“River of Tides” Henry Hudson Play Premieres Saturday

“River of Tides,” a play about Henry Hudson’s 1609 journey on the river that came to bear his name written by the Native American novelist, storyteller and poet Joseph Bruchac will premiere this Saturday, September 26 at 5 PM at Pace University’s Schimmel Theater. Based on Indian legends and the diary of a Hudson crewmember, the production hopes to show viewpoints neglected in the current Hudson celebrations. A talkback discussion with the director and actors will immediately follow the free show (reservations are suggested).

The diverse cast includes several Native American actors, including the actor and storyteller Joe Cross, from the Caddo tribe of Oklahoma, a veteran of network television and off-Broadway and regional theater. The British television and stage actor Jonathan Le Billon creates the role of Hudson’s first mate and journal-keeper Robert Juet. Musical accompaniment by The Spirit of the Mountain Drummers and Singers from the Ramapo Nation. The play is directed by Ruis Woertendyke, chair of the Performing Arts Department at Pace University.

Venue address, including cross streets and nearest subways:

Pace University, Schimmel Theater, 3 Spruce Street, New York, NY 10038 (east of Park Row, near the corner of Gold Street). SUBWAY: #3 or # 2 to Park Place- 4 or 5 or 6 to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall- A or C to Broadway / Nassau Street- N or R to City Hall – J or Z or M to Chambers Street.

Register by calling 212-868-4444 (SmartTix) or 212-346-1091 (Pace Cultural Affairs) or by visiting www.SmartTix.com.

Photo: Joe Cross (Caddo Nation of Oklahoma) as Old Turtle Walking in “The River of Tides.” Photo by Jonathan L. Smith/Pace University.

Replica Ship Half Moon Seeks Re-enactors

In conjunction with the celebration of the Half Moon&#8216-s original voyage in 1609, the City of Albany will hold a festival on Saturday, September 26, 2009. The replica ship Half Moon is looking for 17th century re-enactors who can help re-create the Dutch presence during this time. In addition to the Dutch re-enactors, there will also be members of the Stockbridge Munsee band of Mohicans presenting native technologies and daily life activities.

With the Dutch re-enactors, they are seeking a minimum involvement lasting from 9AM Saturday morning, Sept. 26, to Sunday morning. Preferable would be arrival of re-enactors on Friday afternoon or evening, with departure Sunday afternoon.

Re-enactors working with the Half Moon may either establish a camp, or bunk on the Half Moon. Re-enactor emphasis will be on musketry drills and demonstrations, daily life activities, and individual interaction with visitors. Those with specific skills (coopering, woodwork, sail making and
canvas work, games and pastimes, etc.) are also encouraged to participate.

A minimum reimbursement of $150 is available for expenses of travel, etc., is available for the first 20 who commit to the program.

If interested, send an e-mail to the Half Moon’s crew coordinator, Karen Preston, at [email protected]

SUNY Albany Announces 400th Events

Throughout the fall semester SUNY Albany will be marking the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson and Samuel de Champlain’s voyages of exploration with a three-part Hudson 400 program that includes an art exhibition, a &#8220talks and concert&#8221 series, and a conference. The formal kick-off occurs tonight (September 15) from 5 to 7 p.m., at the University Art Museum. The museum will hosts the opening reception of &#8220Uncharted&#8221 a new exhibit featuring works from ten artists inspired by themes of travel and discovery. To view the entire Hudson 400 program visit: http://www.albany.edu/outreach/hudson_400/hudson_400_events.html

Seeing the Hudson: An Exhibition of Photographs and Paintings

As part of the 400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson’s sail of discovery, the Alan Klotz Gallery, (511 West 25th Street, NYC) is presenting Seeing the Hudson, a major exhibition of paintings and photographs, which show the river over a period of more than 200 years, from its source in the Adirondacks, to its mouth, 315 miles away in Upper New York Bay. The exhibition will take place September 17th &#8211 October 31st, 2009 with an opening reception on Thursday, September 17, from 6 to 8 pm.

The show begins with work by the 19th century painters of the Hudson River School, arguably the first American art movement, and continues through more contemporary painting and photographs. The exhibition demonstrates the variety of faces that the River presents and the selected works reflect the vision of the individual artists.

In general, 19th century Hudson River School painters saw the River as an almost holy, pristine, primeval landscape, where settlers (if present at all) lived in harmony with an all powerful “Nature“. Photographers (partially due to the nature of their medium) were more interested in the real than the ideal. To them, the profound effect of the “hand of man“ on the environment is what gave proof of man’s dominion over Nature, and was itself a source of pride for a developing nation. Of course, in more recent times, man’s impact on the environment has engendered a more negative judgment. Irony and severe criticism have become part of the view as a spur to environmental action by those who love the River and want to protect, defend, and restore it. All these motivations find form in the exhibition.

