Looking Back 400 Years
Courtesy of APVA Preservation Virginia/Historic Jamestowne
is about to be unveiled to the world in spectacular fashion. After a decade
of planning, hundreds of millions of investment dollars and research that
reshaped history, the world will be re-introduced to our nation’s earliest
days when international attention turns to
’s Anniversary Weekend.
Anniversary Weekend is the
’s 400th Anniversary, an 18-month international commemoration honoring the
1607 founding of the first permanent English settlement in the
most Americans hear ‘
,’ they think about John Smith and Pocahontas,” says Tommy Norment,
co-chair of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and chairman of the Jamestown
2007 management committee. “Through revealing archaeological discoveries
and illuminating new scholarship, the people, politics and importance of
have come into focus like never before. We’re being reminded that the
really was a world-changing event, and
’s Anniversary Weekend will showcase that fact.”
Anniversary Weekend offers a number of special events and patriotic
performances, above all it connects Americans to the nation’s earliest
days in surprising ways. Details about how
made democracy and cultural diversity defining characteristics of American
society are brilliantly conveyed at the newly opened world-class facilities
at Historic Jamestowne — the site of the original fort, at
Jamestown Settlement — an AAM-accredited 17th-century living
history museum, and at Anniversary Park — a complementary site developed
solely for America’s Anniversary Weekend that features interactive events,
children’s activities and inspiring performances.
preparation for the 400th anniversary, Historic Jamestowne has opened new
facilities to showcase the original site of the first permanent English
(see related story on pg. 30). The recently opened visitor center offers an
’s 92-year history as capital of
through exhibits and a multimedia presentation.
Settlement, which opened for the 1957 commemoration as “
,” has made dramatic investments to reflect changes in our understanding
story. A new documentary film and 30,000-square-foot galleries offer fresh
insight, including an emphasis on cultural interaction featuring dioramas,
re-created structures, small-theater presentations and more than 500
artifacts. The museum’s re-created
James Fort and Powhatan Indian village have been transformed, and visitors
will find new replicas of Godspeed and Discovery ready to board. A new
exhibit assembled expressly for the commemoration, “The World of 1607,”
features artifacts loaned from collections around the world and places
in global context by highlighting events on many continents in the early
Anniversary Weekend, Jamestown Settlement will offer an array of
interpretive demonstrations, military drills, and historical dance and
musical performances. The museum’s Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery
will sail in the
and dock at the museum pier on May 12 amidst pageantry and cannon salutes.
one-day, date-specific Anniversary Weekend ticket provides parking,
continuously running shuttle transportation and admission to all three
sites. Tickets sales have been limited to 30,000 per day, ensuring guests a
comfortable visit 400 years in the making. No annual passes or other tickets
to Jamestown Settlement or Historic Jamestowne will be valid on these days.
Weekend tickets and accommodations are available through Colonial
Williamsburg, the official hotels of the commemoration, and may be reserved
by phone at (866) 400-1607 or by visiting www.Americas400thAnniversary.com.
Guests may purchase date-specific,
single-day tickets at $30 for adults and $15 for children 6-12. Children 6
and younger will be admitted free. The call center is open Monday through
Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Callers outside of regular operating hours will be prompted to leave a
message, which will be returned the next day.
Back From a Native Perspective
the many groups involved in years of intense planning that have culminated
in Jamestown 2007 is the Virginia Indian Advisory Council. The primary
mission of the Council has been to provide leadership, guidance and
direction in the planning and production of signature events and programs in
a way that educates the public on the significant contributions of Virginia
Indians to the
settlement. The Council also seeks to educate the public in the history of
Virginia Indian government and to showcase historical and contemporary
Virginia Indian culture through the arts.
Virginia Indian nations will gather on the Chickahominy Tribal Grounds in
on May 5-6 for their 6th Annual Joint Spring Pow-Wow. On this historic
occasion, members of the Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Monacan,
Nansemond, Rappahannock and Upper Mattaponi tribes will give honor to their
past and future, as they recognize the historic impact of
1607 in this anniversary year. Visitors
will have an opportunity to begin their Jamestown 2007 experience with the
tribes that were here to meet the settlers in 1607. Grounds open at 10 a.m.
on both days, with the Saturday Grand Entry at
noon and Sunday’s Grand Entry at 1 p.m. For more information, visit
www.vitalva.org. Tribes also holding individual pow-wows during the month of
May are Monacan (May 19-20; details at www.monacannation.com) and
(May 26-27; details at www.uppermattaponi.org).
American Indian Intertribal Cultural Festival, which will be held at Hampton
Coliseum July 21-22, is open to
the public free of charge from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Hosted by the
eight state-recognized tribes of
, the festival will include a wide variety of cultural experiences, dancing,
music, craft demonstrations, storytelling and children’s activities.
Vendors will offer Native foods, art, jewelry and crafts. A series of
exhibits will showcase the history of
tribes and guest speakers will discuss issues facing American Indians today.
Visiting tribes from around the country will participate in dances and
cultural demonstrations, highlighting the similarities and differences among
American Indian nations.
the day’s performance highlights will be diverse cultural pageantry,
including Native American drummers, dancers and singers, and an all-star
chorus featuring Native American, African American and English voices. The
Virginia Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of JoAnn
Falletta, and Richmond Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Mark
Russell Smith, will play separately and then combine — for the first time
ever — to premier new works by John Corigliano, John Duffy, Adolphus
Hailstork and Jennifer Higdon written especially for the commemoration.
Grammy winner Bruce Hornsby & The NoiseMakers lead an evening of rock,
R&B and progressive bluegrass. Bruce will be joined by legendary funk
and R&B artist Chaka Khan, as well as progressive bluegrass master Ricky
Skaggs and his band Kentucky Thunder.
Their performances cap “400 Minutes of Music,” an afternoon-long
program featuring contemporary rock infused with Native American musical
traditions from Brulé, a mix of folk, world, blues and soul music from
South African artist Vusi Mahlasela, folk-roots music from Michael Seeger,
poetic urban folk from Jen Chapin, and alternative country from Scott Miller
& The Commonwealth.
Weekend concludes with the performance of a 400-piece orchestra and a
1,607-voice choir created especially for the commemoration and representing
most of the
. The individual choral and orchestra groups performing at
throughout the weekend join for a powerful concert worthy
’s 400th Anniversary. Native American and African American representatives
will participate in a “Celebration of Culture,” and a Virginia Native
American intertribal drum and dance ensemble will perform. A fireworks
finale completes the evening.