This New Interactive Museum in Washington D.C. Is Entirely Dedicated to Words (Video)

Words can wield an immense amount of power in the world. And soon, there will be a museum to celebrate the brilliant impact that words can have.

According to the Washington Post, a new museum dedicated to words in all forms will open in Washington, D.C., in May 2020.

Planet Word, founded and primarily funded by former public school teacher Ann Friedman, will be an immersive, experiential, and interactive museum “that will bring language to life,” the Washington Post reported. Visitors will be able to view exhibits and take part in fun activities fit for all ages.

Planet Word Museum, a rendering of gallery exhibition indoors
Courtesy of Planet Word Museum

The museum will be a 51,000-square-foot space within the famous Franklin School. Not only is the Franklin School one of the first public schools in Washington, D.C. that offers free universal education, but it’s also where Alexander Graham Bell made his first wireless transmission on the photophone (not the telephone, mind you), Lonely Planet reported.

Planet Word also happens to be the first voice-activated museum. It will open with 11 galleries that explore the world of words, according to Lonely Planet. In one gallery, there will be a 12-foot globe with 5,000 LED lights that will teach visitors words and phrases in the language of their choice, including sign language.

Planet Word Museum, a rendering of gallery exhibition indoors
Courtesy of Planet Word Museum

Other galleries include one dedicated to poetry where visitors can listen to famous poems while also seeing the words projected onto the wall in front of them, according to the Washington Post. In other galleries, visitors can practice their karaoke skills or try to recite speeches from famous orators like Martin Luther King, Jr., and JFK.

And in one gallery, visitors can marvel at a voice-responsive, 22-foot Word Wall that changes and shifts between its 1,000, three-dimensional words. This is basically a dream museum for any book lover, wordsmith, or English or Humanities teacher.

Planet Word Museum, a rendering of outside with a speaking willow tree installation
Courtesy of Planet Word Museum

In addition, the museum will also have classrooms, word puzzle rooms, a gift shop, a restaurant, and an auditorium that’s perfect for class trips. And the best part? It will be totally free to go.

“People are going to have so much fun and be amazed by the technology and the ways we have been able to bring language to life,” Friedman told the Washington Post. “Our country was founded on the written word, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. After you’ve visited all those word-engraved historic sites, you might like to visit a museum that shows you the broader context — not just the power of words, but the beauty and fun, too.”

Planet Word is expected to open in Washington, D.C. on May 31. For more information, visit the Planet Word website.

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