Photo by Timothy Duffy
On June 13th, 2021 from 4-7pm President Lincoln’s Cottage, a national monument in Washington, DC, will be hosting its biggest fundraiser of the year: Bourbon and Bluegrass. This virtual event will be livestreamed from the Cottage porch where it will be performed in person for the veterans of the Armed Forces Retirement Home, who share their campus with President Lincoln’s Cottage.
This year’s event will be held virtually to ensure safety and reach wider audiences, while simultaneously providing the retired veterans an exciting live event. As Jason Molihan, the Director of Development at President Lincoln’s Cottage explained, “As we celebrate the vaccinations of the veterans and the horizon of reopening; we want to give the veterans an activity they deserve.” The veterans have been previously sequestered for most of the COVID-19 pandemic and have not been able to see family and friends out of an abundance of caution.
The veterans, and members of our virtual audience, will take part in a lively program that incorporates music, history, and bourbon. The event will be headlined by Dom Flemons, “The American Songster,” a Grammy winning artist with a historically-minded approach to music. Flemons, who was a founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, has devoted much research to the African American contributions to bluegrass music. His Grammy nominated album Black Cowboys was released on Smithsonian Folkways recordings in conjunction with the National Museum of African American History and Culture as part of the African-American legacy series.
Flemons plays the banjo, guitar, jug, harmonica, percussion, quills and rhythm bones. “With our virtual event, we thought it was important to bring in national talent and highlight diversity of the bluegrass genre,” said Molihan. “Dom is an accomplished musician having won a Grammy award and headlined the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, so we are honored to have him perform for us.” Flemons will be joined by two local bands that are returning favorites to Bourbon & Bluegrass, Hollertown and Moose Jaw.
Beam Suntory is providing Bourbon for the event, with VIP ticketing options that provides Maker’s Mark or Basil Hayden’s custom cocktail kits delivered directly to homes. The event will also feature custom cocktail videos from the Mixtress of DC, Gina Chersevani.
All proceeds from the event will support the continuing preservation of President Lincoln’s beloved summer home, the birthplace of the Emancipation Proclamation. Between the sets, the virtual audience will have a chance to learn about the Cottage from Senior Preservationist, Jeff Larry. “President Lincoln’s Cottage is the only National Monument not to receive federal operating support and we rely on support from donors. Bourbon and Bluegrass is our biggest annual fundraiser and the funds go directly to the preservation and upkeep of our historic site – to keep it open, safe, and accessible for visitors from all over the world who look toward Lincoln for inspiration and change,” said Molihan.