The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has named MO WILLEMS to the newly created position of education artist-in-residence. Willems is an author and illustrator perhaps best known as the creator of The Pigeon series, Knuffle Bunny, and Elephant & Piggie. During the two-year residency, Willems and the Kennedy Center will develop new works for children, adults, and families; curate collaborative experiences across artistic genres that spark creativity and invite hands-on, multigenerational engagement; and consult with the Center’s Education division, which serves students, adults, and communities nationwide. Beginning in July 2019, Willems will partner with members of the community, Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz Jason Moran, and National Symphony Orchestra Artistic Advisor Ben Folds. Willems began his career as a writer and animator for Sesame Street. He was a weekly commentator for BBC Radio and created Nickelodeon’s The Off-Beats and Cartoon Network’s Sheep in the Big City. While serving as head writer for Cartoon Network’s Codename: Kids Next Door, Willems began writing and drawing books for children, winning three Caldecott Honors. His drawings, wire sculptures, and sculpture have been exhibited in galleries and museums.

Posted March 8, 2019