The Oklahoma Historical Society will seek $25 million of state bonds from the 2010 Legislature to finance most of a planned $33 million museum in Tulsa that will celebrate the state’s contribution to American popular culture.

Bob Blackburn, executive director of the society, said the 45,000-square-foot museum would be called Oklahoma Pops. Planned features include a restaurant, space for festivals and other events, and a 50-by-80-foot outdoor television screen.

Exhibits would focus on popular music, television, film, and the performing arts, Blackburn said.

“It started out as a rock 'n’ roll museum, then a country music museum, but that wasn’t quite right,” he said at the news conference to announce the project. “Finally, we decided on popular culture. Popular culture is the creativity that emanates from our people. It helps create our shared memory.”

If the Legislature approves the bonds next year, construction could begin by the summer, Blackburn said. Construction of the facility is expected to take three years.

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