The Norman Transcript


February 21, 2013

A tribute to pop culture

NORMAN — Oklahomans seem to have a creative spirit in terms of popular culture. Artists, actors, musicians and writers have all called Oklahoma home. Norman has its share of hometown performers, from James Garner to Megyn Price, Toby Keith and Conway Twitty.

The Oklahoma Historical Society wants to preserve that creative spirit for generations in The Oklahoma Museum of Popular culture, or OKPOP. The 75,000-square-foot museum will showcase Oklahomans and their ties to movies, radio, television, illustration, literature, theater and Wild West shows.

Its business plan calls for a $42.5 million bond issue from the state, matched by a private fund raising campaign to raise $15 million for exhibits and collections. A 2017 opening is planned in the Brady Arts District in Tulsa.

The plan, as outlined by Historical Society director Dr. Bob Blackburn, is to issue the bonds as the state pays off the bonds from the Oklahoma Historical Society building on Lincoln Boulevard.

As envisioned, no new state dollars will be needed to operate the museum. Proponents say it will be similar to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville and the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.

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