Every day as I made my weekly appointments in downtown Chicago, I would always pass a building called the American Writers Museum. Although I was always curious about it, me being an aspiring author and all, I never got a chance to visit. My weeks consisted of school and my weekends were constantly booked. Today, however, was different. With nothing planned after my appointment and my work providing me ample funds, I finally resolved to pay this museum a visit. And what I can tell you first and foremost, friends, is that I hadn't made a mistake.
From the moment you enter the glass doors, you feel the passion poured into this establishment in the form of its crisp, modern accommodations. What astonished me most were the ticket prices. Only $12 for regular adult tickets and other discounts galore!
After paying a worthwhile entrance fee, you are shown a variety of different exhibits from the Children's Literature Garden where you can learn about the minds behind your favorite childhood stories, A Nation of Writers, hosting dates and details regarding some of the most influential writing voices throughout all of American History, The Readers Hall where you can learn about the different eras of American literature and cast your votes for your favorite all-time books, and perhaps my favorite exhibit, The Mind of a Writer, hosting a plethora hands-on activities and games for the whole family to enjoy. I knew writing was my passion in life, but I never would've guessed it could be that much fun!
My favorite part of the museum had to be the Word Waterfall: a wall of illuminating words taken from many passages across many books. The main theme tying each sentence together: what it means to be American. The words light up to create patterns across the wall accompanied by soft, ambient noise. Standing in front of it invoked a reaction of pride and passion that I as a writer haven't felt quite as strongly anywhere else.
The museum was also quite empty, which made my introverted side happy. While I wasn't sure if I had caught the museum during a slow time for business, being 1:00 on a Thursday, part of me wondered if the establishment has simply gone under the radar of the public. The location certainly isn't convenient or traditional for a museum. But the services they provided and the type of information they had available for the public earns the American Writers Museum a top spot on my list of places to return to soon. I was so impressed with the American Writers Museum that I decided to dedicate my carefully-selected words to highlight my praise for it. Truly, it's a hidden gem among Chicago museums. So, if any of you out there are Chicagoans looking for somewhere you haven't been, visitors from out of town who want to try something off the beaten path, a lover of American literature, or literally anyone else wanting to go somewhere for two hours and learn a thing or two, then I cannot recommend enough the American Writer's Museum located at 180 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60601.