“Our”Story: 400 Years of Wampanoag History Exhibit Now in Hanson

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Plymouth 400, Inc. Kicks Off Countdown to the International Commemoration with Events, Programs, and Collaborations

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PLYMOUTH, MA— Plymouth 400, Inc. is introducing a number of events, programs and collaborations to launch the 6-year countdown to  the historic 400th anniversary commemoration of the 1620 Mayflower voyage, the landing of the Pilgrims, their relationship with the Native Wampanoag people and the founding of Plymouth Colony; events that significantly shaped  the building of America. The Plymouth 400 commemoration will honor America’s story of exploration, innovation, self-governance, and thanksgiving; the legacies sparked by these historic events that continue today as cornerstones of our nation.
 
This fall, Plymouth 400, Inc. will unveil Captured: 1614, its first educational and cultural exhibit; introduce Illuminate 2014, an app-supported event to kick off America’s Hometown Parade, Plymouth’s nationally recognized annual Thanksgiving celebration; support the launch of a State-sanctioned Cultural District; and initiate the development of a series of New Year’s arts and cultural events beginning with the first annual Midnight Masquerade. Each event and program has been created in collaboration with organizations in the United States and England to support the build-up to the historic Plymouth 400 commemoration.
 
Captured: 1614 | November 14, 2014
The exhibit’s opening night will include a private reception on November 13 for invited media and guests at which the producers will share their research and the historical significance of this important story. The exhibit will be open to the public beginning on November 14. “Captured: 1614” will remain at Plymouth Public Library through March 2015, after which it will travel to other public libraries and museums throughout the region.
 
Illuminate 2014 | November 21, 2014
The first annual Illuminate event will take place this year on November 21 at 4PM in collaboration with America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration. This Plymouth 400 candle lighting ceremony event will “illuminate” the inspirational message of thanks and gratitude highlighting America’s story that was sparked in 1620 with the landing of the Pilgrims and their relationship with the Wampanoag people. This year, Illuminate 2014 (which will take on the year in which it  takes place in each year to come), will kick off America’s Hometown Thanksgiving events in downtown Plymouth  at the base of Cole’s Hill, and will continue on Main and Court Streets with an evening street festival.
 
Communities across the US and beyond are being invited to join virtually using the new Plymouth 400 Illuminate app to create their own Illuminate 2014 moment. Plymouth 400 is creating a mobile app to easily engage participants and enhance users’ event experience by allowing them to connect with other attendees, like those in England, through the app’s photo-sharing feature. The app, available for Apple and Android devices on November 7, will be promoted as a free tool for people to use in their own community to be part of Plymouth 400s Illuminate 2014 and years beyond. Illuminate 2014 is the first of many Plymouth 400 events being produced in collaboration with its Plymouth, England partners, Mayflower 400.  
 
Plymouth Cultural District Designation | November 2014
Plymouth 400 has been instrumental in creating a committee to establish the first Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) Cultural District Designation in downtown Plymouth. With a collaboration of Plymouth’s cultural and historic organizations, the Cultural District Committee has created an outline of the proposed district in Downtown Plymouth, inventoried the cultural assets within the district, and completed the MCC’s Cultural District application. The Plymouth Board of Selectmen have approved the creation of a cultural district, with an eye towards strengthening economic activity in the Downtown area, improving the quality and range of cultural programs, attracting more artists and cultural organizations to the area, and providing Plymouth with access to certain state programs and resources. Enhancing the town’s economy through a Cultural District Designation is an early legacy of the 400th anniversary and will bring the cultural community together for the large-scale events of 2020.
 
New Year’s Eve Midnight Masquerade | December 31, 2014
The newly created Plymouth Rocks New Year’s Eve Committee made up of local volunteers will host the first Midnight Masquerade ball this New Year’s Eve at Memorial Hall with proceeds to benefit the Plymouth 400, commemoration. The event will be an elegant evening of music, food, and culture, introducing the Town of Plymouth to what is anticipated to become a new tradition for New Year’s Eve that will expand in the coming years to include a series of visual and performing arts events, some with historic messaging, to tie into the Plymouth 400 anniversary. This event will bring a New Year’s Eve celebration to the region that in the long-run is anticipated to boost to the economy by attracting visitors to hotels, shops, and restaurants during the Town’s off-season.
Event and program updates can be found on the Plymouth 400 blog, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.  Additional press materials will be provided as each event approaches.
About Plymouth 400, Inc.
Plymouth 400, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization formed to lead the planning and execution of programs and events commemorating the historic 400th anniversary of the 1620 Mayflower voyage, the landing of the Pilgrims,  their relationship with the Native Wampanoag people and the founding of Plymouth Colony; events that significantly shaped  the building of America. The Plymouth 400 commemoration will honor America’s story of exploration, innovation, self-governance and thanksgiving, the legacies sparked by these historic events that continue today as cornerstones of our nation. The events and programs to be produced by Plymouth 400, Inc. will engage audiences in the US and beyond with participation in the millions across communities, and include participation by global leaders, international musical and stage artists, veterans, descendants, and youth. This world-class commemoration will include live televised events, festivals, historical and cultural exhibitions, and educational programming. Events and programs will be funded by public funds for education and tourism and private partnerships with select national sponsors and corporate leaders and leave a legacy that will live beyond the commemoration dates.
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