OKPOP museum will break ground soon in downtown Tulsa

The Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture, aka OKPOP, will break ground this month across the street from the historic Cain’s Ballroom in downtown Tulsa, officials announced last week.

The groundbreaking ceremony is set for 10 a.m. Oct. 23, and the governor and other officials will attend, reported the Tulsa World newspaper.

Construction on the OKPOP museum at 422 N. Main St. is slated to be finished by late 2021. It will house memorabilia from Oklahoma musicians, movie stars, authors, artists and other arts and entertainment.

The museum is designed for creatives with real Oklahoma ties, not just those who were born and raised there. So it would include “Route 66: The Mother Road” author Michael Wallis and late Country Music Hall of Famer Roy Clark, both who aren’t natives but resided in Oklahoma for decades.

Garth Brooks, Leon Russell and the family of Bob Wills were among those who offered to donate to the museum.

The Oklahoma Legislature in 2015 passed a bill that gave major funding for OKPOP. Tulsa was chosen over Oklahoma City for the site because it long has been considered the cultural capital of Oklahoma and boasts far more artists of influence.

Having once lived in Oklahoma for nearly a decade, I observed the Sooner State is so thick with great musicians, all one had to do was shake a tree and one would fall out.

It would be situated close to the Woody Guthrie Center and the future home of the Bob Dylan archive, in addition to Cain’s Ballroom, which has hosted bands as diverse as the Sex Pistols and Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys since the 1930s.

(Artist’s rendering of the future OKPOP museum in Tulsa via Facebook)

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