As the first black Annie, Quvenzhane Wallis certainly has first hand experience with the beauty of the ever-changing arts and the arts’ power to motivate change. Now, in anticipation of the release of 2014’s Annie, Sony Pictures has teamed up with Turnaround Arts to inspire other children to reach for the stars.
Turnaround Arts is a program that seeks to utilize arts education as a tool in turning around American schools in need. In providing new and exciting arts programs, the students become driven to succeed, witnessed through higher attendance and engagement, which leads to better overall academic performance. Partnering with Annie, Turnaround Arts will not only receive support, but chools interested in putting on their own productions of the classic stage play will be given the resources to do so.
To kick off the initiative yesterday, September 10, Quvenzhane and co-star Jamie Foxx along with director Will Gluck, visited Northport Elementary, a school that is happily taking advantage of this compelling opportunity. “I was excited to visit the school today” she said. “We had so much fun and I’m glad that they are preparing for their own production of Annie. Every Annie can be different, which is one of the reasons why it is so great to be a part of.”
Annie opens in theatres across North America on December 19th. This modern update has Quvenzhane starring as Annie, a foster kid who doesn’t let her mean foster-mom, Miss Hannigan, bring down her spirit. Instead, she is full of energy and passion – and smarts. After being saved by mayoral candidate, and strapping bachelor, Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) the new power-duo hatch a plan to raise his odds in the campaign. Taking Annie in may start off as a simple trick to gain support, but in good old fashioned Annie tradition, as their bond strengthens something powerful and beautiful begins to form.
Produced by Jay-Z and Will Smith, among others, this modern adaptation is expected to be full of clever laughs and fun music.
Jamie Foxx is also proud to be a part of the Turnaround Arts collaboration. He said, “Arts education is a way to make a real difference in the lives of kids everywhere. Being involved with the arts certainly changed my life, and I’ve seen that engagement change the lives of many others.”