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NONOpera- L's GA: Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

The Museum is pleased to host NONopera for a performance featuring original compositions by regional artists that offers a new perspective on Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. This free, public performance will be held on Saturday, March 4 at 7:00 p.m. in the Museum's second floor courtroom. 

On November 19, 1863, with the American Civil War still raging, President Lincoln spoke at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery and described the United States as a nation “conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Today, nearly 160 years later, we consider whether Lincoln’s hopes have been met or whether it was merely wishful thinking. L’sGA : Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address provides a new perspective on Lincoln’s most famous and influential statement on our national purpose—that contrary to what many think, the dream of America has not been realized for all Americans, that too many Black Americans have suffered, been discriminated against, and died in vain.

In March 2023, nearly 160 years later, and as we continue to witness disproportionate brutality against Black Americans, NON:op Open Opera Works presents three commissioned works by Black artists that re-interpret and re-present Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Sal Martirano’s 1967 antiwar classic, L’sGA. These artists—Chicago musician, poet, and performance artist Kao Ra Zen; multidisciplinary artist A.J. McClenon; and Urbana poet, artist, and dancer, Ja Nelle Davenport-Pleasure—explore themes of liberty, oppression, patriotism, racism, revolution, and police brutality using music, words, video, dance, and performance. Playwright, hip hop artist, actor, and videographer, Willie “Prince Roc” Round, will be featured in a new production of Martirano’s L’sGA.

The performance will be preceded by a reading of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and followed by a participatory panel discussion with the artists, local politicians, and Lincoln scholars.

For more information this program, please contact the Education Department at 309-827-0428 or education@mchistory.org. You can also visit https://www.nonopera.org/WP2/ for more information.

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The Museum is pleased to host NONopera for a performance featuring original compositions by regional artists that offers a new perspective on Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. This free, public performance will be held on Saturday, March 4 at 7:00 p.m. in the Museum's second floor courtroom. 

On November 19, 1863, with the American Civil War still raging, President Lincoln spoke at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery and described the United States as a nation “conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the

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