Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence Mo Willems to host ‘Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems’

Online video series to virtually invite learners of all ages into his studio for the next few weeks due to Kennedy Center closure.

(WASHINGTON)— The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ first-ever Education Artist-in-Residence, Emmy Award®–winning writer and New York Times best-selling author and illustrator Mo Willems, will launch an online video series that invites viewers to virtually join him in his studio for a LUNCH DOODLE every day for the next few weeks. Beginning today, March 16, 2020, a new LUNCH DOODLE will be posted to the Mo Willems page of the Kennedy Center website daily at 1 p.m. ET.

Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence Mo Willems presents Lunch Doodles daily on The Kennedy Center website starting March 16. Photo courtesy of Mo Willems.
Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence Mo Willems presents Lunch Doodles daily on The Kennedy Center website starting March 16. Photo courtesy of Mo Willems.

“When I became the Kennedy Center Education Artist in Residence, I didn’t realize the most impactful word in that title would be ‘residence,’” said Willems. “With millions of learners attempting to grow and educate themselves in new circumstances, I have decided to invite everyone into my studio once a day for the next few weeks. Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons. We are going to doodle together and explore ways of writing and making.”

On March 12, 2020, the Kennedy Center announced that due to the increasing threat of COVID-19, all public performances and events scheduled at the Kennedy Center will be canceled through March 31.

Highlights of the first year of Willems’s two-year residency include the world premiere orchestral rendition of Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs (a Symphonic Spectacular) with music composed by Kennedy Center Artistic Advisor Ben Folds for the National Symphony Orchestra, the recent five-time Helen Hayes Award-nominated Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical!), and this past summer’s Mo Willems & the Storytime All-Stars Present: Don’t Let the Pigeon Do Storytime!, a comedic celebration of reading. Willems also participated in the multidisciplinary 16-day Opening Festival of the REACH, the first expansion of the Kennedy Center in its 48-year history.


The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts sets a national standard for arts learning. Working through model programs and a nationwide network of partners, the nation’s cultural center harnesses the power of the arts to address education challenges, accelerate best practices, and uplift citizen artists. Across all its programs, the Kennedy Center is committed to increasing accessible, inclusive opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to participate in, learn about, and learn through the arts. New York Times best-selling author and illustrator Mo Willems serves as the Center’s first-ever Education Artist-in-Residence. Throughout his two-year residency, Willems will invite kids and former kids into the creative process with original productions and hands-on, interactive moments.

Highlights of the 2019–2020 season include the 51st annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, which impacts thousands of college-aged theater students across the country; two Kennedy Center world premiere commissions comprising Education Artist-in-Residence Mo Willems’s Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical), and Kid Prince and Pablo; the 5th year of the DC Public Schools Performing Arts Festival at the Kennedy Center; and New Visions/New Voices, the biannual festival dedicated to the development of new plays and musicals for young people and their families. On September 7, 2019, the Kennedy Center opened the REACH, an immersive arts and learning center with significant space and programming for arts education.

As an essential component of the living memorial to President Kennedy, the Center’s Education programs utilize the arts to embrace President Kennedy’s ideals of service, justice, freedom, courage, and gratitude. By cultivating the citizen artist in everyone, the Kennedy Center brings the arts and creativity to the center of our lives. For more information, please go online.



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