The unique character of New York City, originally New Amsterdam, was shaped by the legacy of the entrepreneurial and (relatively) 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.
In ‘1609: the Forgotten History of Hudson, Amsterdam and New York’ Russell Shorto and Geert Mak explore how these cities changed the world.
You can download it here – it’s a 2-hour read and one of our top-projects.
The Job Swap is set to become one of the pivotal 2025 commemorative events in both NYC and Amsterdam.
The program is a unique experiment in transatlantic cooperation. 30 Citizens of New York and Amsterdam of every background and means of employment are invited to participate in trading places for a week, to deliver new perspectives and reveal profound connections between residents of the two cities: from garbage collectors in Central Park or Vondelpark to the Mayor, and from waitresses, architects, librarians, refugees, fire fighters and park rangers. The Job Swap is a concentrated effort in September 2025. The appr. 15 Dutch Job-swappers will work for 5 days in NYC by mid-June, the New Yorkers come to Amsterdam late September.
Throughout the exchange, participants will be closely followed on their own socials, and by local, regional and national media (e.g, NY1, AT5, SBS6, de Volkskrant, New York Times).
We’re family. Let’s compare notes, gather inspiration and set a new course on a trans-Atlantic scale!
Our foundation organized a successful JobSwap in 2009 during the Henry Hudson 400-celebrations; you can read the report (in Dutch) here.
This in an invitation to join, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
2025 marks the 400-year anniversary of New York, founded in 1625 as New Amsterdam.
In 1643, when barely 500 people called New Amsterdam home, a visiting Jesuit priest reported that already 18 languages were spoken. The major groups included Dutch, Germans, English, Africans, Scandinavians, French, and Jewish. Free trade and an immigrant culture took root in New Amsterdam, and then in New York, the first multiethnic New World city.
Was it that good from the get go? Obviously not. Gays were prosecuted, most men of influence relied on enslaved people, ordinary sailors died like flies. But it was the birth of modern – the beginning of a free, tolerant, entrepreneurial and inclusive society.
Starting in 2024 visual artists will be commissioned to create artistic interpretations of New York’s founders in a variety of visual arts forms: video, animation, projection, hologram, light sculpture, painting or performance. The founder will be represented by an artist with ties to their country of Origin: the Netherlands, Belgium, France, England, Germany, Dominican Republic, Morocco, West coast of Africa, Poland, as well as an American Indian.
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.
This in an invitation to join Origins, mail us at email@example.com!
The Borough of Brooklyn’s Seal is designed in 17th century Dutch: ‘Een Draght Mackt Maght’, or ‘United we Stand’ and ‘E pluribus Unum’ in the ‘Great Seal of the United States’.
Today we face disunity internally on both sides of the Atlantic, and between Europe, the USA, China and other countries. In view of the many global challenges this multidisciplinary art-project highlights unity and common good, offering a bridge between the international forest of bubbles. We ask dancers, designers, writers, painters, filmmakers and other artists from all over the world to come up with ideas that inspire the world to come together.
Performances are set for mid-June 2025 at the St. Marks in the Bowery-church (downtown-Manhattan), and end of September in Amsterdam.
This is an invitation to join United we Stand – mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
“The Amsterdam 750 expedition (Amsterdam 2019 – 2020)
With the Amsterdam City Archives and Shipping Company “De Nederlanden” we organized a chain of exiting 4-hour expeditions :
– a historic vessel sailed for 2,5 hours along Amsterdam’s canals, where a spirited guide told 11 stories about the cities’ 750-year history on the spots where it happened. How Amsterdam, and later New Amsterdam/NYC, became such highly successful, diverse and progressive cities.
– a visit to the treasure vault of the Amsterdam City Archives.
The chain of expeditions was interrupted by Corona – but we’ll pick up where we left off pretty soon.
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.
Download the program
Our Foundation worked out a special program (including fundraising) for the ship’s visit to 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)
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.
Day 1, Sept 9, was a dynamic plenary day at the Museum of Jewish Heritage downtown Manhattan. Day 2, Sept 10, was a day with shirt-sleeve sessions at Columbia University and field-trips to various sites in New York and New Jersey.
One of our most successful and spirited projects ever.
Download the Conference Book with program and background articles here.
Colors of Milk, A Fresh Look at The Netherlands” (The Netherlands, 2011 – 2013)
Inspired by designer/artist Aziz Bekkaoui (photo), Melkkleuren or “Colors of Milk” explored the shared agricultural roots of Dutch and other cultures. 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. Performances in Amsterdam, Dordrecht, Rotterdam, Utrecht, on farms and many other places. Avant garde, way ahead of its time.
2009 was the 400-year anniversary of Henry Hudson dropping anchor near Manhatten. From the ship’s log, September 11, 1609: then we anchored and saw it was a very fine harbour for all winds’. The Henry Hudson 400 Foundation, then organized in both Amsterdam and New York, produced several major events and has also inspired many groups to plan exhibitions and programs. Our foundation celebrated the venerable bonds between our two countries and our mutual passion for trade, freedom and diversity.
Chair: Patrick Poelmann, Dike Reeve Emeritus of the Greater Utrecht Area
Secretary: Klaas Pater, Entrepreneur
Felix Guttmann, philanthropist, Founder Amsterdam Light Festival
Dimitri Arpad, Owner at Arpad
Advisors to Board and Director
Angela Haines, Entrepreneur and writer
Aziz Bekkaoui, Designer
Sarah Cameron Sunde, Directer
We look forward to receiving your questions and suggestions at email@example.com
The photo of downtown Manhattan at the top of this page: Photo by Gryffindor – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10298778