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Posted 06.12.13

Making plans for Mayflower 2020

Some of the Massachusetts delegates and Plymouth College of Art staff in the new contemporary crafts centre.

You know a party is going to be huge when planning begins seven years in advance.

On Friday, delegates from Plymouth Massachusetts came to Plymouth College of Art to discuss plans for transatlantic celebrations in 2020, to mark the 400th anniversary of the departure of the Mayflower, which carried America's founding fathers to the new world.

Instead of colour schemes, balloon decorations and flower arrangements, conversations focused on how arts and educational establishments in Plymouth (UK) and Plymouth (MA) could work together to celebrate the seminal event.

A mutual consensus among the group is to use Mayflower 2020 celebrations to build ambitions for children, young people and artists through long term cultural exchanges.

In an interview with Plymouth Herald, Phil Davies, President  of City College of Plymouth, England, and Chairman of the Plymouth, England, Mayflower 2020 Education Group said: "Both cities have ambitious plans for 2020 and what has become clear is education has a pivotal role to play.

"We're very interested in the celebrations  and the legacy opportunities this presents in both cities.

"We want to install civic pride and use this as an opportunity to raise the profile of both cities and promote global citizenship."

Mike Caple, School District Coordinator of English Language Arts, blowing glass.

During their visit to the college, the delegate group, led by Dr. Gary E. Maestas, Superintendent of Schools in Plymouth (MA), were joined by representatives from arts and education intsitutions in Plymouth (UK) including: Plymouth Arts Centre; Plymouth School of Creative Arts; Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery; Peninsula Arts; Barbican Theatre, Plymouth; Theatre Royal and University of St Mark and St John.

The group were given a tour of the college's new £8M contemporary crafts centre and even took part in a spot of glassblowing.

The delegates visit to the college forms part of a whistlestop tour to other arts and education institutions in Plymouth, including: University of St Mark & St John, Plymouth University, Ernesettle Community School and Plymouth Albion.

Dr Gary Maestas, superintendent of schools, and delegate group leader, said: "The group are thrilled to be here and they are in awe of the hospitality we have experienced."