BURBANK, CA.- Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that Bob Rogers, founder and chief creative officer of BRC Imagination Arts, one of the world's leading creators of educational experiences that engage, teach, and inspire, is among the 30 people from around the world who will receive a special Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial edition of The Order of Lincoln from the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, the highest honor that can be awarded by the State of Illinois.
Rogers is being honored for his role in designing the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum (presidentlincoln.org), which opened in 2005 and has since dazzled audiences and charmed historians, while becoming the most studied new museum project in the last decade. The most visited of any of the presidential museums, reviewers have called the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum "revolutionary, controversial, and highly successful". Its success has helped ignite economic growth in Springfield, Ill., with tourism in the region up substantially since the museum's opening in 2005.
"This is a wonderful surprise," said Rogers. "BRC has been quietly leading a revolution in museum design, aimed at engaging the imagination and emotions of the hard-to-reach 21st century museum visitor, while maintaining the highest standards of rigorous scholarship. This honor recognizes the inspired work of our BRC creative team, plus the vision and dedication of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the great staff who runs the museum on a daily basis."
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is different from every other historical attraction because of the scope, creativity and visitor engagement of its displays. Using advanced technologies normally reserved for Hollywood and Broadway, yet maintaining the highest standards of scholarship, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum presents a fully immersive theatrical experience, enabling 21st century visitors to inhabit Lincoln's life and times. Visitors encounter historical settings, interactive exhibits and theatrical special effects that make the history engaging, both intellectually and emotionally.
The Lincoln Academy of Illinois, unique among the 50 states, was established in 1964 to honor Illinois' most distinguished citizens, either by birth or residence, who have brought honor to the state by their achievements. The special Lincoln Bicentennial awards to be presented on February 7, 2009 are a departure from the usual practice in that the award winners were selected from among worldwide nominations and did not need to have an Illinois connection.
Past honorees have included Ronald Reagan, the Chicago Bears' Walter Payton, Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks, author David Herbert Donald, business leader Lester Crown, Nobel scientist Leon Lederman, and educator Richard H. Moy. More information can be found at www.thelincolnacademyofillinois.org.
"These distinguished citizens of the world will be honored for the lasting and significant ways they have preserved the memory of Abraham Lincoln, and have contributed to Lincoln's defining influence on the American spirit," said Governor Blagojevich.