Part of Tulsa’s growing Brady Arts District, the Woody Guthrie Center celebrates the legendary Oklahoma folk singer’s life, art and legacy. At 12,000 square feet, the museum isn’t huge, but it feels plenty spacious, and the exhibits have been artfully designed with creative details like a “chandelier” made of guitars.
Visits start with a 13-minute movie about Guthrie’s life (1912 to 1967), then move on to interactive displays of his lyrics, art, poems, personal notebooks, letters and musical instruments. Guests can tap on a large U.S. map to trace Guthrie’s travels across the country, listen to various artists singing his songs and even try their hand at writing lyrics. The highlight of the facility is the handwritten lyric to Guthrie’s most well-known song, “This Land is Your Land,” dated Feb. 23, 1940. Visitors can also peek at the Woody Guthrie Archives section housing thousands of Guthrie’s songs, artworks and poems.
The redeveloped Brady Arts District surrounding the center reflects millions of dollars in investment over the past few years. Across the street, Guthrie Green opened in September 2012 as an urban garden and performance space for outdoor music and films. The Woody Guthrie Center is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; adult admission is $8.