This year marks the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s sail of discovery on the river named in his honor. An English explorer working for the Dutch East Indies Company, Hudson believed he could find a passage to India in the New World. His exploration of New York Bay and the Hudson River in 1609 led to the European settlement of New York.

The 2009 Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission is spearheading commemorative activities in Hudson River cities and towns. This anniversary also acknowledges Samuel de Champlain, who mapped a large portion of northeastern North America in 1609, and innovator Robert Fulton, who in 1807 inaugurated steamship service between New York City and Albany with a 32-hour journey. The cultural heritage of the Dutch, the interaction of native and European peoples and the use of waterways in New York are just some of the themes of Quadricentennial events taking place throughout the five boroughs. NYC400 is the designation used by New York City to mark its official anniversary events. A selection of the New York City activities related to the Quadricentennial are featured here and will be regularly updated. Events geared towards children are found on NYCkidsARTS.org.

For statewide event information, educational links and more, visit NYStateArts.org and see the commission’s Web site, exploreny400.com. New York City’s key role in the culture of the Hudson Valley is evident in the Alliance for the Arts’ forthcoming The Hudson Valley: A Cultural Guide, published with the Quantuck Lane Press. The book covers 500 places of contemporary cultural interest from New York City to the Adirondacks.