PLYMOUTH, MA— Plymouth 400, Inc., the official organization planning the events and programs commemorating the 400th anniversary of the 1620 Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony, will host the second annual Massachusetts 400 Forum (MA 400 Forum) on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at Hotel 1620 in downtown Plymouth, Massachusetts. The purpose of the MA 400 Forum is to bring together communities across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to realize the economic potential of the approaching 400th anniversaries beginning with Plymouth in 2020 and continuing with Quincy (2025), Salem (2026), and Boston (2030), and to create a statewide plan for promoting these historically significant events to increase tourism over the next fifteen years.
“The Commonwealth has a unique opportunity over the next fifteen years, as several communities—historic brands that are recognized worldwide— will turn four-hundred,” said Michele Pecoraro, Executive Director of Plymouth 400. “Plymouth 400 recognized this and created the Massachusetts 400 Forum to encourage dialogue and partnerships with these historically significant communities, like Quincy, Salem, and Boston, as well as State agencies, legislators and private entities whose support is imperative to make these events successful. The goal is to use Plymouth’s 400th as a foundation for the many other important anniversaries that follow to ensure the strongest possible economic impact for the longest period of time.”
The MA 400 Forum will once again bring together legislators, state agencies, educators, cultural organizations and tourism entities to continue the dialogues which began last year and create new partnerships that will allow these communities to leverage their upcoming anniversaries to significantly impact the economy and increase visibility nationally and internationally.
The 2016 MA 400 Forum program will include:
Panel discussion with representatives of historically significant communities approaching 400th anniversaries, featuring Plymouth Select Board Chairman Ken Tavares, Mayor Thomas Koch of Quincy, Mayor Kim Driscoll of Salem, and the City of Boston’s Director of Tourism, Sports and Entertainment Kenneth Brissette
Keynote presentation on how significant anniversaries can positively affect the economy, presented by Secretary of the Massachusetts Office of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash
Update on cross-cultural engagement and an overview of collaborative efforts between Plymouth 400 and key stakeholders in the story including the Wampanoag Tribe, the UK and the Netherlands, and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants
Presentation on the University of Massachusetts Boston archaeological initiative “Project 400” by David Landon, Associate Director of the Andrew Fiske Memorial Center for Archaeological Research at UMass Boston
Presentation on the Mayflower Autonomous Research Ship from Brett Phaneuf, Managing Director of MSubs, the firm building this state-of-the-art research vessel in collaboration with Plymouth University in the UK
An overview of Plymouth 400 programs and events from Executive Director Michele Pecoraro
A panel discussion on cross-disciplinary exchange and growth featuring Plymouth Economic Development Director Jessica Casey, Provincetown Town Manager David Panagore, Superintendent of Plymouth Public Schools Gary Maestas, and Massachusetts Cultural Council Program Manager Meri Jenkins
Breakout sessions on economic development, education, transportation and infrastructure, and cultural exchange
The Massachusetts 400 Forum was conceived by Plymouth 400 to create a network of partners working towards the same goal; to improve the State’s economic base through leisure, educational and business travel. Tourism is the number one industry in Plymouth County, accounting for more than $600 million in direct visitor spending and more than 3,700 jobs. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the travel industry is the third largest industry, with $19.5 billion in direct visitor spending annually and 132,000 jobs supported in the tourism industry. By creating a statewide plan for promoting these upcoming anniversaries and cross-promoting each historic destination over the next fifteen years, Massachusetts 400 will ensure the increased exposure of and visitors to Plymouth in 2020 will continue to benefit the entire Commonwealth through 2030 and beyond.
For more information about the 2016 Massachusetts 400 Forum on March 30, 2016, visit www.plymouth400inc.org/events/2016-massachusetts-400-forum
About Plymouth 400, Inc.
Plymouth 400, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization in Plymouth, Massachusetts formed to lead the planning and execution of programs and events commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony in 2020. The Plymouth 400 Anniversary will highlight the cultural contributions and American traditions that began with the interaction of the Wampanoag and English peoples, a story that significantly shaped the building of America.