Trump attended as honorary chair of the annual gala, where she thanked performers and congratulated this year’s winners of the Lincoln Medal, an award honoring those who have embodied President Abraham Lincoln’s legacy through their work, according to the White House.
“I was honored to be part of such a special evening,” the first lady said in a statement. “Tonight reminds all of us about the power the arts have in cultivating the American voice. Thank you to Ford’s Theatre Society for tonight, and your continued dedication to education and leadership in the arts — the impact they have on society is invaluable and something we will continue to cherish throughout time.”
Both Melania and President Donald Trump attended the gala last year, but with the President in Singapore for his upcoming summit with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, the first lady will attend this year’s event solo.
On Wednesday, Trump made her first public appearance in front of press cameras in 26 days, attending a hurricane preparedness briefing at FEMA. She had what the president described as a “big operation” for a kidney condition on May 14.