Mayflower 400 cultural anniversary programme gets underway with extension into 2021

Published on: 24th August 2020

Arts Council England and the Mayflower 400 team are hitting the play button on a programme of activity surrounding the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower. The programme started in Southampton earlier this month with the launch of Wampum: Stories from the Shells of Native America, a national touring exhibition curated by The Box, Plymouth.

This will be followed with an online documentary presented by the 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, added: “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. 

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