Wave Hill to celebrate Henry Hudson exploration

This summer, Wave Hill, a public garden and cultural center located at W. 249th Street, was a proud recipient of a Museums for America grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. 

The $124,375 grant will fund the facility’s upcoming activities that will mark the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s exploration of the Hudson River.

“Wave Hill is honored and thrilled to be among 154 institutions in 39 states awarded Museums for America Grants this year,” commented exuberant executive director and president Claudia Bonn.  “It is tremendously gratifying that our project celebrating the Hudson Quadricentennial was chosen for this national recognition.”

Although events won’t begin until summer 2009, visitors can expect an exciting showcase of visual artists, composers, lyricists, and poets who will use their unique talents to commemorate Henry Hudson’s great voyage.  

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, a strong supporter of efforts to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s historic voyage, welcomed the news.

“This is a wonderful announcement for Wave Hill, and for everybody in the area who will be able to come to this beautiful public space to enjoy the activities honoring the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s historic voyage,” said Clinton. “This funding will not only serve to educate scores of New Yorkers about the historical and cultural impact of Hudson’s travels, it will also work to instill a sense of pride and a lasting stewardship in the Hudson River area.”

Earlier this year, Clinton helped to establish Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Commemoration Commission, which will help coordinate educational, cultural and historical projects while cooperating and assisting the programs and activities conceived throughout the nation, including Wave Hill.

According to IMLS, the project will include an art installation relating to the river and an indoor exhibition that will explore the life of Native Americans who once lived along the Hudson’s banks. 

Also, funding will support programs such as artist talks, panel discussions, nature and art-based workshops, as well as a special concert series and a river reading series.

“Our incredible site along this legendary and nationally treasured waterway lends itself naturally to the occasion,” said Bonn. “It’s a magical combination of all the things that make Wave Hill so special.”

It was in 1609 when Henry Hudson stumbled along the infamous river while searching for a shorter route to the East. 

For years, the Dutch operated the river, which provided access to new raw materials, trading posts, military posts, and settlements.

Today, the river is regarded as an American jewel—a significant part of our past and present.

“It’s a national treasure,” said assistant director Martha Gellens.  “It’s also a part of the Bronx, so I definitely believe that its history is something that will be embraced by the Bronx community.” 

For information about upcoming or current activities at Wave Hill, visit www.wavehill.org.

Wave Hill, Museums for America, grant, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Hudson River, anniversary

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