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Attitudes about Guthrie have shifted over the past decade as Oklahomans renewed their interest in his life and music, Blackburn said. Today, a portrait of Guthrie hangs in the rotunda of the Oklahoma State Capitol and the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival is held annually in Okemah to coincide with his birthday on July 12.

The new four-building arts hub in Tulsa will feature public displays from the Guthrie archives and research space for scholars and artists “so the story of this extraordinary Oklahoman can be told for generations to come,” the George Kaiser Family Foundation’s executive director Ken Levit said in a statement.

Blackburn said the archive will ensure that Guthrie’s art remains timeless like that of another Oklahoma native, Will Rogers.

It “will be more than a collection of one man’s art,” he said. “It will be a tool for education, inspiration for artists and a window through which every man and woman anywhere in the world can search for a better understanding of the human experience.”

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Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com