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, whose LUNCH DOODLES have received more than 9.5 million views, announces two special projects during the month of May: Thank You Thursdays!, a new series with Disney Publishing Worldwide which will be posted every Thursday during the month of May at 1 p.m. ET, and The Yo-Yo Mo Show: An Evening of Musical Doodling with Grammy Award® winner and Kennedy Center Honors recipient Yo-Yo Ma on Sunday, May 31 at 5 p.m. ET. Both programs, as well as all 15 episodes of LUNCH DOODLES, will be available on the Mo Willems page of the Kennedy Center website.
For the past four years, Willems’s beloved characters—Elephant & Piggie, Knuffle Bunny, and The Pigeon—have traveled the country during the month of May for a “Thank-O-Rama” campaign. First launched by Disney Publishing Worldwide in conjunction with the finale in the Elephant & Piggie series, The Thank You Book, the “Thank-O-Rama” campaign has engaged book lovers across the country, making stops at bookstores, schools, and libraries. This year, Disney Publishing Worldwide is joining the Kennedy Center for a special series of weekly online events, Thank You Thursdays! Each Thursday, Willems will be encouraging kids and their grown-up pals to create special doodles thanking groups of people who have inspired the world over in the past few months.
During The Yo-Yo Mo Show: An Evening of Musical Doodling, learners of all ages are invited to grab some paper and doodling implements and join Mo Willems and Yo-Yo Ma to explore ways in which different art forms can inspire each other.
Highlights of the first year of Willems’s two-year residency at the Kennedy Center included the 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.
Due to COVID-19, all ticketed performances at the Kennedy Center have been canceled through August 9. Until further notice, the Kennedy Center campus and its facilities, including the restaurant, café, and other food service, will be closed.