A Message From the Executive Director

In the entrepreneurial world, one key to success is knowing when to hold a course and when to change directions.
That decision must be based on a wide range of factors, such as the business plan, the level of investor support, and the potential for ultimate success in the marketplace.

Using that criteria, we cannot give up, we cannot change course in seeking authorization to build the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture, known as OKPOP.

The business plan is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that rarely occurs in the museum world. After a one-time investment in infrastructure, all operational costs will be covered by a stream of revenue from a parking garage, admissions, special events, merchandise sales, and venue rentals. And the numbers are not pulled from thin air. They are based on the proven results at the Oklahoma History Center.

Investor support is strong and growing, especially among the group we call “the creatives” and their families. These are the musicians, film makers, radio and television pioneers, writers, and illustrators who have expressed the roots of Oklahoma culture through their art.

Over the past five years, we have gained commitments from a wide range of creatives and their families as we worked on exhibits and books that ranged from Rock & Roll and Hee Haw to Okie Cartoonists and Oklahomans @ the Movies. Endorsements range from Roy Clark and Garth Brooks to Kristin Chenoweth and Mary Kay Place.
Success in the marketplace is predicated on a new type of museum that combines the qualities of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Museum, and the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History, where popular culture exhibits such as Dorothy’s ruby red shoes, Archie Bunker’s chair, and Julia Child’s kitchen pull crowds through the doors to see exhibits on a wide range of American history.

By relying on shared memory, we can connect with people from around the world who will come to see exhibits on Ben Johnson, Bob Wills, and S. E. Hinton and in the process learn about cowboy culture, radio history, and the 1950s in the Oil Capital of the World.

As they say in the movies, if we build it, they will come.

With a solid business plan, investor support, and potential market, we need to take the first step in building the OKPOP. That requires legislative action.

This session, we will be asking Governor Fallin and members of the House and Senate to authorize the museum. We do not need cash this year. We simply need authorization. If we are successful, we will immediately receive more than $5 million in pledges from the private sector that are already on the table. We will hit the ground running and start raising even more matching dollars.

Yes, one key to success is knowing when to hold a course and when to change directions. In our commitment to the OKPOP, and knowing what it will contribute to our great state, we will hold our course.

A project of the Oklahoma Historical Society
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