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Two Free, Must-See Lincoln Events

Washington DC is the setting for two star-powered events this month that celebrate Lincoln, music and art and they are both open to the public at no charge.

On Easter Sunday (April 12), bundle up for the outdoor concert by mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves at the Lincoln Memorial at 3 p.m. She will pay tribute to another African American star who sang there on Easter Sunday, 1939.

On April 18, come to the National Portrait Gallery at 4:30 p.m. where Lincoln scholar and author Harold Holzer will discuss a miniature portrait of Lincoln by John Henry Brown.

Graves' concert is a tribute to singer, Marian Anderson, who was barred by the Daughters of the American Revolution from performing at their national headquarters building in Washington because of her race. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and others interceded and arranged for Anderson to sing at the Memorial.

Graves will be joined the United States Marine Band, the a capella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock and the Chicago Children's Choir. Following the concert, former Secretary of State Collin Powell will speak at a naturalization ceremony for more than 200 men and women. The day's events are sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

Holzer, a senior vice-president for external affairs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is participating in the second annual American Pictures Distinguished Lecture Series sponsored by Washington College of Chestertown, Md. Each speaker chooses a single powerful image and investigates its meaning, revealing how artworks reflect American identity and inspire creativity in many different fields.

Holzer is the author or editor of 31 books on Lincoln, including "Lincoln at Cooper Union," which won the Lincoln Prize in 2005. He received the National Humanities Medal in 2008.

Admission to Holzer's talk is free but tickets are required. They are available at the G Street lobby information desk on April 18 beginning at 3:30 p.m. No advance reservations are required. Doors open for the lecture at 4 p.m.

By Linda Wheeler  |  April 7, 2009; 1:38 PM ET
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