Occupying half a city block in Tulsa's historic downtown, the Performing Arts Center is the design of Minoru Yamasaki, architect of the former World Trade Center towers. The PAC houses four theaters, a studio space, and a large reception hall.
Replacing the city’s first municipal theater (now the Brady Theater), erected in 1914, the Tulsa Performing Arts Center opened its doors in March 1977. Constructed with a combination of public and private funds, the Center is owned and operated by the City of Tulsa
. Local arts organizations, entertainment promoters, performers and the citizens of Tulsa are the PAC’s main clients.
The building of the PAC was the result of a 1973 bond issue. Civic leaders John H. Williams
and Leta Chapman
posed a challenge to Tulsa voters: If citizens would vote to fund half of the total cost for a new performance space, Williams and Chapman would raise a matching amount. The challenge was taken by Tulsa voters, and the new center held its first concert on March 19, 1977, featuring the Tulsa Philharmonic and jazz great Ella Fitzgerald