Photo: Joseph Antonio Hekking’s (1830 &#8211 1903) Hudson River Valley

Atlatl Contest Highlights Chimney and Crown Points Festival Of Nations

Vermont’s and New York’s annual shared celebration of Lake Champlain, The Festival of Nations, hosted by the Chimney Point and Crown Point, N.Y., State Historic Sites will be held Sept. 18-20 and will feature a wide variety of events, including the 14th Annual Northeastern Open Atlatl Championship at Chimney Point.

The event honors the Native American, French, and early American history of the region and includes music- food vendors- Native American and primitive life and craft demonstrations- exhibits- showings of the award-winning documentary film Champlain: The Lake Between– a colonial French encampment with re-enactors- tours of Crown Point’s historic forts- historic, cultural, educational, nature, and family activities- a ceremony re-dedicating the Champlain Memorial lighthouse- and fireworks on Saturday night. The nearby DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) State Park will offer camping on a first-come, first-served basis.

The atlatl, a shaped wooden stick, acts as an extension of the throwing arm, so hunters can throw long, flexible darts with greater accuracy, energy, and speed. The atlatl was one of the earliest prehistoric weapons, pre-dating the bow and arrow, and was used by many cultures, including Native Americans.

On Friday, there will be a workshop held at Chimney Point at which participants can learn modern and ancient atlatl construction as they build their own dart-thrower and projectiles and learn how to use them. The fee of $65 includes instruction by champion atlatlist Robert Berg and all materials. Pre-registration is required.

On Saturday competitors of all ages test their prowess in using the atlatl to “hunt” wooly mammoth, bison, and other game targets- shoot at modern day bulls-eyes (International Standards Accuracy), and compete in a distance challenge.

The winners in each category compete in a shoot-out at the end of the event for the title of Grand Champion. At 5:30 p.m. and leading up to the start of the fireworks, enjoy lively music from Atlantic Crossing, well-known for their vast repertoire of music highlighting and honoring the history of the region. The Seth Warner Mount Independence Fife and Drum Corps will also perform.

On Sunday morning, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. one lane of the Lake Champlain Bridge between Addison and Crown Point, N.Y. will be open for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. The Sky Blue Boys, Banjo Dan and Willy Lindner, will be performing their lively music near the Vermont end of the bridge from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m.

On Sunday morning there will be another International Standards Accuracy competition at 10:00 a.m., followed by master coaching for youth and the young at heart, as well as conversations with Samuel de Champlain and wood carving demonstrations.

Saturday’s and Sunday’s contests are $5 and $3 respectively to enter. Admission to the site on each day is free.

Photo: John Morris using an atlatl. Morris, along with Greg Maurer, will be offering master coaching on Sunday, as well as competing on Saturday. Courtesy Vermont Division for Historic Preservation

Dutch Colonial Clergy Conference Announced

The Reformed Church Center of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, N.J. will co-host an event titled The Colonial Clergy Conference: Dutch Traditions and American Realities with the Collegiate Church of New York, the Van Raalte Institute in Holland, Michigan, the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg, Netherlands, and the Reformed Church in America Archives. Planned as part of a larger celebration this year of Henry Hudson’s voyage for the Dutch to the Hudson River and New York, it is an international event being held September 27-28th at the Haworth Center at Hope College in Holland, Michigan and October 24th at First Reformed Church, 9 Bayard St., New Brunswick, N.J. Additional information about registration, etc. can be found on the website: http://www.nbts.edu/clergyconference/

In Holland, Michigan, the speakers will be Dr. Leon van den Broeke, Assistant Professor in Religion, Law and Society and Director of the Center for Religion and Law at Free University in Amsterdam, The Netherlands- Dr. Willem Frijhof, Emeritus Professor of Early Modern History at Free University- Dr. Hans Krabbendam, Assistant Director of the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg, The Netherlands- Dr. Earl Wm. Kennedy, Senior Research Fellow and Professor of Religion Emeritus at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa- Dr. Firth Haring Fabend, Fellow of the New Netherland Project and Historian for The Holland Society of New York,- and Dr. John Coakley, L. Russell Feakes Memorial Chair and Professor of Church History at New Brunswick Theological Seminary.

Speakers in New Brunswick, New Jersey will include Dr. Leon van den Broeke- Dr. Joyce Goodfriend, Professor of History at the University of Denver- Dr. John Coakley- Dr. Dirk Mouw, past Albert A. Smith Fellow at New Brunswick Theological Seminary- Dr. Firth Haring Fabend, and Dr. Robert Naborn, Director of the Dutch Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Also included in the day is a tour of the church’s historic cemetery and bell tower, lunch, and an opportunity to order a book which will be based on the papers presented. First Reformed Church was founded in 1717 and the current building dates to 1765.

