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‘Annie’ Adopts Turnaround Arts to Support Struggling Schools [Video]

Quvenzhane Wallis and Jamie Foxx, from Columbia Pictures’ movies “Annie,” take part in a Minneapolis Turnaround Arts event with Principal Leona Derden at Northport Elementary School in Brooklyn Park, Minn. (Photo: Sony Pictures Entertainment/PR NewsFoto)

Sony Pictures Entertainment‘s movie “Annie” doesn’t get released until Dec. 19, but the film and its cast and crew are helping support Turnaround Arts to help struggling schools.

The initiative kicked off this week in Minneapolis, where Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis and filmmaker Will Gluck visited Northport Elementary School in Brooklyn Park, Minn., where they met the first-through-fifth graders and worked with students preparing to audition for their school’s production of “Annie.”

Turnaround Arts has been working with local programs since 2011 to provide intensive arts education resources to clusters of high-poverty schools across the country, helping boost increases in attendance, academic achievement, and student engagement. Turnaround Arts is a signature program of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

Foxx, who is portraying Will Stacks in “Annie,” 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.”

Wallis, who plays Annie in the film, 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.”

Besides Foxx and Wallis, also starring in the movie are Cameron Diaz, Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale. The movie, based on the Broadway musical and book by Thomas Meehan, is from Columbia Pictures in association with Village Roadshow Pictures.

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