Generations of musicians have come to Illinois by train, bus, and automobile. The Land of Lincoln has offered the promise of jobs, housing, and a new way of looking at things. Rhythms and lyrics that carried these desires shaped a sound that has a global reach. This community of Illinois music reflects our American diversity: Spiritual and Blues, Country, Soul and Rock, International, and Hip–Hop and House.

This music helps us imagine who we are. And through the boundless energy of our imagination, we can reach our potential. In this beautiful hall in the center of the country, you will discover how the sound of the heartland lives within all of us.

You will celebrate who we can be when we sing a song together.
– Dave Hoekstra, 2021

This exhibit was produced

and created by:

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

The Mission of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is to inspire civic engagement through the diverse lens of Illinois History and sharing with the world the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln.


Writer: Dave Hoekstra

Curator/Producer: Lance Tawzer for ALPLM

Photographic assets: Paul Natkin

Produced by: ALPLM and Navy Pier.

Navy Pier:

  • Marilynn Gardner
  • Jeff Brown
  • Brian Murphy
  • Arnaldo Rivera
  • Erika Taylor
  • Roselle Allen

ALPLM Leadership:

  • Christina Shutt, Executive Director
  • Melissa Coultas, Chief of Staff
  • Toby Trimmer, Chief Operating Officer
  • Dave Kelm, Chief Legal Council

ALPLM Board Members:

  • Gary Johnson
  • Joan Brodsky
  • Kathryn Harris
  • Eunice Santos
  • Steven Beckett
  • Jessica Harris
  • Jason Lesniewicz
  • Dan Monroe
  • Martin Sandoval, C.P.A.
  • Melinda Spitzer-Johnston
  • Tiffany Mathis

Social Links