19 February 2019

USA: Professional workshops on New York’s Dutch history

In September and December 2018, the Museum of the City of New York organised two teacher workshops on Dutch New Amsterdam.

The December training in the Museum of the City of New York (photo: Sophie van Doornmalen).

The September workshop

On 29 and 30 September, the two-day program ‘Native New York: American Indians and Dutch New Amsterdam’ took place. Participants explored the history of early New York in this in-depth course offered by the Museum of the City of New York and the National Museum of the American Indian – New York. The course was designed for educators, and aimed at exploring the complex relationship between the Dutch and the Native American Lenape in Dutch New Amsterdam. Educators learnt about the trade relations between the Dutch and the Lenape, the environment of Mannahatta and New Amsterdam and its residents. The program included a walking tour of Battery Park (Lower Manhattan) with traces of New Amsterdam, guest speakers, a museum gallery tour and hands-on workshops.

The December workshop

The second program – ‘Dutch New Amsterdam: Legacy of a Colony’ – took place on 16 December. This new program was designed to foster a deeper understanding of life in the 17th century colony and to connect the historical legacies of Dutch New Amsterdam and New York City today. The program included a curator-led tour of the gallery ‘Port City: 1609-1898’, part of the ongoing exhibition ‘New York at its Core’, a guest speaker and hands-on workshops.

In total, 116 Pre-K-6 educators (teaching Pre-kindergarten to 6th grade, ranging from ages 4 – 12) attended the professional learning workshops for free due to a grant from the Dutch Culture USA Program of the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York. Both courses made historical content accessible to teachers, so they are able to bring the shared history of New Amsterdam into the classroom.