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President Obama to visit Chicago for a first look at a demo of the ‘Power of Words’ – a digital media exhibit planned for the Obama Presidential Center Museum

CHICAGO, IL — As construction continues on the Obama Presidential Center, the Obama Foundation today announced two major updates on the Center’s progress, including new details on the Programs & Athletic Center and a visit from President Obama to view the first-ever demo preview of a digital media exhibit that will be on display at the Obama Presidential Center’s Museum.

As our “First Digital president,” President Obama continues his commitment to bring technology into powerful storytelling of his historic presidency — and help visitors see themselves as part of a living history. Today’s visit will include a close look at a two-story prototype of a digital media experience named the ‘Power of Words,’ which will be one of many innovative and never seen before exhibits featured at the future museum. 

This exhibit highlights the diverse ways the Power of Words manifests through speeches, voices, song, poetry, and represented by the words of the Obamas as well as other changemakers and everyday people. Visitors engage from different vantage points, discovering new perspectives with each viewing. 

At its full height, the ‘Power of Words’ will be an 88-foot-tall canvas for creativity and storytelling built into the monumental interior architecture of the museum.

“The Obama Presidential Center is a platform to create positive change for our shared future. So we are creating innovative and immersive new forms of storytelling to help inspire people who visit the Center,” said Foundation CEO Valerie Jarrett. 

During his visit, President Obama will also meet with leaders from Moody Nolan, the largest African American design firm in the United States and Elevate Design Builders, a joint firm made up of Bowa Construction and AECOM/Hunt. Today the Obama Foundation announced plans to break ground on its Programs & Athletic Center on Monday, March 11. Ahead of the President’s visit, the Obama Foundation released never-before-seen renderings of the center to give visitors a glimpse of what they can expect to experience.

The Programs & Athletic Center will be one of four buildings on the campus and will serve as a hub for activities and gatherings for the South Side community. The building will be home to a premier gymnasium and studios for various recreational, wellness, and community activities. Just outside of the center’s doors, community members and other visitors can expect to find play areas, walking trails and a sledding hill. 

The Obama Presidential Center will be a new type of civic institution dedicated to fostering a culture of democracy and positive change. A living, working place with an ambitious goal: to inspire and empower all people to get involved and bring change home to their communities, their nations, and the world. A vibrant, 19-acre campus with a diversity of spaces, programs, art and events that will welcome in people and inspire them to take action on the greatest challenges of our time.

In late 2025, the Programs & Athletic Center, along with the park space, is expected to open to the public. The Obama Presidential Center Museum is expected to open to the public in 2026. To learn more about the Center visit https://obama.org/presidential-center/

Images of President Obama viewing the Power of Words prototype and renderings of the Programs & Athletic Center are available here Opens in a new tab .

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Contact: Courtney D. Williams, [email protected]