New York States First Heritage Weekend Approaching

During a year filled with celebratory events, the 2009 Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission has partnered with the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area and the Historic House Trust of New York City to inaugurate the state’s first ever New York Heritage Weekend, September 12 and 13. Visitors are welcomed free, or at a reduced rate, to many museums, historical societies, and heritage areas- to architecturally significant buildings- and to battlefields, parks and historic districts in the Hudson River Valley, the Champlain Valley, and New York City. In addition, communities throughout the region are planning tours, special events and concerts that will highlight this first-ever celebration of New York’s unique cultural heritage. Participating counties include: Albany, Bronx, Columbia, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Orange, New York, Putnam, Queens, Rensselaer, Richmond, Rockland, Saratoga, Kings, Ulster, Warren and Westchester.

Modeled after France’s popular annual event, “Les Journees du Patrimoine,” the inaugural New York Heritage Weekend will focus on the history and culture of the Champlain and Hudson River Valleys and showcasing these regions to residents and visitors alike. For further information on Heritage Weekend sites, visit the New York Heritage Weekend website www.heritageweekend.org.

New Amsterdam: The Island at the Center of the World Exhibit

Another exhibit will mark the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s arrival in New York harbor, this one running September 13, 2009 &#8211 January 3, 2010. This exhibit, however, is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Many, if not most, of the documents included in the exhibition have never been shown publicly in this country. Some have never been exhibited at all. At the close of the exhibition, most will be returned to archival storage and will not be seen again.

South Street Seaport Museum will be partnering with the Dutch National Archives to present a remarkable exhibition, New Amsterdam: The Island At The Center Of The World. It will contain extraordinary early maps, as well as the oldest documentary &#8216-evidence’ on the early history of the settlement New York- the period of Dutch New Amsterdam (1609-1664).

The exhibition is divided into three sections: The World, The Island and The Origins, each with a different focus.

The World will feature approximately 20 watercolors by 17&#8242-h century cartographer Johannes Vingboons, illustrating trading posts from around the world.

The Island will contain extraordinary rare documents, maps and books about New Amsterdam, many of which have never before been exhibited in the United States. The centerpiece is the Schagen letter (1626), which is the oldest surviving evidence of the purchase of &#8216-manhattes’ from the Indians for goods worth 60 guilders. Many of the pieces belong to the National Archives of the Netherlands- other important loan items will come from the Royal Library in the Netherlands, the U.S. Library of Congress, the New York Historical Society and the Ostereichische National Bibliothek in Vienna.

The third section, The Origins, will include first-person stories of some of the Native Americans, the first foreign settlers from Santo Domingo, Brazilian Jews, pioneers from Europe and the first free Afro-American population.

The exhibition will be curated by Dutch historian and author Martine Gosselink and co curated by Russell Shorto. Ms. Gosselink curated the 2008 show At Home in the Golden Age: Masterpieces from the S0R Rusche collection at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam. She is also editor of the publication Iran and the Netherlands: Interwoven Through the Ages, to be published in September 2009.

On September 12, 2009 South Street Seaport Museum is having a reception for the opening of a new exhibition to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of New Amsterdam by the Dutch. Prince Willem Alexander and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands will be attending the reception as well as other dignitaries from the Netherlands and the United States.

America’s First River: The Hudson A Conference

America’s First River: The Hudson A Conference Celebrating the 400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson’s Voyage in 1609 will be held on September 25-26, 2009 at the FDR Presidential Library and Marist College. The Conference is sponsored by The Hudson River Valley Institute, the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, the Hudson River Valley Greenway, the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, the National Park Service, and the New York State Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission.

For information, a schedule of speakers and events, and reservations email [email protected] or call 845-575-3052 or visit www.hudsonrivervalley.org

Russell Shorto To Guest Host NY Harbor Walking Tour

Island at the Center of the World author Russell Shorto will guest host a special edition of The New Amsterdam Trail walking tour of the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy, to celebrate the culmination a week-long celebration of the 400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson’s discovery of New York Harbor. Urban historian and National Park Ranger Steve Laise will lead the event which will also include an exclusive curator’s tour of New Amsterdam: The Island at the Center of the World, a new exhibit opening at the South Street Seaport. The tour takes place on September 13th at 9:30 a.m. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance by visiting www.nyharborparks.org.

Throughout the 90-minute tour of lower Manhattan, Laise and Shorto will share entertaining and insightful stories about the famous and infamous characters that helped make New Amsterdam a bustling seaport, an international melting pot and a center of commerce. They will also discuss how the Dutch colony still impacts our culture today. The curator’s tour at South Street Seaport follows, with an insider’s peak at rare documents, maps, plans and watercolors connected to New Amsterdam &#8212- including “the best real estate deal of all time”—the 1626 letter of purchase of Manhattan for goods worth 60 guilders. Many of these items have never been seen in the United States.

The audio and map for this tour are available for free at: www.nyharborparks.org.