Music, Admission Is Free As New Woody Guthrie Center Opens - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Music, Admission Is Free As New Woody Guthrie Center Opens

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Desi and Cody, a Tulsa folk rock band, perform Saturday afternoon at Guthrie Green. Desi and Cody, a Tulsa folk rock band, perform Saturday afternoon at Guthrie Green.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

The life and times of Oklahoma's Own Woody Guthrie are on display at the new Woody Guthrie Center.

One of the most influential folk singers of his time, "The Dust Bowl Balladeer," was celebrated in Tulsa over the weekend, culminating with the opening of a museum bearing his name.

The George Kaiser Family Foundation purchased the Guthrie archives from his family in 2011. Once only available to teachers or historians, now anyone can view his work in its new state-of–the-art setting. The Woody Guthrie Center and Museum is in the heart of the Brady Arts District, on the corner of Brady and Boston in downtown Tulsa.

Guthrie's life as a journeyman allowed him to experience some of the most prominent events of the 20th Century.

Events reflected in his art are now proudly on display in downtown Tulsa, thanks to the work his youngest daughter Nora Guthrie did archiving his life work.

"I realized I had been raised in this ocean of ideas and music," Nora Guthrie said. "I thought it's time to share that with the rest of the world."

Everything from paintings, novels, and even the very instruments he played are there, along with an interactive music centers with original recording of his some 3000 songs.

"He wrote songs about flying saucers. He wrote songs about Joe DiMaggio. He wrote songs about all these different ideas," Woody Guthrie's granddaughter Anna Canoni said.

The museum's centerpiece is the "This Land Is Your Land Exhibit," with the original lyrics to the song, penned by Guthrie himself and surrounded by more than 60 years of renditions in multiple languages and almost every music genre.

"The idea is that you come out not being in awe of Woody Guthrie, but being in awe of yourself," Nora Guthrie said.

A theater lets attendees view Guthrie's beginnings all the way to his time in the war in Europe.

Across from steel etchings of Guthrie's artwork are windows into the soul of the songwriter.

"I think is beautiful, it has the next generation and the next generation will keep coming back," Canoni said.

Generations that the family hopes will use this center as a jumping-off point of discussion, much like Okemah native's lyrics did some 60 years ago.

"The idea that he can come back to Oklahoma now, he's back in the same place, but he's changed and he's learned things, and he wants to tell you," Nora Guthrie said.

It's open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m Tuesdays-Sundays and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month.

Admission is free through the opening weekend.

Part of the weekend celebration includes a series of concerts starting at 2 p.m. on nearby Guthrie Green. Saturday's artists include Desi & Cody, Jimmy LaFave, Red Dirt Rangers, Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Iron and Ramblin' Jack Elliott.

On Sunday, listen to Ripple Green, Samantha Crain, Ramsay Midwood and JD McPherson.

Regular admission prices are $8 for adults, $7 for senior citizens and students with IDs, $6 for military personnel and children under 5 are admitted for free.

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