The mission of the American Writers Museum is to engage the public in celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, our identity, our culture, and our daily lives.

When I saw that mission, I knew the AWM was the place I wanted to make my home, and when the opportunity arose last year to join the organization, I could not have been more thrilled. As a lifelong Chicagoan, whose first job out of high school was working at Kroch’s and Bretano’s Bookstore on Wabash, I could imagine no better city for the home of this first-of-its-kind museum.

This museum creates dynamic spaces where visitors can learn about the vast scope of American writers; who they were, where they came from, and how they reached across the world and across the centuries to connect with readers using only their words. The museum defines writing broadly, from poetry and fiction to songs and speeches, from fiction to non-fiction, and every genre we can imagine. Along with its amazing and interactive exhibits, this museum has been designed to be a space of engagement for readers and writers. Our plans for programming are still developing, but already we have author readings, symposia, and workshops scheduled from the day we open and throughout the summer. I encourage you to look at the events calendar for details.

Since joining the museum, I have been lucky enough to find a staff who are potentially even more excited and passionate about this museum and what it can become than I am. Without their tireless efforts of the last seven months we could not have reached this point. It is working with these people every day, and interacting with our equally passionate and highly engaged Board of Directors, that I know this museum will fulfill its mission.

-Carey Cranston, President of the American Writers Museum

The American Writers Museum opens today, May 16, in Chicago. Buy tickets here today!

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