Bob Dylan Center Tulsa, OK

Tulsa, Okla. (July 2, 2024) — Beginning July 10, the Bob Dylan Center and Woody Guthrie Center will give away 1,000 copies of Mavis Staples’ new children’s book, “Bridges Instead of Walls,” to children 10 years of age and younger.

This beautifully illustrated book delves into music legend and social justice activist Staples’ life, highlighting her family, faith, commitment to civil rights and illustrious career.

“In an era marked with debates over what children should or shouldn’t be reading, we believe ‘Bridges Instead of Walls’ will inspire and enlighten children of all backgrounds,” said Steve Higgins, managing director of American Song Archives, which oversees both centers. “The story is a universal testament to the power of love, unity and resilience.”

The 2015 recipient of the Woody Guthrie Prize, Staples helped celebrate the opening of the Bob Dylan Center in May 2022 with a memorable concert at Cain’s Ballroom, and performed again in May 2024 to celebrate the opening of its exhibit, “How Many Roads: Bob Dylan and His Changing Times, 1961-1964.” Immediately prior to that concert, the Bob Dylan Center announced the recipients of the inaugural Mavis Staples Freedom Highway Essay Award, for which students reflected on the ways in which music can serve as a catalyst for positive change, for which 11th– and 12th-grade students in Tulsa Public Schools reflected on the ways in which music serves as a catalyst for positive change.

The book giveaway begins on Staples’ birthday, July 10, and continues while supplies last. To help
kickoff, a reading of the book will take place on the Guthrie Green at 10 a.m. that morning with a
singalong and cupcakes as part of their Summer Story Time series. To receive a copy, parents must visit either the Bob Dylan Center or Woody Guthrie Center with their qualifying child.

The initiative is made possible through the generous support of Bob Ramsey and Jenny Norton.

To plan your visit to the centers, visit or


About the Bob Dylan Center

The Bob Dylan Center inspires and celebrates fearless creativity by exploring the music and artistry of the Nobel Prize–winning singer-songwriter as a catalyst for personal expression and cultural change.

As the primary public venue for the Bob Dylan Archive® collection, the center curates and exhibits a priceless collection of more than 100,000 items spanning Dylan’s career, including handwritten manuscripts, notebooks and correspondence; films, videos, photographs and artwork; memorabilia and ephemera; personal documents and effects; unreleased studio and concert recordings; musical instruments and many other elements.

For more information visit

About the Woody Guthrie Center 
The Woody Guthrie Center celebrates the life, music and artistry of the influential folk musician while seeking to ignite a passion for social change and foster a world in which the values of justice, equality and compassion prevail. The center honors Guthrie’s life and legacy by educating visitors, teachers, students and scholars about his relevance today and his important role in American history through onsite programming, classroom materials, youth music programs, artist-in-residence programs, school outreach, internships, fellowship opportunities and the Woody Guthrie Center Archives.

For more information, please visit