Ford’s Theatre Society will host a Grand Reopening Celebration on Wednesday, February 11, 2009, at Ford’s Theatre (511 10th Street NW). The invitation-only evening will include the presentation of the Lincoln Medal to filmmaker George Lucas and screen legend Sidney Poitier, whose accomplishments exemplify the character and lasting legacy of President Abraham Lincoln.

The evening’s performance, titled “Birth and Rebirth: A Celebration of the Lincoln Bicentennial and Reopening of Ford’s Theatre,” will be followed by a seated dinner at the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum (750 Ninth Street NW).

The evening’s events will begin at Ford’s Theatre, where invited guests will enjoy a special performance in tribute to Abraham Lincoln and his legacy, including appearances by Katie Couric, Kelsey Grammer, James Earl Jones, Ben Vereen, Jeffrey Wright, the President’s Own Marine Band, Patrick Lundy and the Ministers of Music, Audra McDonald and Jessye Norman. Following the performance, guests dine at the National Portrait Gallery.

The performance will be attended by donors to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Campaign, which supports the renovation and expansion of Ford’s Theatre, as well as by political supporters of Ford’s Theatre.

The Lincoln Medal is an annual award given by the Ford’s Theatre Society to a person (or persons) who, through their body of work, accomplishments or personal attributes, exemplify the lasting legacy, and mettle of character embodied by the most beloved President in our Nation’s history, President Abraham Lincoln. Recipients of the 2008 Lincoln Medal included Dr. Maya Angelou, Civil Rights activist, author, dancer and actress; actress Ruby Dee; Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., Director of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, The Johns Hopkins Hospital; and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Former Associate Justice, United States Supreme Court.

Ford’s Theatre Society is grateful to ExxonMobil for their additional support of the Ford’s Theatre reopening and Lincoln bicentennial activities and events.

The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Campaign is a $50+ million capital campaign that will support the renovation of Ford’s Theatre and its museum as well as the building of the new Center for Education and Leadership, an education center focused on the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. To date, the campaign has raised more than $49 million.

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