PRESS RELEASE from Presidential
January 12, 2009
|Contact: PIC Communications
INITIAL TALENT LINEUP
CONFIRMED FOR "WE ARE ONE: THE OBAMA INAUGURAL CELEBRATION AT THE
LINCOLN MEMORIAL," KICKING OFF INAUGURAL OPENING FESTIVITIES, PRESENTED
EXCLUSIVELY BY HBO JAN. 18
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) is
pleased to announce the producers and initial talent lineup for WE ARE
ONE: THE OBAMA INAUGURAL CELEBRATION AT THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL, the
Opening Celebration for the 56th Presidential Inaugural, to be
presented exclusively by HBO on Sunday, January 18 (7:00-9:00 p.m.
ET/PT). The event will be free and open to the public, kicking
off the most open and accessible Inauguration in history.
George Stevens, Jr. Executive Produces;
Don Mischer Produces And Directs;
Michael Stevens Is Producer And Writer
The special will be executive produced by George Stevens, Jr. (The
Kennedy Center Honors), and produced by Don Mischer (Olympic
Ceremonies) who will also direct the special, and Michael Stevens (The
American Film Institute Salutes) who is also writing the special, and
will be a production of The Stevens Company in association with Don
Musical performers scheduled for the event include Beyonce, Mary J.
Blige, Bono, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Renee Fleming, Josh Groban,
Herbie Hancock, Heather Headley, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, John
Mellencamp, Usher Raymond IV, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor,
will.i.am, and Stevie Wonder. Among those reading historical
passages will be Jamie Foxx, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah and
Denzel Washington. The Rt. Reverend V. Gene Robinson will give
the invocation. Rob Mathes will be the music director and
arranger for the backing band, which will support all of the
artists. Additional performers will be announced as they are
"Our intention is to root the event in history, celebrating the moments
when our nation has united to face great challenges and prevail,"
observed George Stevens, Jr. "We will combine historical readings
by prominent actors with music from an array of the greatest stars of
"This is a great opportunity to capture an historic event in a very
meaningful setting," noted Don Mischer. "We will have the statue
of Abraham Lincoln looking down on our stage and a crowd of hundreds of
thousands of people lining the mall -- a tableau any director would
"We have found that the great artists are eager to take part and each
one is working with us to find music that expresses the optimism and
hope that people bring to the Obama inauguration," said Michael Stevens.
Televised to the nation, the Opening Celebration will be a declaration
of common purpose and new beginnings. The Sunday afternoon
performance will be grounded in history and brought to life with
entertainment that relates to the themes that shaped Barack Obama and
which will be the hallmarks of his administration.
HBO will televise the event on an open signal, working with all of its
distributors to allow Americans across the country with access to
cable, telcos or satellite television to join in the Opening
Celebration for free.
The 56th Inauguration promises to be the most inclusive in history, and
the Opening Celebration is one of a series of inaugural events that
reflect that commitment. On Saturday, the President-elect, Vice
President-elect and their families will journey to the nation's capital
via train, holding events that are free and open to the public along
the way. They will be joined by a group of everyday Americans
they met along their road to the White House. On January 19th,
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President-elect Obama will call on all
Americans to make an ongoing commitment to serve their communities and
their country. A new website, USAservice.org, makes it easy for
Americans to organize service events or find existing events to
participate in. To date, nearly 5,000 events have been organized
across the country. That evening, Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden,
and their families will host a free "Kids' Inaugural" concert to honor
military families, broadcast live on the Disney Channel and Radio
This spirit of openness will continue on Inauguration Day, when, for
the first time in history, the entire length of the National Mall will
be open to the public for the swearing in ceremony. Local D.C.
students have also been given the chance to receive tickets in front of
the White House for the Inaugural Parade for themselves and their
family members based on the submission of essays answering the
question, "How can I contribute to my neighborhood through community
On the evening of Inauguration Day, the first ball that President Obama
and First Lady Michelle Obama will attend will be the first-ever
Neighborhood Inaugural Ball. The ball will be broadcast live on
ABC and over the Internet, bringing together neighborhoods across the
country in the spirit of unity and celebration.
The sum of these public events is an Inauguration that allows more
Americans than ever before to come together as one nation and one
people, united in our resolve to tackle our greatest common challenges
and move this country forward together.
For the latest information on the 2009 Presidential Inauguration,
please visit www.pic2009.org.