Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx was a very busy man in the Twin Cities Wednesday, with stops at a school in Brooklyn Center, Target's annual fall meeting in Minneapolis and the Mall of America in Bloomington.
Foxx, Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) and director Will Guck were in Minnesota to, among other things, promote their upcoming movie musical "Annie."
The Star Tribune says Foxx, Wallis and Gluck spent much of Wednesday morning at Brooklyn Center’s Northport Elementary School. The newspaper says Northport is one of 35 schools in the U.S. that the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities is working with to add more culture to their curriculum.
Private and public funding is helping Northport stage "Annie," its first-ever musical. After the trio greeted 500 students at an assembly, they took part at an "American Idol"-type of audition session for the play at the school's library, where Foxx praised four students singing songs like "Annie's" signature song, "Tomorrow."
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"We are thrilled to be working with Sony Pictures and the new film of 'Annie,' a truly beloved American musical, to get more arts education into the schools that need it the most," said Margo Lion, co-chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in a press release. "For any school, producing and performing a musical can be a memorable event. For our Turnaround Arts schools, it can be transformational. Students, parents and teachers get involved building sets, sewing costumes and rehearsing, and the whole community hums with excitement and expectation. "
Lion added that for any "schools that often struggle with low morale and low parent and student engagement, putting on a musical is a doorway into more teamwork and collaboration, and we are excited to be there with Sony Pictures and 'Annie' as the curtain goes up on these efforts."
Following Foxx's appearance at Target's annual fall meeting at Target Center, the actor headed with Wallis and Gluck to the Theaters at Mall of America for a surprise advanced screening of "Annie," KARE 11 says.
Foxx high-fived and chatted with many of the 150 members of the Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities program before the start of the movie.
"Annie" opens in theaters nationwide Dec. 19.