What is it?
The Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture, or OKPOP, to be located in downtown Tulsa, will be a museum dedicated to the creative spirit of Oklahoma’s people and the influence of those artists on popular culture around the world. Stories featured in the museum will include movies, radio, television, illustration, literature, theater, Wild West Shows and Route 66—all connected to a sense of time and place through the language of music.
Who Will Build It?
The OKPOP will be built and managed by the Oklahoma Historical Society, a statewide organization that opened the Smithsonian-affiliated Oklahoma History Center in 2005. To prepare for the project, the OHS has recently produced exhibits “Oklahoma @ the Movies,” “Rock and Roll,” “Jim Halsey: Starmaker,” “The Uncanny Adventures of Okie Cartoonists,” and “Pickin’ and Grinnin’: Roy Clark and the Legacy of Hee Haw.” Hundreds of artists have offered their support and collections, ranging from the family of Bob Wills to creatives such as Leon Russell, Ron Howard, Garth Brooks and Kristin Chenoweth.
Who Will Fund it?
The Oklahoma Historical Society will receive $25 million from the State of Oklahoma to build the OKPOP and adjacent parking garage. This will be matched by an initial private fund raising campaign to raise $15 million for exhibits and collections. The City of Tulsa has pledged $3 million. The private campaign has already been launched with a $1 million challenge grant from the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Indirect financial support already includes more than $50 million in private and foundation investments around the block where the OKPOP will be built.
Who Will Sustain It?
The Oklahoma Historical Society will not need a state appropriation to operate the museum. The business plan is based on generating more that $2 million per year through a stream of revenue from admissions, gift shop sales, special events, and a 400 space parking garage. The marketability of the museum will be similar to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, and the Smithsonian Museum of American History.