The Bob Dylan Center is making progress in the Tulsa Arts District.
The Dylan Center will allow the general public to interact with some materials in The Bob Dylan Archive, a collection also housed in Tulsa open only to qualified researchers.
The center is dedicated to the study and appreciation of Dylan and his worldwide cultural significance.
“Tulsa will be the only place in the world where visitors can explore the imagination of one of America’s most important and influential artists, while discovering their own creative voice along the way,” Steve Higgins of the Bob Dylan Center said in the Tulsa World’s Scene story about Tulsa becoming a music city. “We expect the Bob Dylan Center to elevate Tulsa’s profile as a cultural destination, building on the success of the Woody Guthrie Center, Gathering Place, Cain’s Ballroom and other attractions that can only be found here.”
The architect behind the Dylan Center
Olson Kundig, a Seattle architectural firm whose projects include the recent upgrade of Seattle’s iconic Space Needle, was selected by the George Kaiser Family Foundation as lead architect and exhibit designer for The Bob Dylan Center.
The center will be located on what is now a parking lot at the corner of Archer Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard in the Tulsa Arts District, just east of the Hardesty Arts Center. Tulsa-based Lilly Architects is partnering with Olson Kundig as the architect of record for the project and Plains of Yonder is the partner for audio and multimedia experiences for the project.
What Bob Dylan thinks about the center
Here’s a roll call of other current and prospective music attractions
The Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (OKPOP) will shine a light on Oklahoma creatives who impacted pop culture, music artists included. OKPOP will be constructed across the street from a pre-existing music attraction, Cain’s Ballroom.
The Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa’s Arts District opened in 2013. Tulsa’s George Kaiser Family Foundation purchased the comprehensive Woody Guthrie Archives in 2011. The center spotlights artists other than just the namesake. A John Lee Hooker exhibit is on display now. Marty Stuart and John Mellencamp were among music figures spotlighted in past exhibits. An Arlo Guthrie exhibit is on the horizon.
The Church Studio, the historic HQ of Leon Russell’s Shelter Records, could open along the growing Studio Row in the Pearl District in 10-12 months. The Church Studio Archive will be showcased in rotating exhibits. Plans include indoor and outdoor music performances, art exhibits, book signings and music education and apprenticeship programs.
“It’s definitely a music lover’s destination honoring our musical past while engaging a new generation,” owner Teresa Knox said.