According to its official website, the museum already has mission statements and design plans ready for its grand opening, even if it has yet to release a firm date. This new institution for showcasing American literary greats plans to ‘engage the public in celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, our identity, our culture, and our daily lives.’
The website also details these specific goals:
- Educate the public about American writers – past and present
- Engage visitors to the Museum in exploring the many exciting worlds created by the spoken and written word
- Enrich and deepen appreciation for good writing in all its forms
- Inspire visitors to discover, or rediscover, a love of reading and writing
In its plans, the museum explains its intention of focusing on several rotating exhibits in its galleries, rather than a majority of permanent exhibitions. It will offer a complete range of featured authors, including those of fiction, non-fiction, plays, poetry, short stories, and novels.
In addition to its exhibits, it will follow the traditional museum mandate of offering special programs and events to promote education, literacy, and a love of reading and writing. A multipurpose reading hall will function as an event space for lectures and other special occasions.
The design plans featured on the website are incredibly extensive and detailed. Those curious can virtually walk through the finished exhibits months ahead of the museum’s official opening to whet their literary appetites. Some of the proposed layouts include a mock writer’s studio, a children’s gallery, and a visually stunning ‘word waterfall’. Among the design layouts, the public can also view the museum’s business plan, financial breakdowns, and fundraising strategies.
Though this museum will be the first and only of its kind in the United States, it will feature several hometown heroes and have a special dedication to literature in Chicago. This close relationship to the city is evident in its partners, which include the Chicago Public Library, the Poetry Foundation, The Newberry Library, and the Chicago History Museum.
The American Writers Museum has received a fair amount of hype as of late, even though its opening remains more than six months away. It has been quite active on social media with Twitter and Facebook account updates. It also publishes a monthly newsletter and has an official blog. The public can choose to follow any or all of these communication channels to stay up to date in the next few months.
To pass the time until its opening, the museum has put together a small traveling exhibit that visits a different Chicago public library every month. Catch From Our Neighborhoods: Four Chicago Writers Who Changed America at Woodson Regional from September 28 to October 22, 2016.