Community Outreach

As we approach 2019, AMERICAN EVOLUTION™ will actively engage with museums, heritage sites, community action groups, and localities across the Commonwealth of Virginia. These sites and organizations will be encouraged to participate in the commemoration of their own communities, revealing how their history and culture have contributed to Virginia’s development and success over the past 400 years. Beginning in late 2017, sites will be invited to plan, develop, and execute programs and activities that support the education and tourism goals of the Commemoration.

Planned community engagement projects include, but are not limited to:


Digital Trail AppAMERICAN EVOLUTION™ commemorates the 400th anniversary of several key historical events that occurred in Virginia in 1619 that continue to influence America today. Featured events, programs, and legacy projects inspire local, national, and international engagement in the themes of democracy, diversity, and opportunity.

Museum Exhibits, Educational Programs, and Special Events

Virginia Thanksgiving Festival InterpreterThe Commemoration will support exhibits and programs that reflect the historical events of 1619, the 400 year arc of Virginia’s history since that time, and the themes of democracy, diversity, and opportunity. These events will increase civic engagement in communities across the Commonwealth and attract highly diverse audiences.

Creative Competitions

African DancersThe 2019 Commemoration will sponsor statewide competitions to encourage creative expressions of the Commemoration’s events and themes. Winning entries may receive a cash prize or the chance to be featured in an exhibit at leading art/cultural museums around Virginia. Winning entries may also be highlighted in 2019 Commemoration promotional material.

Millennial Colony Project

Tom Tom Founders FestivalThis project will organize events in several major Virginia markets and on college campuses statewide, in order to foster civic leadership and creative capacity in Virginia’s millennial demographic. Public, private, and non-profit institutions will be invited to engage millennial voices in the creation of innovative strategies for educational, tourism, and economic development.

#FreeToBeThankful Campaign

Virginia Thanksgiving ReenactmentIndividuals and organizations nationwide will be invited to participate in a digital campaign designed to remember the observance of the first official English Thanksgiving in North America, which took place at Berkeley Hundred, Virginia in 1619. Participants will be encouraged to organize activities in their own communities supporting local food banks and volunteer services.