We have plenty of events and exhibits that are some of the top things to do in Chicago this month. Celebrate American writing with us!
Summer is in full swing now! Take advantage of your vacations and summer hours and join us at the American Writers Museum to honor the past, present, and future of American writing. Check out what we have lined up in July below and subscribe to our e-newsletter below to stay up-to-date on all that’s happening. Also, AWM members get free admission to the AWM and most programs, so if you’re not already a member, become a member today!
1. The Truth About Historical Fiction: Logan Steiner & Elizabeth Blackwell (July 9, 1:00 pm CDT)
Have you ever wondered what it is like to write historical fiction? How much research does it take? How accurate does an author need to be? What is it like to create fictional stories about real historic figures? Join us for this special Sunday event to get the truth about historical fiction from authors Logan Steiner and Elizabeth Blackwell. The two will discuss their work, as well as Steiner’s debut novel After Anne, a fictional story about Lucy Maud Montgomery, the real-life author of Anne of Green Gables. In addition, the two will share insights into their craft, the historical fiction genre, their research processes, and what it is like to bring historical figures and eras to life again in new ways.
Get your tickets for Logan Steiner and Elizabeth Blackwell at the AWM here. This in-person event will also be livestreamed, and you can register to watch online here.
2. Get Lit: The Final Frontier (July 11, 5:30 pm CDT)
Our next Get Lit happy hour event celebrates the wide world of science fiction, from books and comics to film and television. Play sci-fi themed bingo and enter the costume contest for a chance to win out-of-this-world prizes. Get creative and write your own fan fiction on our vintage typewriters or make a special (and cute) alien at the arts and crafts table. The Horror & SciFi Prop Preservation Association will also be on hand displaying some of their favorite props and relics used in well-known films and television shows. Bring any comic books you have lying around to participate in a comic book swap and connect with fellow sci-fi nerds (this is a term of endearment here at the AWM, to be clear). Plus, as always we will be serving cold beers, summer seltzers, and refreshing wines as well as a signature cocktail inspired by Frank Herbert’s Dune. So, fire up your spaceships and meet us in the Get Lit dimension for a fun night! Get your tickets here.
Get Lit events take place the second Tuesday of every month from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Each month will have a different theme, so check out upcoming Get Lit events here and be sure to check back regularly as we announce more Get Lit events throughout the year.
3. Live Music with Sofar Sounds (July 25, 7:30 pm CDT)
The secret’s out…we’re hosting a Sofar Sounds show on July 25! Snag your tickets today to get access to this intimate concert at the American Writers Museum. The best part? The artists remain a mystery – you’ll find out who they are when they take the mic! Sofar Sounds transform everyday spaces into captivating venues for secret, live music shows. Expect three local and diverse artists, great vibes, and a whole lot of magic. You’ll also have access to all of our exhibits the night of the show. Refreshing adult beverages and tasty snacks will be sold during the event and attendees are welcome to bring pillows and blankets to sit on. Attendees must be 21+ years of age with a valid photo ID to enter. Music and museums, a perfect match. Get your tickets today!
4. Writing Queer Museum Tours (Daily, 3:00 pm CDT)
By popular demand, The Writing Queer Tour has been extended through July! Take a tour of the American Writers Museum with a focus on LGBTQ+ writers of the past and present. In this unique tour, you’ll be introduced to each exhibit gallery of the AWM and discover how many great works of American writing were created by LGBTQ+ writers, who used their sexuality and gender identity as inspiration for their work. You’ll explore, in turn, how those works, and the works of heterosexual and cisgender writers, became essential pieces of contemporary queer culture. The Writing Queer Tour is offered daily at 3:00 pm when the AWM is open. We are open Thursdays to Tuesdays, from 10 am to 5 pm during the summer. We are closed Wednesdays. The tour is included with museum admission and no advanced registration is required. Tours begin at the Museum front desk. Learn more and plan your visit today!
Our special exhibit spanning three gallery spaces, Dark Testament: A Century of Black Writers on Justice, continues its run through the summer. Inspired by Pauli Murray’s poetry collection titled Dark Testament, this exhibit honors the significant contributions of Black writers to American literature and history, with a focus on how they used language to argue and fight for racial justice and equality. Featuring original artwork, augmented reality and other interactive elements that enliven and enrich the experience, Dark Testament examines the impact of Black American writers from the end of the Civil War through the Civil Rights Movement. In addition, you’ll hear from contemporary Black writers featured in the exhibit who demonstrate how they are still confronting many of the same racial injustices that their predecessors did. Immerse yourself in Dark Testament and leave inspired to write your own testimony to our times. Dark Testament is included with museum admission, so plan your visit today!