The Gilcrease Museum said it has locked in enough funding to finish the rest of the rebuilding project.
20 million dollars. That’s the amount of money the team at Gilcrease had to raise.
They thought they would have all the money for the new building sooner. But they had some struggles.
Executive director Susan Neal said the year-long planning process felt the impact of COVID-19 as it caused the budget to increase due to inflation, changes in the supply chain, and increased labor costs.
“There’s not a project in Tulsa, whether it’s public or private, that didn’t take a severe hit to its costs,” she said.
The citizens of Tulsa stepped up to help. In August, $10 million was approved by voters.
“It just shows how Tulsans rally behind this museum and understand its importance to the community,” said Neal.
But the museum only got that public money if another 10 million could be raised privately.
"The 10-million-dollar challenge was to help us to raise that remaining 10 from the private sector, and just recently, we announced that we were successful in doing that”
Neal said it was important to invest in the western art museum as it plays a big role in the city and beyond.
"There’s many reasons to invest in this museum, not only because of its historical significance, its significance for its collection, not just to Tulsa, but to the nation, but also for what it does for our community and economic development,” she said.
Mayor G.T. Bynum agreed.
“When it opens, it’s something that everybody in Tulsa is going to be able to take great pride in,” he said.
The doors open to the public in 2026. Neal has one thing to say to Tulsa- thank you.
“Gilcrease is Tulsa's museum, and I think where we are in this project is evidence of that and the support that we received, so we’re very excited about that,” she said.