I heard about the American Writer’s Museum. Then I heard about it again and again. Then I saw it was voted one of the best 10 new museums in the WORLD! (The museum opened May of 2017.)
I made plans to go with a friend, but meanwhile the 16-year-old and I decided to see what it was all about. She’s been reading a lot of classics lately and is somewhat interested in journalism (but not sure). And we were looking for a 16th birthday trip – so we decided to check it out … and I plan to go back with my friend.
The museum is right on Michigan Avenue, and isn’t hard to find, but you kind of have to be looking for it. It’s located on the second floor of a several-story building and takes up just that one floor.
You get off the elevator and a friendly receptionist is there for you to pay the entrance fee. ($12.00 and $8.00 for students).
The entryway ceiling looks like this – (which might be a way to store the books in my house :))
All the displays are interactive.
We started with a wall full of photographs that were taken by Art Shay – a photographer who took thousands of pictures – many of them of authors. On the opposite side of Shay’s exhibit were more photos – except these were covered in plexiglass which allowed visitors to write captions under the pictures. Mallory and I both had fun doing this.
The next room had a timeline of authors – one side was more informational, but still with interactive displays. Opposite were descriptions of books. When you opened the display, there would be something inside which depicted the book or a song, or a video, etc.
On the wall of doors – here’s a couple examples.
The video is behind the door of Fahrenheit 45l.
Then there was the wall of quotes from American literature —-
Another fun exhibit was the favorite book interactive board – you chose your five favorite books by American authors. Meanwhile, the list on top scrolled through which ones were the favorites – changing by the minute as people voted. Next time I go, I’ll put in different books – that was difficult to do at a moment’s notice, but fun …
And then Mallory and I got stuck … having so much fun. They have a table of old typewriters … ancient up to a computer (including an IBM selectric). You typed the beginning of a story and then the next person wrote the next part, etc. Such a creative idea and interesting. They are planning on publishing some of the best stories. We went back several times to read what was happening to “our” stories.
After that were several interactive boards to create stories (think a touch screen of refrigerator magnets) and a touch screen of Mad Libs.
We spent about two hours there, and decided that we both wanted to come back.
I definitely say this is a must for all my writer and reader friends.