The 29Rooms Exhibit came to DC October 18-27. If you’re wondering what 29Rooms even is, it is a traveling interactive art exhibit of sorts. It has 29 unique experiences that you get to engage with. The event is created by Refinery29.
The 29Rooms about page describes the event “Through multi-sensory installations, performances, and workshops, we present you with a new way to connect with creativity, culture, and community.”
29Rooms began in 2015 and has evolved in a large way since then. The event has been making appearances in major cities such as DC, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and soon to be in NYC and LA. Keep reading to get my full 29Rooms Review!
What I liked:
The mix of how exhibits were interactive
For this 29Rooms Review I figured I would start with the positive! Some of the rooms were actual rooms while others were more so displays and I’ll touch on that more under what I did not enjoy as much. But each of the 29 experience were very unique and different. Overall I did have a lot of fun exploring the event. It felt similar to those interactive science museums for kids. Some rooms you would just look at similar to an art gallery while others there might be someone facilitating a workshop. There was even a dance break room!
Everything was very creative and had unique artistic views
It was fun learning a little about what message the artist or sponsor was trying to get across or bring to light with the descriptions by each exhibit. Everything was very bright and vibrant and used unique materials.
Touched on Important/relevant issues
Many of the rooms had an educational or activism component to it. Two of my favorite rooms were the “Long line of Queendom” and the “Values Stand.” The Long line of Queendom celebrated the Black Woman’s experience in today’s society and incorporated items that we use in our every day lives into intricate pieces of art. This display also had tribute to Nia Wilson who was tragically murdered in Oakland in July 2018.
The values stand was in collaboration with the ACLU and promoted the fight for civil rights and bringing light to just some of the fights going on in our country today. #RightsforAll
The venue was spacious and wasn’t over capacity
The venue space will obviously differ depending on which city you decide to visit this in, but here it was spacious and you didn’t have to be super tight or close with other visitors. I went on a Sunday evening at 5pm and it was not jam packed and I was never in line for longer than maybe 5-7 minutes. With all of the rooms it made it easy for people to spread out and not make any one line too long.
The Attendants/Staff were knowledgable and engaged
Outside of each room/display there were attendants who were there for guidance and to regulate the room. Each attendant that I interacted with was really nice and knowledgable and even offered suggestions for how to take the best pictures in the space. Many of them even offered to take pictures for people. I appreciated that the staff were able to give explanation or more detail in areas I was more curious about.
What I did not like:
Now here is the part in my 29Rooms review where I share what I didn’t enjoy as much! My ticket was $41. This breaks out into $34 for the actual ticket price and then $7 in ticket fees. I checked tickets for NY and LA, you would think they would be more expensive than DC, but it’s actually the opposite. Tickets for NY and LA come out to around $28 with $25 for the actual ticket price and then $3 in ticket fees.
I’m not sure why the drastic difference in price but I think the $25 price range is much more reasonable than the $41 that we paid. As much as I enjoyed the event, I don’t think I would pay that price again.
Ok, so obviously they want you to take all the pictures right? But the lighting just wasn’t really optimized for that. I totally understand having the cool moody vibe, but I think they could’ve figured out some more strategic lighting for some of the rooms. Not everyone going has the latest iphone 11 or DSLR camera equipment to account for the lighting factors.
Limited snack options
Honestly, the simple fact that I paid $41 for this event, at least a snack and a drink should’ve been included lol. They did have a bar available with drink options similar to what you see at a concert or a baseball game. But the snacks were limited to 50 cent chips bags that they sold for $3, m&ms and skittles also marked up to $3 and popcorn, and hot dogs and a few other random things.
There weren’t actually “29 Rooms”
I thought there would literally be 29 Rooms, but as I stated before a couple of the exhibits were displays and not a full experience. Some things like the “Follow Your Dreams” Stairs were still cool, but then there were a couple of random art pieces that were nice but still not a room or full experience.
Not all the rooms are the same in each city
Some of the rooms go to every city but there are quite a few that differ from place to place. With that, I would just hate to miss out on a really cool room. Overall, I did enjoy the event though and for the price it is in other cities I would check it out!
Do you plan on going to visit 29Rooms? Or have you already? Let me know your thoughts. I hope my 29Rooms Review helps you decide if you want to go!