By K. David Weidner, Ph.D., Executive Director
As we begin 2022, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on our successes and accomplishments in 2021, as well as take a look ahead for this year.
Throughout 2021, the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum (PMPM) observed occasions that celebrated the fabric and diversity of our region, which were made possible through the support of our community.
Autism Acceptance Month
Autism Acceptance Month is about fostering acceptance and spreading awareness, which is a mission close to our hearts. For the third year, PMPM participated in “Light it Up Blue” during the month of April. The Monument was turned into a beacon of support for the people and families affected.
In keeping with the Provincetown spirit of inclusivity, acceptance, freedom and diversity, PMPM had the honor of celebrating Juneteenth with the community. Since PMPM has always been rooted in celebrating differences and promoting equality, we joined Provincetown Brewing Company (PBC) for a Juneteenth event at which I was honored to speak. After raising the Pan-African flag above High Pole Hill, the parade departed for downtown.
The parade highlighted the history of the Black community with stops at a “station” of the Underground Railroad at 54 Commercial Street and emphasized how Provincetown’s port was a safe haven for enslaved people escaping southern states to Canada. This celebration coincided with a sister event by the Black and Brown Equity Coalition on Fire Island, NY.
Jamaican Independence Day
For the very first time, we flew the Jamaican Flag over High Pole Hill on August 6, 2021 to recognize Jamaican independence from the UK. This act was a tribute to the Jamaican pilgrims that have made their homes in Provincetown over the years and have since brought their vibrant culture and admirable work ethic to our community for generations.
Provincetown is a town built on the tourism and service industries, whose success is very much attributable to our friends and family from Jamaica. We flew the Jamaican flag out of respect and appreciation for the many ways in which they’ve enriched the Provincetown community.
As with years past, on November 11, 2021, we continued the annual tradition of lighting the Monument. The Annual Lighting of the Pilgrim Monument commemorates the Mayflower’s arrival on November 11, and the signing of the historic Mayflower Compact in our harbor. However, it also stands as a festive reminder of the holiday season and what our Monument represents: TRUTH – Tolerance, Respect, Unity, Trust and History.
This year, the Provincetown community rallied together to “get loud for the lights.” We were warmed to see all the community support and excitement for our annual lighting. If you missed the occasion, you can watch the video here.
Completion of the Inclined Elevator
After much anticipation, PMPM’s inclined elevator was completed in the late fall of 2021 and passed inspection. This project has been in the works for quite some time so it was with great joy that we were able to see it completed! The Home Builders and Remodelers Association awarded the project the Most Innovative Engineering Design Project at the 2021 BRICC Awards, and the ACEC/MA 2022 Engineering Excellence Awards named it a Silver Award winner. We are excited for visitors to ride it during the 2022 season.
What’s ahead in 2022
We have some exciting things planned for 2022 and are thrilled to share them with our members, visitors and community. Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum reopens for the 2022 season on April 1st. The inclined elevator will be operational and visitors will have the opportunity to ride the technological marvel.
Last week, PMPM was honored to deliver a breakout session at the Wampanoag Perspectives Conference held by the Bassetlaw Museum, located in Retford, England. I had the opportunity to present the Museum’s latest exhibit, Our Story, and the story and motivation behind it, followed by a lively question and answer session with the attendees.
A refresh to the Hat Sister’s case is planned in commemoration of the work Dr. John Michael Gray and Timothy O’Connor began many years ago in the Boston and Provincetown communities.
Additionally, we are partnering with The Generations Project to bring the rich stories of Provincetown to our patrons. These audio and video narratives will showcase the people that made, and continue to make, Provincetown the iconic historic place we call home.
It must be said that 2021 was a year full of adjustments and accomplishments, none of which would have been possible without the contributions of our members and donors. We are proud to be a part of Provincetown’s culture and to have such a supportive community. We look forward to what 2022 will bring and the wonderful memories that will be made. Thank you again for your support.