What is it?

The Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture, which will be located in the Tulsa Arts District, 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?

OKPOP will be built and managed by the Oklahoma Historical Society, a statewide organization which opened the Smithsonian-affiliated Oklahoma History Center in 2005. To prepare for the project, the OHS has recently sponsored the exhibits Oklahoma @ the MoviesAnother Hot Oklahoma Night: A Rock & Roll Exhibit, 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 received $25 million from the state to build OKPOP and adjacent parking garage. This will be matched by an initial private fundraising campaign to raise $15 million for exhibits and collections. The City of Tulsa has pledged $3 million and Interak Corporation has donated property across from historic Cain’s Ballroom valued at approximately $1 million. The private campaign has already been launched with a $1 million challenge grant from the George Kaiser Family Foundation.

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 than $2 million per year through a stream of revenue from admissions, gift shop sales, special events, and a 100-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. OKPOP is expected to open in 2020.

A project of the Oklahoma Historical Society
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