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NY Times

Mo Willems Named Kennedy Center Artist-In-Residence

NEW YORK — Children's author and illustrator Mo Willems sees creativity as part of a grownup's job.

"Having a child is an opportunity to be silly again," says Willems, who has been named the Kennedy Center's first ever "Education Artist-In-Residence."

"I think parents forget that they are cool and if they want the next generation to be creative then they have to be that way, too."

On Friday, the Washington, D.C.-based center announced that Willems would organize projects for children and their families, including "collaborative experiences across artistic genres." The residency lasts two years, along with a year for preparation. Willems, 51 and based in Massachusetts, will receive an undisclosed fee for his work.

Known for such acclaimed picture stories as "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!" and "Knuffle Bunny," Willems has a long history with the Kennedy Center. He has helped stage theatrical adaptations there of "Knuffle Bunny" and his "Elephant & Piggie" series and is working on a musical production of "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!" that will premiere at the Kennedy Center at the end of the year.

The center's senior vice president for education, Mario Rossero, said in a statement that the goal for the residency was "to extend and deepen intergenerational audience experiences by providing not just kid-friendly art, but family-friendly art.

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Eileen Andrews

Eileen Andrews

Vice President, Public Relations

202-416-8448
etandrews@kennedy-center.org

  • JFK Centennial
  • Kennedy Center Honors
  • Expansion
  • Institution
• • •
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Michelle Pendoley

Director of Public Relations, Non-Classical


mapendoley@kennedy-center.org

  • Kennedy Center Honors
  • Mark Twain Prize
  • Expansion
  • Education
  • DIRECT CURRENT
  • Institution
• • •
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Rachelle Roe

Director of Public Relations, NSO & Classical


rbroe@kennedy-center.org

  • National Symphony Orchestra
  • NSO @ Wolf Trap
  • NSO Pops
  • Chamber Music
  • Fortas Series
  • Sound Health
  • SHIFT
• • •
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Brendan Padgett

Senior Press Representative

202-416-8004
bepadgett@kennedy-center.org

  • Theater
  • Theater for Young Audiences
  • Festivals
  • International Programming
• • •

Sabrina Skacan

Senior Press Representative, WNO & Classical

202-416-8453
smskacan@kennedy-center.org

  • Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program
  • American Opera Initiative
  • Washington National Opera
  • KC Jukebox
  • Renee Fleming VOICES
• • •
Brittany Laeger

Brittany Laeger

Press Representative

202-416-8445
balaeger@kennedy-center.org

  • VSA
  • Any Given Child
  • Ballet
  • Dance
  • Education
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Chanel Williams

Press Representative for Contemporary Culture

202-416-8447
cpwilliams@kennedy-center.org

  • Hip Hop
  • International Programming
  • Jazz
  • Comedy
  • Festivals
  • Contemporary Music
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LaurenHolland

Lauren Holland

PR Coordinator, Non-Classical

202-416-8441
leholland@kennedy-center.org

  • Millennium Stage
• • •

Iain Higgins

PR Coordinator, Classical

202-416-8442
imhiggins@kennedy-center.org

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