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Children's Museum of Pittsburgh & The Eric Carle Museum Announce Traveling Exhibition Inspired by Mo Willems

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Bill Schlageter, Director of Marketing
(412) 586-6023

PITTSBURGH (April 17, 2017) –  Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art are proud to announce a new partnership to co-organize The Pigeon Comes to Pittsburgh: A Mo Willems Exhibit, inspired by the art and characters of beloved children’s book author and illustrator Mo Willems. 

The exhibit, debuting February 2018 at the Children's Museum, will invite visitors into the imagination, whimsy and humor of Mo Willems. Many familiar characters will be featured, including best friend duo Elephant and Piggie, faithful companion Knuffle Bunny, and The Pigeon, the wily city bird best known for his antics in Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Activities will give children the opportunity to make art that is inspired by Mo Willems and to learn about the rich social and emotional lives of the author’s characters. The exhibit will also feature prints of illustrations, including works in progress, by Mo Willems.

In Summer 2018, the exhibit will begin its tour to museums and libraries in cities across the country.

“We’re so excited to reconnect with The Eric Carle Museum,” said Jane Werner, Executive Director of Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. “Its commitment to preserving and growing the art forms of illustration and storytelling are so important in this fast-paced day and age.”

The two institutions first joined forces in 2015 to produce Very Eric Carle: A Very Hungry, Quiet, Lonely, Clumsy, Busy Exhibit based on the five-book series about insects by Eric Carle. The exhibit is breaking attendance records at museums as it tours across North America through 2021.

“Mo’s work came to the top of our list when we talked about the next exhibition we wanted to mount,” adds The Carle’s Executive Director Alexandra Kennedy. “His style appears so simple but there is so much contained within that distillation—outrageous comedy, a child’s eye view, and important revelations about kindness and acceptance.”

The Pigeon Comes to Pittsburgh: A Mo Willems Exhibit will premiere at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh on February 17, 2018, and be available for rent after its run in Pittsburgh is completed.  For information on renting this and other Children’s Museum’s traveling exhibits, please contact the Museum’s Exhibits department at (412) 322-5058, ext. 229, or exhibits@pittsburghkids.org.

About Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is a place that delights and inspires children, where they can take off on fantastic flights of imagination daily, and return to earth to splash in a river, hammer a nail and ink a silkscreen. With 80,000 square feet of space, the Museum welcomes more than 302,500 visitors annually and provides tons of fun and loads of “real stuff” experiences for play and learning. Permanent hands-on, interactive exhibit areas at the Museum include The Studio, Theater, Waterplay, Attic, Nursery, Backyard and MAKESHOP®. The Museum’s award-winning, three-story, center building is screened by a shimmering wind sculpture and connects two historic structures (Allegheny Post Office Building & the Buhl Building). In 2006, the Museum became a certified
green building and was honored by the American Institute for Architects and the National Historic Preservation Trust. In 2017, the Museum was voted one of the nation’s Ten Best Museums for Families in USA Today's 10 Best Reader’s Choice Contest, and in 2015, named one of the nation’s Top 15 Children’s Museums by Parents magazine.  For further information, visit the Children's Museum’s website at www.pittsburghkids.org

About The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
The mission of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA, is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books. The only full-scale museum of its kind in the United States, The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture book illustrations from around the world. In addition to underscoring the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of picture books, The Carle offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy.
Eric and Barbara Carle founded the Museum in November 2002. Eric Carle is the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The Carle houses more than 11,000 objects, including 7,300 permanent collection illustrations, three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, picture book and scholarly libraries, and educational programs for families, scholars, educators, and schoolchildren. Educational offerings include professional training for educators around the country and four onsite graduate programs in Children's Literature in collaboration with Simmons College. For further information, visit the Museum’s website at www.carlemuseum.org.

About Mo Willems
The New York Times best-selling author and illustrator began his career as a writer and animator for PBS’s Sesame Street, where he garnered six Emmy Awards for his writing. During his nine seasons at Sesame Street, Willems also served as a weekly commentator for BBC Radio and created two animated series, Nickelodeon’s The Off-Beats and Cartoon Network’s Sheep in the Big City. While serving as head writer for Cartoon Network’s number one-rated show, Codename: Kids Next Door, Willems began writing and drawing books for children. His debut effort, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, became a New York Times best-seller and was awarded a Caldecott Honor in 2004. The following year Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale was awarded a Caldecott Honor. The sequel, Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity earned Willems his third Caldecott Honor in 2008. In addition to picture books, Willems created the Elephant and Piggie books, a series of beginning readers, which were awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal in 2008 and 2009 and Geisel Honors in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Willems’ drawings and sculptures have been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums across the nation, and his graphic story about his family experiences during 9-11 for DC Comics resides in the Library of Congress’s permanent collection. Willems has written the script and lyrics for three musicals, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical, Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play! (both commissioned by the Kennedy Center) and Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience (commissioned by The Seattle Children’s Theater). His monumental sculpture, The Red Elephant, can be viewed in the courtyard of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Willems lives in Massachusetts with his family.