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Opening of Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma

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The Bob Dylan Center (BDC) recently opened its doors to visitors in Tulsa, Oklahoma, launching its VIP Grand Opening celebration that attracted hundreds of invited luminaries and members of the media from around the world. Visitors were welcomed to a 29,000-square-foot complex of curated exhibitions drawn from more than 100,000 items created and/or collected by Bob Dylan throughout his unparalleled seven decades as one of the world’s most important and iconic cultural figures.

Artifacts on display include handwritten lyric manuscripts to some of the world’s most treasured songs, previously unreleased recordings, never-before-seen film performances, rare and unseen photographs, visual art and other priceless items.

Artfully designed exhibits, drawn from and inspired by the vast holdings of the Bob Dylan Archive®, will utilize cutting-edge technology to create immersive and unique experiences for Center visitors. Announced for the first time are:

The Church Studio Control Room, sponsored by the legendary Tulsa recording studio, will enable visitors to experience hands-on mixing of a regularly changing selection of original Dylan recordings. The first two are “I Want You,“ from the artist’s Blonde On Blonde album, and “Knockin‘ On Heaven’s Door“ from Dylan’s soundtrack to Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid. This exhibit will also relate little-known stories behind the recording of numerous Dylan classics, including “Like A Rolling Stone.”

The Columbia Records Gallery, sponsored by Dylan’s longtime record company, will chronicle the artist’s 60-year career and impact on music and culture through deep exploration of era-defining songs. The first half-dozen to be featured when the BDC opens are “Chimes of Freedom,” “Like A Rolling Stone,” “Jokerman,” “Not Dark Yet,” “Tangled Up In Blue” and “The Man In Me.”

A 16-foot-high metalwork sculpture, designed and built by Bob Dylan at his Black Buffalo Artworks studio, will grace the internal entrance of the  Bob Dylan Center. The decorative elements of the impressively assembled structure reference American industry, and combine to form an abstract entry gate to the Center’s reception area, ticket counter and retail space.

Memberships to the Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, are now available. An array of levels will provide members with unlimited admission to the Center when it opens on May 10, 2022, plus first access to admission booking, discounts on exclusive merchandise, private tours and more. Founding Memberships—which include lifetime memberships to both the BDC and the Woody Guthrie Center, an exclusive invitation to the VIP grand opening of the Bob Dylan Center and permanent recognition on the center’s donor wall—are also available. Information regarding public admission to the Bob Dylan Center is available here.

Both the Bob Dylan Center and the Woody Guthrie Center operate under auspices of the American Song Archives, a project of the George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF). GKFF acquired Dylan’s vast archives in 2016 and Guthrie’s in 2010. Located in Tulsa’s burgeoning arts district just steps from the city’s renowned Woody Guthrie Center, the Bob Dylan Center® was designed by renowned architectural and exhibit design firm Olson Kundig, led by design principal Alan Maskin.

59 Productions, world-leading specialists in design for stage and live events—including the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the record-breaking David Bowie Is exhibition and the decor concept design for the Met Ball—is collaborating with Olson Kundig on exhibition design and media development.

A state-of-the art immersive audio experience, designed by creative technology company Art Processors, integrates seamlessly with the interactive experiences woven throughout the Center. Utilizing proximity-detection technology, visitors can choose to be enveloped in the songs and eras of Bob Dylan’s artistic journey as they explore the Center. By using audioguide devices, visitors can access touchpoints throughout the Center to listen to songs and other audio clips, revisit landmark moments spanning Bob Dylan’s long career and tune in to rare film and video footage—essentially curating their own Center experience.

Andrea Hammer
About Andrea Hammer 283 Articles
Andrea Karen Hammer is the founder, director and owner of Artsphoria Publishing, Media Group & Shop (https://www.artsphoria.org): Artsphoria International Magazine (https://www.artsphoria.com); Artsphoria Movie Reviews & Film Forum (https://www.artsphoria.us); Artsphoria: Arts, Business & Technology Center (https://www.artsphoria.biz); Artsphoria Event Advertising & Reporting (https://www.artsphoria.info); Artsphoria: Food for the Soul (https://artsphoria.live); Artsphoria Animation & Imagination World (https://www.artsphoria.net) and Artsphoria Shop (https://www.artsphoriashop.com). She is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer who has published articles in international publications.

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