OKPOP (copy)

Financing, locating and planning the OKPOP museum has taken longer than everyone hoped, but Wednesday’s official groundbreaking makes the project seem close enough to feel. Courtesy/OKPOP

After years of waiting, construction on the OKPOP museum officially begins Wednesday.

The Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture will bring together collections from the state’s great performers in music, movies, television and more. From Will Rogers and Bob Wills to Roy Clark and Ron Howard, the museum will highlight Oklahomans who went on to entertain the world.

The museum, scheduled to be open in 2021, is located across the street from the iconic Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa’s Arts District.

Financing, locating and planning the museum has taken longer than everyone hoped, but the official groundbreaking makes the project seem close enough to feel.

In the meantime, OKPOP has continued to gather an impressive collection including archival photos, interviews, film, video and other unique material that will draw devoted fans and the merely curious. Great performers with Oklahoma roots have recognized the opportunity that the museum presents and have responded with the material needed to make it a success.

Garth Brooks, the GAP Band, Carrie Underwood ... you name it. The diverse and remarkable entertainers who have sprung from Oklahoma have made contributions to the museum’s collections that will make it something worth seeing.

In combination with the Woody Guthrie Center, the Bob Dylan Center, the Outsiders House, Guthrie Green and the city’s other music venues, Tulsa is building a performing arts synergy that will make it a tourism mecca.

For years, Oklahoma Historical Society Director Bob Blackburn has said OKPOP will be a learning center and a performance venue, a collection of priceless stories, a source of local pride and an economic engine for local development. We expect nothing less and are proud to see the project moving forward.

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