WHEELING, W.Va. — West Virginia Independence Hall will commemorate the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s West Virginia statehood proclamation with two special presentations on Saturday, April 20, 2013.
Beginning at 1 p.m. the Allegro Dance Company of Wheeling will perform “President Lincoln – Life and Legacy through Dance.” This performance includes three interpretive dance pieces set to music that consist of Mary Todd Lincoln’s reflections, emancipation and the American people.
At 2 p.m., actor Fritz Klein of Springfield, Ill., will portray Abraham Lincoln as he discusses the Civil War and the 16th president’s deliberations that preceded his decision to sanction the birth of West Virginia, the nation’s 35th state. As part of his presentation, “A New Star in the Union: Abraham Lincoln and West Virginia Statehood,” Klein will ceremonially issue the West Virginia statehood proclamation, which Lincoln did exactly 150 years ago on April 20, 1863. Later in the program, Klein will break character and discuss his experiences in researching and portraying Lincoln.
Both programs are free and open to the public. A reception will follow Klein’s program.
Klein is a performer at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, Ill., and has performed as Lincoln in 38 states and abroad, as well as on the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, National Geographic Television and C-Span.
Anna Pishner Harsh, an Italian-American, formed the Allegro Dance Company in 1994 as a way to celebrate her heritage and love of dance. Her touring company has performed at festivals, concerts, schools, parades and cultural celebrations throughout the United States and Italy.
For more information, contact Travis Henline, site manager at WVIH, at (304) 238-1300.
West Virginia Independence Hall, originally built as a federal custom house in 1859, served as the home of the pro-Union state conventions of Virginia during the spring and summer of 1861 and as the capitol of loyal Virginia from June 1861 to June 1863. It also was the site of the first constitutional convention for West Virginia. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988, the museum is maintained and operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, with the cooperation and assistance of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, with the exception of major holidays. The museum is located on the corner of 16th and Market Streets in Wheeling.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
Editors’ Note: Photos of both performances are attached.
Cutline for dance photo.jpeg: Anna Harsh, director of Allegro Dance Company, performs a dance solo of Mary Todd Lincoln’s reflections on the life and legacy of her husband, President Abraham Lincoln.
Cutline for Lincoln photo.jpeg: Actor Fritz Klein of Springfield, Ill., is a performer at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, Ill., and has performed as Lincoln in 38 states and abroad, as well as on the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, National Geographic Television and C-Span.
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