When March 05, 2023 at 6:30pm 3 hrs

Tickets: Get your free ticket here

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 the promise of the Gettysburg Address has 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, 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 laureate, 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 Urbana program will take place at the Independent Media Center on March 5, 2023 beginning at 6:30pm. It will be preceded by a reading of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, poet and L’sGA collaborator, M.C. Holloway’s Dance Wreck, poetry by The Writers of Oya, and a panel presentation by local scholars. For more information visit www.nonopera.org