Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence, Emmy Award®–winning writer, and New York Times best-selling author and illustrator Mo Willems, will be partnering with community groups across the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area to create an interactive art installation on the Kennedy Center’s REACH Plaza on Saturday, October 9th from 10:45 a.m.–4 p.m. titled We Are All Connected.
As part of the launch of the 50th Anniversary season, the We Are All Connected day of creation will be hosted by Mo Willems and Helen Hayes Award®–winning actress, Erika Rose, and feature musical performances from No BS! Brass; the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Show Choir; a jazz trio featuring Amy Bormet, piano, Dana Hawkins, percussion, and Tarus Mateen, electric bass; and more. Spectators are welcome to the Center’s REACH campus during this time to experience and participate in exciting musical and creative activities around the grounds and outside of the Moonshot Studio, while also watching the artwork be created. Additionally, there will be a featured moment with the Center’s new Education Artist-in-Residence, New York Times best-selling author and MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient, Jacqueline Woodson.
“I wanted to end my Artist-in-Residency with a house party for everyone,” said Willems. “We Are All Connected is predicated on the simple fact that we are all connected and the singular hope that those connections can be healthier, happier, and more empathetic. Also, party.”
As a culminating part of Willems’ two-year residency at the Kennedy Center, We Are All Connected will be an outdoor celebration of public art and community engagement. 240 community group participants who are passionate about and engaged with art, food, justice, learning, medicine, and wellness will collaborate with Willems to create We Are All Connected on the ground of the Center’s REACH Plaza. Community group members will work in pairs to choose and place large and colorful three-foot-wide dot stickers on the Plaza as part of the installation. Willems will finish the work by adding black lines to beautifully connect the multitude of dots symbolizing the connection we all have in unexpected ways. This exciting two-dimensional piece of art is inspired by Mo’s abstract works of dots and lines, and it will be large enough to be seen by airplanes overhead. After the day of creation, the large-scale work of art doubles as a fun playscape for visitors of all ages to enjoy, in hopes to bring people together.
We Are All Connected offers a lasting impact that will remain on the Center’s campus for a large portion of the 50th Anniversary season, remaining on the REACH Plaza through March 1, 2022.
The current sketch and model of the installation is being featured on the Kennedy Center’s 50th Anniversary season website along with a full schedule of FREE events planned for Saturday, October 9th. These are prospective renderings of what the artwork could look like, depending on how Mo Willems and the community members create it.
To pre-register (not required) for this free festival day click here.
This outdoor event does not require proof of vaccination. Masks are recommended. In case of inclement weather a rain date of Saturday, October 16th is set.