Woody Guthrie Center Growing

Ronald D. Cohen donates more than 500 books and collectibles to Woody Guthrie Center Archives.

By: Todd Cunningham | Category: Other | Issue: January 2015

Photos recently donated to the Woody Guthrie Center by Ronald D. Cohen. Photo courtesy of Woody Guthrie Archives.

Photos recently donated to the Woody Guthrie Center by Ronald D. Cohen. Photo courtesy of Woody Guthrie Archives.

Folk music author and academic Ronald D. Cohen recently donated his personal collection including over 500 books related to the folk music genre, Woody Guthrie, and his contemporaries to the Woody Guthrie Center.

The books will be added to the WGC research library for academics to access. In addition, the collection includes multiple boxes of collectible material and rare items that will be housed in the Center vault beside the Woody Guthrie Archives and Phil Ochs Archives. The items include, among numerous other rare items, one of Pete Seeger’s very first mimeographed, self-published banjo instruction booklets (there were only 100 printed in 1948), along with Seeger’s freshman yearbook from his early years at Harvard, which also pictures his classmate, a young John F. Kennedy.

“We are honored to be the caretakers of this special collection of items that will be added to the archives of Woody Guthrie and Phil Ochs, and we look forward to sharing them with our patrons and researchers,” said WGC Executive Director Deana McCloud. “Truly there are too many treasures to mention…so many things that will be excellent exhibit pieces as well as academic and educational resources.”

The collection also contains complete runs of folk music periodicals such as Sing Out! and Broadside, and photos from Sis Cunningham’s collection of early Newport Folk Festival performers.

The Woody Guthrie Center, located at 102 E. Brady St. in Tulsa, is more than a museum; instead, it is a center of investigation for inspiration. By providing examples of Woody’s ability to use his creativity as a way of expressing the world around him, the Center encourages others to find their voices and the power that lies within the creative process. Public programs are free with paid admission of $8 (discounts available for senior, student, youth, groups and military).

Beginning Friday, January 9, the Woody Guthrie Center will hold a weekly afterschool music program for students ages 12 and above, providing a diverse educational experience in creating a band and managing it.

During the program, students will take part in a variety of activities including songwriting, instrument and vocal lessons, band management, and learning to work together as a band. They will then be given the opportunity to create a song from start to finish including recording a polished version and filming a music video for it.

Participants will also learn music and cultural history by exploring the work and music of Woody Guthrie and tracking his influence to some of their favorite artists of today. At the end of the program, the musicians will perform at a local venue and put into practice what they have learned. They will be in charge of promoting their performance using social media, distributing fliers, and using other grass-roots efforts.

The program meets every Friday, 4:30 to 6 p.m., and runs through mid-May. The cost is $50 in January and $80 per month thereafter with scholarships available and a 10% discount for members. For more information, contact Becky Hawkes at eat0@eau0eav0eaw0.

For more information, contact

Woody Guthrie Center

102 E. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK 74103


(918) 574-2710


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