"Lincoln, The Great Communicator"

"Lincoln, The Great Communicator"

Friends of Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park and Memorial, along with Looking for Lincoln, Decatur Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Chris Vallillo is proud to announce they will host Lincoln, The Great Communicator online.

This performance will be broadcast on the Friends of Lincoln Trail Homestead and Memorial Facebook page, Looking for Lincoln Facebook page and YouTube Channel from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 29.

The live, online performance 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. This engaging 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.

“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 Executive Director, Sarah Watson.

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 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.

This online series is part of a greater slate of programming entitled 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 historical events, interpretation of historic people, and much more. During the Covid-19 event, Looking for Lincoln has been proactively 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.