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Judy Collins, Andre De Shields and More to Set for THE CIVIL WAR IN WORDS AND MUSIC at Cooper Union, 2/13

Legendary folk singer Judy Collins; folk pop icon Dar Williams; Broadway star André DeShields; award winning actor Stephen Lang; and The Classical Theater of Harlem will bring the words and ideas of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass to life on Wednesday, February 13th at 6:30 p.m. in the Cooper Union Great Hall, 7 East 7th St., NYC 10003 (b/w 3rd and 4th Aves) in a special program entitled, "The Civil War in Words and Music." The program, sponsored by Cooper Union, the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, and the New York State Archives Partnership Trust, is free and open to the public.

The program will feature signers Collins and Williams in concert, reprising songs of the Civil War. The musical portion of the program will be balanced with dramatic readings of speeches by the 16th president and famed abolitionist Douglass by Lang and DeShields. Gospel music will be provided by The Classical Theater of Harlem. The Classical Theatre of Harlem is a not-for-profit professional theatre company that presents original adaptations of works by well-known and contemporary playwrights.

According to famed Lincoln scholar, senior vice president of external affairs for the Metropolitan Museum, and chair of The National Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation Harold Holzer, organizer of the event and master of ceremonies for the evening, the participating artists were selected to capitalize on their talents, strengths and past experiences.

"Throughout the nation, there are few living artists who better chronicle the narrative of our country through song than Judy Collins. We consider ourselves extraordinarily fortunate to have the participation of this incomparable artist, who has inspired us with her music for more than 50 years, in this program," Holzer said.

Holzer continued, stating that Williams was selected for her thoughtful approach to storytelling through music and her commitment to Social consciousness. (David, please add a sentence on the purpose of The Classical Theater of Harlem.) DeShields and Lang, both known for distinguished and award-winning careers on stage and in television and film, have appeared together on the stage of the Great Hall once before in a similarly themed program. "The power of the interpretation of Andre (DeShields) and Stephen (Lang) is sure to forever sear the words of Lincoln and Douglass in the minds of those present," he said.

For more than a century, the Great Hall of the Cooper Union has served as a bastion of free speech and a Witness to the flow of American history and ideas. The Venue will forever be known as the site of one of President Lincoln's most powerful early speeches.

"The Civil War in Words and Music" is part of a series of programs created by the three sponsoring organizations to commemorate the Civil War Sesquicentennial which, nationally, extends through 2015.

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art is a distinguished private college of art, architecture and engineering founded in 1859 by Peter Cooper, an inventor, industrialist and philanthropist.

For more information on this program, go to; or call 212-353-4195. Find The Cooper Union on Facebook at and on Twitter at

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