WASHINGTON: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (ALBC) has tapped Susan Davis International (SDI) to help promote its mission: finding suitable ways to celebrate the 200th birthday of the President who shepherded America through the Civil War.
For now, the primary task for SDI is to create public excitement for the first meeting of the commission's advisory committee next February.
The committee, including members such as Law & Order's Sam Waterston, famed Lincoln biographer David Herbert Donald, and historical novelist Jeff Sharra, is coming together both to make suggestions to the commission and perform dramatic readings of Lincoln's speeches.
"The Lincoln scholars, of course, are following this closely, as are many other people in Washington. But we really want to reach members of the general public," said ALBC executive director Michael Bishop. "We want to make sure that members of Congress in Washington and members of the general public become aware of and get excited about what the bicentennial commission is doing."
The contract, awarded to SDI following a three-agency pitch, does not yet extend beyond the February meeting. However, "the commission is working on a celebration that culminates in 2009," said Bishop," so we may be working with them again."
The 15 ALBC members include senators, members of the House, historians, and Lincoln collectors. All members were specially appointed by the President and members of Congress. The advisory board includes more than 100 members from a wide variety of backgrounds, from performers to historians to businesspeople.
In addition to the ALBC, SDI signed the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation, which is developing a memorial honoring the 1960s civil-rights leader. Groundbreaking is planned for early 2003 on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
The National Archives Foundation has also tapped SDI to provide communications support for next year's reopening of the National Archives rotunda. The building is currently under construction while its documents tour the country.