In 2002, the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial act created a commission to plan and develop the 400th anniversary celebrations of the voyages of discovery made by Henry Hudson and Samuel de Champlain, as well as the 200th anniversary of Robert Fulton's steamship voyage along the Hudson River. These voyages were some of the most significant events in European exploration, and initiated some of the earliest contacts between Native Americans and Europeans. These anniversaries will be observed in 2009.
The Act declares: "This celebration should be statewide, involving all the people of the state, as well as reaching well beyond the borders of the state through imaginative and innovative programs, events, exhibits and new and expanded facilities and marketing to engage the people of the nation and from all parts of the world. Furthermore, it declares that the 400th anniversaries and the years preceding them offer great opportunities to inspire and educate particularly the young people of the state, to increase recognition and appreciation of the Hudson River and Lake Champlain and the diverse communities that developed along the Hudson River and Lake Champlain over four centuries, and to develop a thriving natural and cultural tourism economy."
Empire State Building (from the Lower West Side), publish courtesy of www.pdimages.com/NewYorkpics.htm
The Commission is developing and promoting plans and activities to commemorate these historic events which established New York State's identity as America's Gateway and its first frontier. Our goals are:
To focus on the culture, history and natural resources of the Hudson River corridor, New York City and Lake Champlain Valley while placing them in a national and global context.
Encourage partnerships throughout the state which strengthen the historical and cultural identity and natural assets of the Hudson River and Lake Champlain regions.
Encourage travel throughout the state.
Inspire and educate the young people of the state.
Foster respect for cultural diversity and values, and treat all people and cultures with dignity and respect.
Seek to establish lasting partnerships with Vermont, Québec, the Hudson Valley and New York City, federal, state and local governments as well as private and non-profit corporations.
Envision our successors planning for the 500th anniversary in 2109 appreciating and emulating the work done today.
Foster learning about the culture of Native Americans.
We are engaging civic, educational, cultural and heritage organizations in building a growing program of visioning, commemoration and improvements in the years approaching the Quadricentennial and for the years following it.
With these efforts, we will focus local, state, national and international attention on events concerning the legacy, events and explorations that were key to the history and culture of New York State, the United States and the world.
The Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission will also highlight the history and beauty of the Hudson River and Lake Champlain, and the opportunities for cultural, community, and tourism enhancements along these waterways. Commission activities will include:
Making cultural institutions, museums and libraries the focus of the commemoration.
Coordinating round table forums to seek public input for the commemoration.
Coordinating civic, educational, cultural and heritage organizations to generate public interest and involvement in developing the commemorative initiative.
Promoting and encouraging educational outreach programs, media and technology including electronic communications to draw national and international attention to the Quadricentennial.
Coordinating the planning of commemorative events for all communities along the Hudson River, Lake Champlain and other interested communities around the state.
Inviting other states and nations to participate in the commemoration.
Coordinating and promoting high profile, non-governmental meetings, conferences, seminars and conventions in Hudson River and Lake Champlain communities using the Quadricentennial as the theme.
Seeking funding from private individuals, foundations and corporations to help support capital improvements, preservation, and conservation needs associated with events commemorating the Quadricentennial.
Coordinating and cooperating with state entities and tourism promotion agencies.
Coordinating and cooperating with local, state, and federal entities including those linked to heritage area promotion and any federal commission created to participate in the planning of the Quadricentennial anniversary.