Wed May 20, 2009
A New Museum, Concerning Popular Culture and in the Manner of the Smithsonian, Is Proposed for Tulsa's Brady District.
By Rich Fisher
Tulsa, Oklahoma – Dr. Bob Blackburn, Executive Director of the Oklahoma City-based Oklahoma Historical Society, made a major announcement at a press conference here in Tulsa yesterday. Specifically, he revealed the society's plans to create a new museum in downtown Tulsa devoted exclusively to Oklahoma's popular culture. Dr. Blackburn is our guest today on StudioTulsa; he tells host Rich Fisher all about his plans for this newly proposed museum (which is still in the early, seeking-out-funding stages). The institution would be called, tentatively, the Oklahoma Pop, and it would be located in the Brady District. Music would be a major focal point, in terms of the exhibits a visitor might encounter here --- all sorts of music, as long as it's been created by the people of this state. Also, a "Top of the Pop" rooftop restaurant is planned for this work-in-progress cultural facility, which in both form and content would echo the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. --- as does Oklahoma City's Oklahoma History Center, the flagship museum of the Oklahoma Historical Society. As Dr. Blackburn noted at yesterday's press conference: "It started out as a rock 'n' roll museum, then a country music museum, but that wasn't quite right. Finally, we decided on popular culture. Popular culture helps create our shared history." The completion date for this project --- which is slated to cost more than $30 million, as Dr. Blackburn tells Fisher on our show today --- currently stands at 2013.