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A look inside the new Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa

Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa
Posted at 6:01 AM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 18:56:30-04

TULSA, Okla. — The Bob Dylan Center marked its grand opening on Tuesday morning in downtown Tulsa.

2 News got a sneak peek inside the Center ahead of the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The Center features a collection of more than 100,000 artifacts of Bob Dylan's career.

“This is a trove of keepsakes, manuscripts, handwritten lyrics, photographs, recordings films, memorabilia, that Dylan had surprising to almost everyone, been saving over all these years," says Steven Jenkins, director of the Bob Dylan Center.

Thousands of artifacts from Bob Dylan's artistic career now have a place to call home and it's right here in the heart of Tulsa.

READ MORE: Bob Dylan Center: Iconic artist's bio, background

The Bob Dylan Center was built after the George Keiser Family Foundation acquired the Bob Dylan archives in 2016 with the intent to build a place to house all of the materials.

“Visitors will come in they will see a chronology of sorts of Dylan's life and work, there are rare film clips that really no one has ever seen before," explains Jenkins. "There’s audio tracks, there’s a recording studio experience where you as the visitor can in a sense record producer.”

But what led Dylan to pick Tulsa? Jenkins says Dylan appreciated the hum of the heartland.

“Tulsa seemed to be a place where he felt comfortable having his archives.”

Jenkins says the Center will also put Tulsa on the map in a whole different way.

“There are Dylan accolades of professing fanatics who are living all over the world who now will have Tulsa as the place to come and congregate," says Jenkins. "I imagine it would be a pilgrimage of sorts, for the hardcore Dylan fans who will come to Tulsa who will not only come to the center but explore everything else that the city has to offer.”

When visitors walk in, they will be greeted with a towering 16-foot-tall sculpture created by Dylan himself. The Center offers an immersive and interactive experience, with touch screens, audio guides, and more.

Every detail was fine-tuned with one goal in mind.

“We hope that folks leave with more of an enabled sense of their creative potential," Jenkins says.

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