Funding for 2 Museums Gains in Legislature

The Senate Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget approved measures that would provide the use of tax receipts to fund two Oklahoma museum projects.

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Giving a major boost to two Oklahoma museums, the state senate committee on appropriations and budget has approved measures that would direct tax receipts toward a pair of Oklahoma museum projects, reports. Next, the committee’s counterpart in the house will consider the proposal.

The beneficiaries of the funding would be the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in downtown Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture in Tulsa. Lawmakers voted 16-10 to use sales tax revenue from Internet and out-of-state purchases to provide $40 million toward completion of the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in downtown Oklahoma City.

Also approved was $40 million in state sales tax collection to provide initial funding for the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture, also known as OK Pop, which is planned for the Brady District in Tulsa.

Senator Clark Jolley, the committee chairman, said that the money will start flowing to the projects during the 2015 fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2014. OK Pop will receive tax money for four years and the funding of the Oklahoma City museum will be for construction.

Blake Wade, executive director of the Native American Cultural and Educational Authority, said that $40 million in private pledges has been raised for the Oklahona City museum. State bond issues have provided $63 million to go with $14.5 million in federal funding and a city grant of $4.9 million and 250 acres of land.

For the OK Pop museum Tulsa has pledged $3 million and Bank of America has offered a parcel in the Brady Arts District valued at $2.5 million.

Image Courtesy of: The American Indian Cultural Center Museum via Facebook