The LA-based GRAMMY Museum, in conjunction with Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. and the Woody Guthrie Archives, has announced details about their plans to commemorate the life and career of Oklahoma folk music legend Woody Guthrie in Tulsa. Designed to celebrate Guthrie’s extraordinary body of work and impact on American music, Tulsa’s Woody Guthrie Centennial Celebration, will take place March 5 – 11 and will include an exhibition, educational programming, a conference at The University of Tulsa and a tribute concert, headlined by John Mellencamp and Arlo Guthrie. Kicking off the Tulsa celebration is the launch of the new exhibition Woody at One Hundred: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Celebration 1912-2012, sponsored by the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Curated by The GRAMMY Museum and the Woody Guthrie Archives, the exhibit will open at Gilcrease Museum on Feb. 5, 2012 and run through April 29, 2012.
The exhibition will consist of a broad array of Guthrie’s lyrics, journals, original artwork and ephemera from Guthrie’s life. As part of this special exhibit, Guthrie’s original draft of the alternative American anthem, “This Land is Your Land,” will be on display for the first time in Oklahoma. Additionally, a week-long series of educational programming, produced by The GRAMMY Museum, will support the exhibition. As a special addition to the programming, the cast of the musical “Woody Sez” will be performing at Tulsa elementary schools throughout the week. “We are delighted that Gilcrease Museum has been selected as the venue for the debut of the exhibition celebrating the life and body of work of Woody Guthrie. The exhibition will offer the public its first glimpse into the Guthrie Archives recently acquired by the George Kaiser Family Foundation,” said Duane H. King, Ph.D., Executive Director of Gilcrease Museum. Continuing the celebration on March 8 will be a special performance by the Oklahoma Jazz & Roots Music Symphony Orchestra of Symphonic Variations of a Song by Woody Guthrie, conducted and composed by David Amram. Commissioned by Woody Guthrie Publications and featuring a special introduction by Nora Guthrie, the concert will include additional performances by David Amram with Red Dirt Rangers, and other special guest star appearances by musicians and singers from the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. The concert will take place at Lorton Hall at the University of Tulsa. Educational Conference “Different Shades of Red,” the March 10 University of Tulsa conference will explore Woody Guthrie’s Oklahoma roots. It will feature three panels, each with three speakers. The panels include “A Culture of Protest,” which examines the political and cultural environment that shaped Guthrie’s views; “Red Dirt Roots,” which considers Guthrie’s musical influences; and “Echoes of Woody,” which addresses Guthrie’s legacy as it pertains to the Dust Bowl and Depression-era Oklahoma. “For far too long, Woody Guthrie has been persona non grata in his home state of Oklahoma. Now, 100 years after his birth, we are able to honor his musical legacy, explore his societal contributions and truly appreciate this iconic piece of state and national history right here in the Heartland. The University of Tulsa is thrilled to kick off this yearlong celebration of Guthrie’s multifaceted life,” said Brian Hosmer, H.G. Barnard Associate Professor of Western American History at TU. For more information and to register for the conference, visit http://www.utulsa.edu/guthrie.
Registration is $40 and includes lunch. National radio commentator and bestselling author Jim Hightower will deliver the keynote address. Students may register for $15 and must show a valid ID at check-in. Concert The pinnacle of the Tulsa celebration will take place on Saturday evening, March 10, with the first installment of This Land Is Your Land ~ The Woody Guthrie Centennial Celebration Concert at the historic Brady Theater. Performing classic Guthrie songs, John Mellencamp, Arlo Guthrie, Rosanne Cash, Del McCoury Band, The Flaming Lips, Old Crow Medicine Show, Hanson, Tim O’Brien and Jimmy LaFave make up the star-studded event.* Ticket prices range from $45 – $250 and will go on sale Saturday, February 4 at 10 a.m. CST. Tickets can be purchased at: http://protixonline.com/
“The goal of The Woody Guthrie Centennial Celebration is not just to pay tribute to Guthrie’s obvious contributions to American music, but to also broaden the national understanding of his cultural impact,” said GRAMMY Museum Executive Director, Bob Santelli. “The line-up scheduled for the Brady Theater show in Tulsa speaks volumes about Guthrie’s influence. It’s truly an honor to be producing this all-star event.” The Woody Guthrie Centennial Celebration is one of the largest and most comprehensive Centennial celebrations ever staged for an American music icon. For the most up-to-date information and a complete schedule of events for the entire Woody Guthrie Centennial Celebration, visit www.woody100.com.