ISLAND chronicles the first three hundred years of colonization of Manhattan Island and its resounding impact on our culture and our world.
Hosted by actor, writer and New Yorker Chance Kelly and historically-guided by world- renowned Dutch scholar and author Dr. Jaap Jacobs, the series illustrates the island that this place is unto itself - not just geographically, but idealistically, philosophically and spiritually.
ISLAND uncovers our true, lost American history. Its indelibly unique telling reveals the city’s effect on religious and ethnic freedoms — not just here — but throughout the world.
This story is personal to both of its creators as Dr. Jacobs has made his life and career in the study of the Dutch colonial world. And Mr. Kelly’s own great, great, great uncle “Honest” John Kelly himself emerged from the slums of “Five Points”, rising up to become a pivotal figure in the development of this incredible city. John Kelly was one of the first Irish-Catholics to serve in U.S. Congress, when he was elected at age 32 in 1854. And after also serving as Sheriff and later as Comptroller of New York, he would eventually be hand-picked to replace the notorious Boss William Tweed, in order to reform Tammany Hall. Among his many functions, not without controversy, John Kelly was a fiercely courageous advocate for oppressed immigrants from everywhere.
ISLAND is the character-driven portrait of the inimitable souls responsible for a place founded on capitalism but perpetuated by an infectious and unapologetic measure of tolerance.
Our narrative begins in 1609 when Henry Hudson happens upon Manhattan and the river that would come to eternally bear his name, and culminates in 1909 when western interloper William Randolph Hearst has infiltrated New York publishing and the fistfight that is Manhattan politics.
Climb aboard this voyage of discovery over three centuries, as we look at what really happened here, en route to forging the epicenter of the free world.
“Our wonderful 17th-century musical arrangements are courtesy of Camerata Trajectina" CLICK HERE TO KNOW