Wednesday, June 3, 2020

MO WILLEMS STUDIO UPDATE June - December 2020

Welcome to the update. These are troubled and troubling times. 

I am struggling to find the best ways facilitate a kinder, more just world. Which means supporting those fighting the essential struggle for racial justice morally, financially, and as a listener.

Additionally, I offer my work, which I hope can provide solace and spark children and former children towards expressing and examining hard truths through art.

To start, a video of me fiddling with ink while Yo-Yo Ma fiddles with strings. 


The update for the remainder of 2020

Usually this blog is a listing of various performances, appearances, and events in the coming months.

However, in addition to the terrible toll of lives, health, and livelihood of billions of people around the globe, the current pandemic has made it difficult, if not impossible to plan appearances, performances, theater, music, or any live experiments that had been scheduled around my tenure as the Kennedy Center's inaugural Education Artist in Residence

But, ART persists. 

It invites us to experiment, create, and embrace empathy.



If you want to try making things, drawings, puppets, animation, and songs, visit the Kennedy Center's Mo Willems site for special videos.

Special series include: 

LUNCH DOODLES WITH MO WILLEMS (15 episodes)

THANK YOU THURSDAYS (4 episodes)

THE YO-YO MO SHOW (1 episode)

They're all at the MoKC site waiting for your creativity.

There are also games and videos at PIGEONPRESENTS.COM and the THANKORAMA sites.

Appearances and performances are either canceled or postponed for the remainder of the year.  It is my hope that we will be able to share planned collaborations with Jason Moran and his BandwagonEphrat Asherie Dance, Chicago's Manual CinemaBen Folds and the NSO, Beethoven Abstractions and the NSO, the touring production of DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! (THE MUSICAL!), and more in 2021.  I will try to post at this site, my twitter feed, and instagram feed as information becomes available.



I recently Co-Curated an exhibition with the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art called ART IN PLACE: SOCIAL DISTANCING IN THE STUDIO.  This digital show features the recent work, studios, and personal stories of 21 leading picture book illustrators as they navigate the new realities of the post-Covid19 world.  I hope you enjoy the exhibit.




As previously announced, I'll be creating new work for the screen for HBO Max, starting with a concert comedy special entitled THE STORYTIME ALL-STARS PRESENT: DON'T LET THE PIGEON DO STORYTIME! performed by some of your favorite comedians at the Kennedy Center in 2019.  You can look for that and more fun stuff on the streaming services starting in the early fall.

I am still busily working on books, with two scheduled to be published this year.



On Sept. 22, 2020, you can visit your local bookstore or library to pick up a copy of the 3rd volume of Elephant & Piggie collections: An Elephant & Piggie Biggie Biggie Biggie! This big book collects 5 of your favorite Elephant & Piggie adventures along with a few new drawings and things.  If you liked An Elephant & Piggie Biggie! or An Elephant & Piggie Biggie Biggie!, then you'll love An Elephant & Piggie Biggie Biggie Biggie!


On October 6, 2020, you can visit your local bookstore or library to pick up a copy of the 3rd Unlimited Squirrels adventure: I Want to Sleep Under the Stars!

In I Want to Sleep Under the Stars, Zoom Squirrel dreams of sleeping under the night stars. The Squirrel pals are excited to help! But will their encouragement be enough—or too much? Do you know more about sleeping under the stars than the Squirrels do? You will by the end of this book!

More info here!

Be safe, be kind, be creative out there!

Mo