Planet Word, the District’s highly-anticipated museum dedicated to words and language, is opening on Thursday, October 22, with the attendance of DC Mayor Muriel Bowser.
The museum will initially be operating on a limited basis with timed-entry passes. Visitors must register in advance for free and wear face coverings inside while they maintain social distancing.
The opening date that was originally announced late last year was May 31, 2020.
Every visitor will be issued a stylus pen compatible with the interactive exhibits upon entrance to the Franklin School building, where the museum is located, so that they would not need to touch surfaces.
A virtual ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 11 am to commemorate Planet Word’s public opening. Planet Word founder Ann Friedman and Mayor Bowser will deliver speeches during the event, which also includes an appearance from actress Anna Deavere Smith.
Our virtual ribbon cutting ceremony begins at 11am ET! Musical performances, special guests, and more—you won't want to miss it.
View the stream on our homepage or on Facebook live! https://t.co/YuNQKaLIHh
— Planet Word Museum (@PlanetWordDC) October 22, 2020
“During the coronavirus pandemic, our focus has remained on the health and safety of our employees, contractors, and future visitors,” said Friedman in a September statement. “In October, I will be thrilled to finally – safely – open the world’s first museum dedicated to bringing language to life.”
The museum features “Speaking Willow Tree,” a sculpture created by Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer under which guests will hear murmurs in hundreds of languages; a 22-foot-tall talking word wall; “Lend Me Your Ears,” a platform where you can deliver a famous speech using a teleprompter; “Word Worlds,” which allows you to transform the room around you with color, sound, and motion; and many more.
“Language is what makes us human. From earliest childhood we weave our words into speech to communicate. At Planet Word we inspire and renew a love of words and language through unique, immersive learning experiences,” says the museum’s website.