treasure of indigenous America.

This will be followed with an online documentary presented by well-known TV historian Dan Snow on September 16, marking exactly 400 years to the day since the Mayflower ship set sail. The documentary will reflect the story of the Pilgrim’s journey, its impact on the Native American people who helped them when they first arrived and the wider colonial context of this journey. It will also include a look at some of the cultural projects involved in the programme.

The Mayflower 400 programme will then run through to 2021 culminating with a Four Nations Commemoration Ceremony involving the USA, Netherlands, UK and Wampanoag nations on July 11 next year.

Deputy Leader of Plymouth City Council, Pete Smith, said: “It’s been an extraordinarily challenging year, but we’re delighted to be able to carry so much of the Mayflower 400 commemorative programme into 2021. A huge amount of work has already gone into all of these events, so it’s fantastic that locals and visitors will still be able to enjoy what is an impressively varied and creative programme throughout the next year. 

The finale will be the spectacular Mayflower Four Nations Public Ceremony on the Hoe; it’s going to be an unmissable event which brings together all four nations involved to reflect on the Mayflower story.”

Adrian Vinken OBE, Chair of Mayflower 400, says: “After all the recent uncertainty I’m delighted that we’re finally in a position to confirm the key elements of the Mayflower 400 programme starting now and taking us through to next July. We look forward to people across the country engaging with these remarkably diverse activities and the raft of other smaller Mayflower community projects based on the voyage and its many impacts.

The Mayflower 400 programme is supported by national supporters and sponsors; Womble Bond Dickinson, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England, Department for Culture, Media & Sport, Visit England, Visit Britain, Plymouth City Council, Royal Navy and Babcock.

Go to www.mayflower400uk.org for the latest information on events and stories around this landmark year for England.

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