Oklahoma state Capitol
mrlaugh / Flickr

The 55th Oklahoma Legislature wrapped up its first session a little over two weeks ago on May 22, one week ahead of the constitutionally required deadline to adjourn.

Lawmakers passed bond issues for widely publicized museums in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa. But the $611 million shortfall in the state budget dominated the conversation from January to May, even though details of the $7.1 billion agreement didn't emerge until shortly before the gavel fell. To plug that gap, lawmakers cut most agency budgets by five to seven percent, and also used monies from the state's Rainy Day Fund and state agency revolving accounts.

A rendering of the pop culture museum in Tulsa.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has signed a bill to approve a $25 million state bond issue to pay for the construction of a museum of popular culture in Tulsa.

The Republican governor signed the bill on Friday despite opposition from some conservative groups who argue operating museums is not a core function of state government.

The plan for the museum, nicknamed OKPOP, calls for the construction of an adjacent parking garage, which will generate revenue to help with the cost of museum operations.

An artist's rendering of the proposed Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (OKPOP) in Tulsa.
Oklahoma Historical Society

One day after failing to pass a $25 million bond proposal to build a new museum in Tulsa, the Oklahoma House reversed course and narrowly passed a plan to build the facility dedicated to the state's icons of popular culture.

The House voted 51-40 Friday to approve the bond issue, one day after the same measure fell seven votes short of passing. A bill needs 51 votes to pass in the House.

It now heads to Gov. Mary Fallin for consideration.

American Indian Cultural Center And Museum

State lawmakers had a lot of tourism and recreation projects on their plates this week - specifically one museum in Oklahoma City, and another in Tulsa.

An artist's rendering of the proposed Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (OKPOP) in Tulsa.
Oklahoma Historical Society

A proposal to issue $25 million in bonds to build the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture in Tulsa has passed its first legislative hurdle.

The Senate Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget voted 27-13 Tuesday for legislation that would authorize funding for the museum, known as OKPOP. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman of Sapulpa introduced the legislation on Monday. He says the $25 million in bonds will be matched with private funds and the proposed museum will be built in Tulsa on donated land.

A still from the 1920 silent film 'The Daughter of Dawn.'
Oklahoma Historical Society / YouTube

The Library of Congress has selected the Oklahoma movie The Daughter of Dawn as one of 25 films inducted to its 2013 National Film Registry.

The Oklahoma Historical Society says the film registry is a collection of cinematic treasures that represent important cultural, artistic and historic achievements in filmmaking.

An artist's rendering of the proposed Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (OKPOP) in Tulsa.
Oklahoma Historical Society

Promoters of a museum dedicated to all things pop culture in Oklahoma plan to once again seek funding from the Legislature, but the fate of the Tulsa-based museum remains uncertain.

The Tulsa World reports the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture, or OKPOP, would be a 75,000-square-foot building dedicated to the state's contributions in music, film, television, theater, pop art, comic books, literature and humor.

But state lawmakers have not yet committed to it for the 2015 fiscal year.

Study Suggests OKPOP Museum Would Have $18 Million Impact

May 15, 2013
An artist's rendering of the proposed Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (OKPOP) in Tulsa.
Oklahoma Historical Society

A new study estimates that the proposed Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture in downtown Tulsa would have a nearly $18 million impact in its first year of operation.

The study by the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce also estimates the museum would provide additional benefits, such as creating nearly 400 permanent jobs, a 650-space parking garage in downtown Tulsa and boost tourism.

OKPOP Museum Plans to Save Bob Wills' Legacy

Apr 10, 2013
Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

Like many states, Oklahoma has provided the world of popular culture with lots of talent. From Bob Wills to Garth Brooks, Kristin Chenoweth to Leon Russell, and Will Rogers to Ron Howard.

But when it comes to the cultural legacy of those in this list and others, they currently have no home.

The proposed OKPOP museum, planned for construction near downtown Tulsa, would connect popular culture with Oklahoma roots to the state’s broader history and place in the world.