October 6, 2015
Plymouth, MA— Plymouth 400, Inc. Executive Director Michele Pecoraro traveled to the United Kingdom last week to meet with US Ambassador Matthew Barzun, event organizers and key government officials to discuss economic development opportunities in both the US and UK for the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and founding of Plymouth Colony; events that significantly shaped the building of America and began an intrinsic relationship between the two countries. Ambassador Barzun met with leaders of the planning organizations from the US and UK in a roundtable forum to discuss their greatest hopes and fears in the execution of this worldwide commemoration.
“The Mayflower voyage is arguably the single most influential ocean voyage the world has ever known,” said Adrian Vinken, Chairman of the Mayflower 400 in the UK, “A voyage that led the creation of the most powerful nation on earth. This 400th anniversary is a key milestone and we are working closely together to make it a truly memorable occasion of international significance to both sides of the Atlantic.”
Born and raised in Lincoln, Massachusetts, Ambassador Barzun understands first-hand the importance of this milestone as it relates to his home State and the world.
“They are thinking big, as they should be,” said Ambassador Barzun. “This is a big deal, there are lots of reasons to be excited about it. I think they are bringing the best learnings to bear on this commemoration so the connections that are being built will continue up through 2020 and beyond.”
The British government has already adopted this commemoration nationally, and has pledged support for infrastructure, revitalization, and tourism product development in preparation for 2020, the tourism element of which has begun through the government’s £5 million South West Tourism fund. Another £10 million has been identified by the City of Plymouth to cover capital infrastructure, cultural programs and commemorative events to take place in the city.
Along with Pecoraro, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Anita Walker, attended meetings at several of Plymouth, England’s arts and cultural institutions.
“This trip to Plymouth England brought into high relief the opportunity in front of us with the fast approaching Plymouth 400,” said Walker. “The UK has already invested to support cultural activities in connection with the event. Our UK cultural partners are eager to connect with their Massachusetts counterparts to organize joint commissions, concerts and exhibitions. Millions of people are expected to visit Massachusetts and England in and around 2020 to discover and explore the place where the Mayflower set sail for freedom and the place where it found a home in America.”
Pecoraro led additional working sessions with Brand USA and the US Commercial Services in London.
“The response from these important agencies has been very positive,” said Pecoraro. “Their support and the support of our Federal and State governments is what is necessary to bring this commemoration to the people of the United States, and citizens of the world. Corporate sponsorship will be key going forward, but private corporations are going to expect to match a commitment of public funds for such a National and International anniversary. With less than five years to go, we are intently focused on building and strengthening that support.”
For more information on Plymouth 400, please visit www.plymouth400inc.org
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.
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October 6, 2015