Explore Tulsa at the AFS Annual Meeting

AFS News, Annual Meeting News
photograph of the Center of the Universe landmark in Tulsa, OK
The Center of the Universe is a landmark in downtown Tulsa, OK that marks the site of an acoustic phenomenon; if you stand in the center of the circle and make a sound, it echoes back much louder. Photo by Brad Lovell.

We’re looking forward to a full-scale gathering in person this year, and we are thrilled to finally be able to hold our meeting in Tulsa, where we had planned to meet in 2020. There are so many reasons to be excited about meeting in Tulsa! We can’t wait to see you there.

Originally a transplanted tribal town of the Muscogee Nation, Tulsa is a diverse city of over 400,000 residents located where the Osage Nation, the Cherokee Nation, and the Muscogee Nation meet. The city, and its larger metro area of close to a million residents, is home to large Native American and African American communities and rapidly growing Latino/a and Asian ones.

Located on the Arkansas River, Tulsa is a mainstay of “most underrated destination” lists, from Fodor’s to activetimes to twentysomethingliving. An affordable city with an international airport, Tulsa is home to one of the nation’s largest collections of art deco architecture, extensive green and recreational spaces, and a vibrant cultural scene. Thrilllist sings Tulsa’s praises, but also singles out Guthrie Green, an urban garden, community commons and performance space as one of the “14 coolest urban spaces in America.” Tulsa has even been named the country’s 9th best music scene.

It is also distinctive in its wealth of museums and archives, including:

  • the Philbrook Museum of Art, featuring fine art from around the world, including a notable collection of Native American art
  • the Gilcrease Museum, which houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of art and artifacts of the American West. While the museum will be closed during the 2022 AFS annual meeting due to renovation, the Helmerich Center for American Research archive remains open and hosts important collections of Native American art and cultural material, in addition to other research areas.
  • the Woody Guthrie Center, featuring interactive state-of-the-art museum displays, the extensive Woody Guthrie Archives, and community centered programming and performances.
  • the soon to be opened (May 2022) Bob Dylan Center, with 16 rotating exhibition spaces and the Dylan Archives. 
  • the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art, which preserves the largest collection of Judaica in the Southwestern and South-Central United States.
  • the Greenwood Cultural Center, which preserves the culture of the city’s African American heritage, housing a collection of artifacts and photography that document the history of the Black Wall Street prior to the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921.
  • the Greenwood Rising history center, championed by the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Commission, is an interactive and immersive space focused on the history of the Greenwood neighborhood and creates dialogue space for racial reconciliation and restorative justice today.
  • the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center, one of the largest LGBT Centers in the region, this center hosts and art gallery, a full-service lending library, wellness center and event center, in addition to hosting numerous regular programs 
  • Living Arts Tulsa, featuring critically-engaged contemporary art through exhibition spaces, public events, and educational programming  
  • The Gathering Place, voted USA Today’s Best City Park in 2021 and Time Magazine’s World’s Greatest Places in 2019, this 66-acre riverfront park is free to the public and includes playgrounds, gardens, exhibition space in the Boathouse and public art throughout the park.

About Tulsa, chair of the Local Arrangements Committee Sarah Milligan says, “Tulsa is not only in a geographically beautiful corner of our state, but hosts amazing midcentury modern architecture with a flavor of Route 66 kitsch. There are no ends to the layers of cultural vibrancy in this place and now is the perfect time to visit, as the city climbs the latest wave of revitalization and grapples with its divisive past.”

The Hyatt Regency Tulsa, which will house the entire meeting, is well-situated for exploring the Tulsa Arts District on foot. 

This is the first AFS meeting in Oklahoma. We thank our local committee for their ongoing assistance and perseverance in making the meeting a reality. 

Visit the 2022 Annual Meeting Page for more information, to register, or to learn about submitting a proposal

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