Looking for Lincoln will host "Lincoln, The Great Communicator" online seven times with partner communities around the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area.

The live, online performances will combine period music with conversation and narrative by President Lincoln, using Lincoln’s own words, while illuminating Lincoln’s use of communication as a personal and political tool, a news release stated. The show features Lincoln impersonator George Buss and Illinois folk musician and folklorist Chris Vallillo. Each performance will be followed by a Q&A with Buss and Vallillo.

The Wednesday performances will be broadcast on the Looking for Lincoln Facebook page and YouTube channel in addition to the sponsoring community’s Facebook page.


July 15, Freeport

July 29, Decatur

Aug. 12, Ottawa

Sept. 2, Pontiac

Sept. 23, Lincoln

Oct. 14, Mahomet

Dec. 2, Carthage

“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,” Executive Director Sarah Watson said in the release.

This is a collaborative project involving Looking for Lincoln, Chris Vallillo, George Buss and key partners in the seven Looking for Lincoln Communities.

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 humankind 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 such as steamboats and railroads.

This online series is part of a greater slate of programming titled "Looking for Lincoln Conversations," which will run through 2020. Presentations will feature a variety of topics surrounding the life and times of Abraham Lincoln including performances of celebrated music, reenactments of historic events, interpretation of historic people, and other activities. During the pandemic, Looking for Lincoln has been moving its programming online to make it accessible to a wide audience throughout Illinois and the world. The performances will be free to view, and broadcast on social media platforms.

"Lincoln, The Great Communicator" is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

For more information, go to www.lookingforlincoln.com.