Letters to the President is a multi-composer song cycle conceived by director Michael Bello (We Are The Tigers, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical) and dramaturg Jessica Kahkoska (Discount Ghost Stories, Agent 355).
Since George Washington took office in 1783, writing letters to the President has provided citizens of all ages, races, political parties, and backgrounds an outlet to express their most personal concerns, hopes, and dreams. Letters to the President reimagines this archival canon of letters as a multi-composer song cycle, with each song inspired by an individual letter in the archive. Featuring historical letters from the National Archives and spanning topics including, Western expansion, World Wars I and II, space exploration, and the Civil Right Movement, Letters to the President offers a powerful look at American dream, setting the White House’s most memorable mail to song.
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The Great Hall of The Cooper Union has stood since 1858 as a destination for free speech, civic engagement, and a witness to the flow of American history and ideas. When the Great Hall first opened, it was the largest public gathering space in New York City. Leading thinkers, artists, and historical figures have held the stage including Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Mark Twain, Susan Sontag, Cornel West, Ai Weiwei, Congressman John Lewis, and more. More recently, groups like PEN America, the Public Art Fund, and the Architectural League of New York and more have held events on its stage. Learn more at www.cooper.edu.