Henry Hudson 500 English

Our Mission

Downtown Manhattan around 1664, by Johannes Vingboons

Downtown Manhattan around 1664, by Johannes Vingboons (National Archives of the Netherlands)

The unique character of New York City, originally New Amsterdam, was shaped by the legacy of the entrepreneurial and tolerant culture of the 17th century Dutch Republic. Today, the Henry Hudson 500 Foundation celebrates Dutch-American history and future by organizing projects and events in the context of three shared core values: freedom, entrepreneurial spirit, and inclusion, which we believe to be the foundation for successful and thriving societies, then and now.


“The Amsterdam 750 expedition (Amsterdam 2019 – 2025)

With the Amsterdam City Archives and Shipping Company “De Nederlanden” we worked out an exiting 4-hour program:
– a historic expedition of 2,5 hours along the canals,  on a traditional barge, where a spirited guide tells 11 stories about Amsterdam’s 750-year history on the spots where it happened. How did Amsterdam, and later New Amsterdam/NYC  become such a highly successful, diverse and progressive city?
– a visit to the treasure vault of the Amsterdam City Archives.
After 4 exciting hours you’re an Amsterdam expert! Click here to join the Amsterdam 750 expedition.
Update October 18, 2020: Due to Covid 19 the ‘Amsterdam 750 Expedition’ will note take place under further notice. Let’s hope it’s possible to sail again soon!

“Origins, Light on New York’s Founders” (NY, The Netherlands and on-line,  2021 – 2025)

Starting in 2021, each year two visual artists will be commissioned  to create artistic interpretations of New York’s founders in a variety of visual art forms: video, animation, projection, hologram, light sculpture, painting, documentaries or performance. The goal is for the lives and legacies of 16 men and women who founded NYC, in their artistic interpretation, to inspire us 21st century city-dwellers. (click here to go to the Origins website)

Halve Maen on Tour (The Netherlands, October 2016)

In October 2016 ‘Halve Maen’, the replica of Henry Hudson’s famous ship, went on a fifteen-day tour along 6 major cities in The Netherlands to tell the forgotten history of Hudson, the Dutch Republic and New York. A highly successful project by the Westfries Museum and Henry Hudson 500.

Photos: the ship in Delfshaven moored near replicaship ‘De Delft’, Dr. Leo Balai at a speakers corner on slavery, the ship in Rotterdam next to the Maritime Museum, and former Prime-Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende who reflected during the closing-ceremony (October 30th, Maritime Museum Rotterdam) on  entrepreneurial spirit in the 21st century.

 Halve Maen and SAIL Amsterdam (Amsterdam, 2015)

Halve Maen, replica of Henry Hudson’s ship, arriving back in The Netherlands on May 23, 2015

The ship will tell the spirited story of Hudson, Amsterdam and New York to hundred thousands of visitors in Hoorn, and during special events. Our Foundation worked out a special program for Sail 2015 Amsterdam, the world’s biggest nautical festival. (in partnership with the Westfries Museum in Hoorn).

Water Conference “H209 Forum, Water Challenges for Coastal Cities” (NY and NJ, September 2013)

Adam Freed, US Secretary Shaun Donovan, Dutch Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen, and Tracy Metz at H209 Forum. Photo credit Gina Kosty.

The 2nd edition of this highly successful US Dutch conference with over 325 top delegates. Water Challenges for Coastal Cities, or how to make New York, New Jersey and the Netherlands safe and resilient, was the main theme of H209 Forum. Honorary Chairs and opening speakers were Melanie Schultz van Haegen, Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, and Shaun Donovan, US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

“Milk Colors, A Fresh Look at The Netherlands(The Netherlands, 2011 – 2013)

Inspired by designer/artist Aziz Bekkaoui (photo), Melkkleuren or “Milk Colors” explored the agricultural roots of Dutch Culture. With plays, videos, concerts, a book, and a newspaper in the tradition of Andy Warhol’s Interview, Aziz and his group of artists, writers and performers offered a fresh look at the state of the Netherlands in the 21st century.

 Our projects in 2009 (Netherlands, New York and New Jersey)

Reception committee of (then) crown-prince Willem-Alexander and princess Maxima at the water-gala ‘Hoopla on the Hudson’. Manhattan, sept. 2009

Henry Hudson 400  was created in 2004 by American and Dutch citizens to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s legendary voyage for the Dutch to the Hudson River and New  York.  The Foundation produced several major events in 2009 and has also inspired many groups to plan programs.  Here are some of the 2009 high points:

“1609, The Forgotten History of Hudson, Amsterdam and New York” , a commemorative volume by Russell Shorto and Geert Mak (two editions, 400,000 printed copies).

The “Job Swap”,  where professionals from New York and Amsterdam, from every background and kind of employment were invited to trade places for a week.

“The Glory of Dutch Bulbs”
, an amazing exhibition of flowers at the New York Botanical Garden (inaugaurated by a concert with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra).

“The New Amsterdam Trail”, a historic walking tour through downtown Manhattan.

“The Island at the Center of the World”
, an exhibition with the rarest documents, maps and watercolors of 17th century New Amsterdam and New York (including the above ‘Blue Vingboons’).

Waterconference H209 Forum
,  with 600 delegates and a sold-out Gala Diner ‘Hoopla on the Hudson’.

Click here for an overview of the 2009 festivities with all ten major HH 400 projects and more information on the impact of the shared history of Hudson, Amsterdam and New York.

Leadership and Team

Governing Board:
Chair: Patrick Poelmann, Dike Reeve Emeritus (as per September 1, 2019) of the Greater Utrecht Area
Treasurer: Vacancy
Secretary: Klaas Pater, Entrepreneur
Felix Guttmann, Founder Canal Company, CEO Holland International
Bram Brouwer, Head of on-line sales and targeting @ ABN AMRO bank NV
Dimitri Arpad, Owner at Arpad Advies

Executive Director: Gert Tetteroo

Advisors to Board and Director
Angela Haines, Entrepreneur and writer
Gerard Jongerius, Entrepreneur
Aziz Bekkaoui, Designer
Sarah Cameron Sunde, Directer
Rosa Ronsdorf, Entrepreneur

We look forward to receiving your questions and suggestions.