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Competition: The Bob Dylan Centre, Oklahoma

Tulsa Paper Company
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The George Kaiser Family Foundation has launched a contest for a new archive and museum dedicated to Bob Dylan in Tulsa, Oklahoma

The two-stage competition seeks a masterplan, design and initial exhibition concept for the landmark complex which will be constructed inside the historic headquarters of the former Tulsa Paper Company (pictured) next to the Woody Guthrie Centre in Tulsa’s Arts District.

The project – dubbed The Bob Dylan Centre – will deliver a venue for the study and appreciation of the singer, hosting an archive containing 6,000 unique items spanning 60 years of the recent Nobel laureate’s career.

According to the brief, ‘the centre will be a multivalent venue readily accessible to the public, and one in which artists, historians, musicologists, cultural critics, and others will have a central forum to engage the public and each other with an aim to foster a deeper comprehension of Dylan’s work and the myriad of influences it both embodies and engenders.

‘Finally, as a tacit but important aspect of its core mission, the centre will promote a greater knowledge and a more profound understanding of our world, beyond any single worldview or ideology, in an effort to build cultural awareness and tolerance.’

Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman in 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota, but changed his name when he started performing at folk music events while enrolled at the University of Minnesota in the early 1960s.

Inspired by his musical idol Woody Guthrie, he dropped out of college and moved to New York where he signed to Columbia Records and started to receive global recognition for his politicised works such as ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’.

By 1966 he had sold 10 million records, and 50 years on he is still touring the world. Last year Dylan received the Nobel Prize in Literature ‘for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition’.

The Bob Dylan Archive features 6,000 items including handwritten manuscripts, notebooks, correspondence, films, photographs, memorabilia, musical instruments and unreleased recordings. It was acquired by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and University of Tulsa last year.

The collection is currently hosted by the university’s Helmerich Centre for American Research.

Once complete, the Bob Dylan Centre will feature an archive, ‘interactive and immersive’ museum, performance space, research facilities, education area, staff offices and retail. 

The winning masterplan will shape the building’s physical structure, conservation, public access and the overall staff and visitor experience. Applicants must first submit a request for qualification, which will be evaluated on professional and collaborative experience.

The deadline for applications is 5pm local time (CST), 12 May.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

George Kaiser Family Foundation
Dylan RFP
7030 S. Yale, Suite 600
Tulsa
OK 74136

Tel: 918-392-1612
Email: DylanRFP@gkff.org

 

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