Name me a curmudgeon, however I’ve at all times felt jealous of different professions’ museums.
I bear in mind trekking by means of corridor after corridor of science museums, artwork historical past museums and area museums as a scholar, lots of them stuffed with enjoyable, interactive options and displays that helped draw you into the subject in a brand new method.
However the one writing-focused museums I’ve skilled have been at all times musty, antiquated ordeals — usually the previous homes of 1 author or one other, displaying classic furnishings, clothes and bric-a-brac that, whereas traditionally fascinating, hardly made me really feel invigorated or impressed.
Effectively, pay attention up, phrase nerds, as a result of our time has lastly come.
The wholly authentic American Writers Museum, opened again in 2017 in Chicago, Illinois, and it’s every part you ever wished a writing museum to be.
Right here’s why you’ll need to embody it in your subsequent journey plans.
Writing introduced in an entire new method on the American Writers Museum
The primary museum of its sort, the American Writers Museum’s mission is to “have interaction the general public in celebrating American writers and exploring their affect on our historical past, our identification, our tradition, and our day by day lives.”
It accomplishes this by means of distinctive displays and trendy multimedia installations designed to not solely educate guests, but additionally encourage them, shock them and problem them to contemplate writing as not simply an finish product, however a way of life and approaching the world. It divides its focus easily between honoring noteworthy American writers and works and exploring the precise expertise of writing.
Whether or not you’ve accomplished NaNoWriMo yearly since its inception otherwise you’ve been battling author’s block for longer than you’d prefer to admit, the American Writers Museum is certain to excite and inspire you.
You might even discover the non-writerly family and friends you persuade to come back alongside have a brand new appreciation for a way superior (and difficult, and maddening) you’ve at all times recognized writing is.
As museum president Carey Cranston informed Chicago journal, “It’s not about books below glass.”
What you’ll discover inside this Chicago writers museum
Nestled within the coronary heart of downtown Chicago, The American Writers Museum is just one ground in the intervening time, however it hopes to broaden in time — and its opening choices are greater than sufficient to maintain any scribe or e-book lover occupied for days.
From A Nation of Writers, a timeline of American writers, to the colourful Youngsters’s Literature Gallery , the museum covers 400 years of American authors and literature in a method even probably the most avid of English majors by no means encountered. (Suppose: a “Shock Bookshelf” that means that you can immerse your senses in issues just like the woodsy scent of Walden or Julia Little one’s fresh-baked cookies.)
You’ll additionally discover shows devoted to the craft of writing and the writing course of itself. Even the position of readers of American literature is widely known and explored within the interpretative displays in Readers Corridor, the museum’s major occasion area, the place guests can “get a glimpse of what on a regular basis Individuals have been studying all through historical past, and weigh in on their favourite studying materials.”
Along with the everlasting installations, there are at present three areas for rotating displays. The primary two function the celebration of labor created by immigrant and refugee writers and the examination of the historical past of writing, together with “the instruments which have made writing attainable through the years.” For those who’re in Chicago within the close to future, you should definitely cease by to take a look at the fascinating Bob Dylan exhibit that illuminates his musical and literary contributions over the course of his impactful profession spanning greater than 55 years.
Interactive displays like a mesmerizing video “Phrase Waterfall,” digital magnetic poetry and a well-known first traces guessing sport maintain guests engaged from begin to end. For those who’re impressed to set your personal phrases to paper, day by day prompts can be found and you may clip your masterpiece to the wall for others to take pleasure in.
In addition they provide a assorted calendar of occasions like workshops, readings, youngsters’s’ storytimes and extra, most of that are free to the general public.
The American Writers Museum in Chicago is open day by day from 10 a.m. to five p.m.
Admission is $12 for adults, $eight for college students and seniors 65 or older, and free for teenagers 12 and below. Group excursions and area journeys may be organized upfront by visiting this web page. For parking and instructions, see right here.
And for many who nonetheless have an curiosity in author-specific museums, 70 of them throughout the U.S. at the moment are associates of the American Author’s Museum, with extra to be added sooner or later. Plus, every creator house is “devoted to preserving and celebrating American authors and provoking the way forward for American writing.” You’ll discover a map of their places and a bookmark with info for every one on the museum.
Do you propose to go to the American Writers Museum in Chicago?