April 11, 2018

USA: Connecting Dutch Heritage in the Hudson River Valley

Eighty heritage specialists participated in a working meeting on ‘Connecting Dutch Heritage in the Hudson River Valley Corridor’.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation hosted a daylong working meeting on ‘Connecting Dutch Heritage in the Hudson River Valley Corridor’ on 19 October 2017. Eighty representatives came together from different fields, including educators, historians, preservationists, museum professionals, specialists on historic sites, and tourism specialists, who all have some connection with Dutch culture.

The meeting was organised in order to focus the efforts currently underway in the Valley to interpret and promote Dutch heritage. The event offered the participants a chance to network and potential collaborating opportunities in order to improve their programming and share research, experience and knowledge. It laid the foundation for projects that will launch next year; including a series of programmes held at multiple institutions along the corridor and the publication of a resource guide. The series of educational programmes will allow visitors to explore the similarities between Dutch and American values on the basis of historical events, legislation and statistics. The resource guide will allow teachers to incorporate aspects of local Dutch history into their lessons. The event shared innovative new Dutch heritage programming ideas for inclusion in a Dutch-themed series of programmes in the summer of 2018 and beyond. It is a first step toward connecting the Dutch attractions in the Hudson Valley with potential partners in Albany, New York City and the Netherlands.

Russell Shorto, author of five books, including the national bestseller The Island at the Center of the World, spoke during the event; and culinary historians Peter G. Rose and Lavada Nahon gave a presentation about Dutch food in the colony during the 17th century. Dolph Hogewoning, the Netherlands Consul General in New York, attended the meeting and spoke about the importance of collaboration in the effort to revitalise the history of New Netherland.