Light on New York's founders

An artistic celebration of New York’s founders,or:
How New York became this amazing and diverse City of Opportunity.
Starting in 2023 with a grand finale in Downtown Manhattan in 2025.
Come join us


We are commissioning innovative visual artists to create a series of projections, holograms, light sculptures, videos, documentaries, short films, paintings and performances of New York’s founders. Their eventful life stories will inspire us 21st century city-dwellers.

Accompanied by lively recordings based on the experiences of the early settlers and the Munsee, Manhattan’s American Indians, Origins will provide visitors with a dynamic step back in time to the beginnings of New Amsterdam / early New York.

Downtown Manhattan, NYC

Coming Soon!

Starting in 2023 we'll commission visual artists to create a video, animation, projection, hologram, light sculpture, painting, short film, documentaire or performance inspired by one of NY's founders: Catalina Tricot and Joris Rapalje by a French and a Belgian artist, Anthony van Salee and Griet Reyniers for a Dutch/Moroccan artist, a Polish or Lithuanian artist for Asser Levy, etc. Leading up to 2025 the lives and legacies of 16 men and women who founded NYC will inspire us 21st century city-dwellers. There is still plenty of opportunity for refinements and additions. Please subscribe to our newsletter for updates about this celebration of New Amsterdam/New York's legacy.

Watch the NY Origins official trailer

Meet some of New York's founders

  • American Indian Portrait
    American Indians (America)

    The original settlers of ‘Mannahatta’, or ‘Manahatouh’ in the Munsee language: ‘the place where we get bows’.

  • American Indian Portrait
    Henry Hudson (England)

    Henry Hudson dropped anchor in NY Harbor early September 1609 with his ship ‘Halve Maen’ (Half Moon).

  • American Indian Portrait
    Petrus Stuyvesant (Dutch Republic)

    New Amsterdam’s one-legged, powerful and last Governor.

  • American Indian Portrait
    Catalina Tricot (France/Wallonia)

    Great-grandmother of over 1,000,000 Americans, with her Walloon husband Joris Rapalje.

  • American Indian Portrait
    Asser Levy (Poland or Germany)

    Jewish activist, merchant, butcher and a successful mediator.

  • American Indian Portrait
    Griet Reyniers (Dutch Republic)

    New Amsterdam’s notorious prostitute, wife of the Moroccan pirate Anthony van Salee, and related to the Vanderbilts.

  • American Indian Portrait
    Adriaen van der Donck (Dutch Republic)

    Lawyer, landowner, writer and activist, whose nickname ‘Jonker’ lives on in the name of the city of Yonkers.

  • American Indian Portrait
    Jan Rodrigues (Dominican Republic)

    New York’s first non-native American settler, who lived on Manhattan in the winter of 1613.

  • American Indian Portrait
    Manuel (West coast of Africa)

    Survivor of a public hanging, one of the first freed slaves in New York, and a pioneering farmer on what is now Washington Square Park.

  • American Indian Portrait
    Margrieta van Varick (Dutch Republic)

    A 17th century businesswoman. After her arrival in Flatbush (Brooklyn) with her minister husband Rudolphus in 1686, she set up a textile shop.

  • American Indian Portrait
    Jacob Leisler (Germany)

    An influential business- and political figure who was pardoned shortly after being executed by the British.

  • American Indian Portrait
    Govert Loockermans (Belgium/Flanders)

    From rags to riches: cook’s mate, clerc, very wealthy merchant, brewer, founding father of NYC.


  • our-teamOur Team

    Our team: Evelyn Ellis, Gert Tetteroo and Gerard Jongerius on September 9, 2013, the opening day of the second HH 500 waterconference in NYC and New ...

  • New Sponsor

    Incentro helps organizations to achieve their objectives through smart use of technology. Based in The Netherlands, Spain and Turkey, Incentro is one ...

  • Jan/Juan Rodrigues in 2014

    We found this mural of New York's  first non-native American settler, Jan Rodrigues, in Harlem River Park.  Jan/Juan, a native from Santo Domingo (D...

  • Henry Hudson 500 Fund

    US Donors may support our activities in a tax-efficient way through a contribution to the Henry Hudson 500 Fund at the Netherland-America Foundation, ...

  • Origins Goes Indoor!

    Origins will open at a fantastic indoor location in downtown Manhattan by the end of 2015 or early 2016.  The outdoor version in Battery Park is stil...

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About us

Origins is presented by a spirited and strong group of American and Dutch partners. Come join us, together we will make this inspirational and timely legacy project happen.

Join us!

Presenting Partners

Supporting Partners

Join Us

Join our group of sponsors and let your company or institution benefit from the excellent PR opportunities Origins has to offer. We need your help to make this exciting legacy project a reality and look forward to discussing sponsorship, partnership and other collaborations. For more information on the enlightened Origins sponsor and partner benefits contact Evelyn Ellis or Gerard Jongerius at, or submit the form below.

Get in Contact

Henry Hudson 500 Foundation, Demmerik 68, 3645 ED Vinkeveen, The Netherlands.