Serious fun: children’s book author Mo Willems’s mission at the Kennedy Center

Posted on: August 15, 2019

“There’s a 20-foot-tall pigeon coming to Washington,” writes Vicky Hallett in Tuesday’s (8/13) Washington Post. “It’s an inflatable version of the star of the award-winning book ‘Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!’ and other literary adventures. Pigeon will land at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to celebrate the opening of the REACH, a huge indoor-outdoor space at the center. He will be joined by his creator, children’s book author and illustrator Mo Willems, who promises to wear sequins and act silly. Willems [is] the Kennedy Center’s first education artist-in-residence. ‘I love the symphony and theater—these things that people think are stuffy,’ Willems says. And he knows young people can love them, too…. Willems’s goal for the two-year residency is to help folks of all ages take themselves less seriously when they’re watching something onstage. His first offering was a story time in July with well-known comedians acting out some of his popular books…. Willems also has a 250th birthday surprise for Ludwig van Beethoven. Instead of a card, he’s making abstract artworks based on the German composer’s nine symphonies…. And he wants to encourage people to create their own classical-music-inspired comics.”

Posted August 15, 2019

In photo: Author and illustrator Mo Willems with a friend