Thursday, March 23, 7 pm
Festive Dinner in the Great Hall
On Thursday, March 23, the National Building Museum will host Wonder on the Wire, a beautiful event featuring French high wire artist, Philippe Petit. Best known for his walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, Philippe will perform on a high wire approximately fifty feet above the magnificent Great Hall, accompanied by jazz clarinetist Anat Cohen with Tal Mashiach on guitar.
The evening will begin with cocktails on the second floor of the Museum where guests will be able to view photographs and videos of some of Philippe’s past performances at landmarks around the world. Dinner will be served in the center court of the Great Hall, from which guests will then watch Philippe’s performance on the wire. All will then adjourn to the west court for dessert and the opportunity to meet Philippe.
Friday, March 24
On Friday, March 24, Philippe will perform again, this time for an audience of local invited school children primarily from Title 1 schools. Each class will be provided with the Caldecott Medal winning children’s book about Philippe, The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, as well as supplemental learning activities and lesson plans to underscore the wonder and difficult feats of engineering.
Building Stories Exhibition
All proceeds from Wonder on the Wire will support the Museum’s upcoming exhibition, Building Stories. Opening in November 2023, Building Stories will engage all ages in an immersive exploration of the world of architecture, engineering, construction, and design through an investigation of historic and contemporary children’s books. Created for an intergenerational audience, with special attention to K-5th-grade children and their caregivers, this exhibition will become a new and important hub of activity in our nation’s capital.
In the same way that Philippe’s work has inspired wonder around the scale and scope of the built environment, Building Stories will look at the power and impact of the built environment through the lens of children’s literature. The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, included in the exhibition, visually highlights both monumental architecture and the inspiration it has on the human spirit.