The Looking for Lincoln organization will host Lincoln, The Great Communicator in 11 communities around the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area.

The performance combines live period music with conversation and narrative by President Lincoln, using Lincoln's own words, to explore Lincoln's use of communication as a personal and political tool and features Lincoln impersonator George Buss and Illinois folk musician and folklorist Chris Vallillo.

The first three performances will be held this fall in October including a stop in Anna on Sunday. The event will be held at 2 p.m. at the Anna Arts Center.

The remaining eight performances will be held in the spring 2020 in the following communities: Carthage, Decatur, Freeport, Jacksonville, Lincoln, Mahomet, Ottawa and Pontiac.

All performances are free and open to the public.

"This performance provides an engaging way for visitors to learn more about Abraham Lincoln and the work of Looking for Lincoln and the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area in telling that story," said Sarah Watson, executive director of Looking for Lincoln.

This theatrical style performance is presented as a casual conversation between President Lincoln and Vallillo discussing Lincoln's gifts as a communicator and way he used those skills for the betterment of mankind throughout his lifetime.

In the midst of the conversation, Vallillo will perform period music on guitar, bottleneck slide Dobro, banjo and jaw harp to illustrate Lincoln's point and the President will quote passages from some of his favorite speeches.

Lincoln lived in a time when the power of mass communication was just beginning to come of age and his mastery of those skills would play a large role in his ultimate success as a leader. Traditional means of mass communication like books and popular music would be augmented by the rise of the Industrial revolution, steam powered printing presses, the telegraph, photography and improved transportation systems like steamboats and railroads.

Those attending will have the opportunity to learn more about Looking for Lincoln and the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area.

The Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition is the coordinating entity for the 43-county Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area. It is a partnership of organizations and individuals dedicated to enhancing the communities and landscapes of central Illinois through recognition and support of their significant natural, cultural and historical legacies.

Few individuals have so profoundly influenced American history as did Abraham Lincoln. Millions around the world are inspired by the story of Lincoln's rise from humble beginnings to President of the United States, his qualities of integrity and courage and his decisive leadership -- traits that carried a fragile nation through one of its most trying periods.

For more information about the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition and the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area, go to www.lookingforlincoln.com.

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