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Renovations to historic ballroom nearing completion

The Big 10 Ballroom has hosted some of the world’s finest like Ike and Tina Turner, Ray Charles and James Brown. (KTUL)

TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- The Historic Big 10 Ballroom is home to memories, star performances and a rich history.

Brenda and Dr. Lester Shaw are almost complete with their renovations to the building.

“It’s been a long labor of love to get it where we are now, we’re about 70 percent finished,” said Brenda. “Because this building has such a great history, it’s really important that we keep it here because our kids, our community need the history to connect to.”

They’ve worked on it since 2008.

“He would drive by the building and he saw some promise in the building,” said Brenda. “I can tell you no one but my husband could drive past this building and see a vision because it didn’t have a roof, major disrepair, trees growing up out of the floor.”

The Big 10 Ballroom has hosted some of the world’s finest like Ike and Tina Turner, Ray Charles and James Brown.

Their vision is to use the space for their organization A Pocket Full of Hope.

“We help youth develop life skills and learning skills using theatre, dance, video and photography,” said Brenda. “They not only learn to take their education seriously but they also learn how to become leaders and positive citizens and do things for others.”

When it is complete, they will have more space for student’s performances.

“This is how we will empower young people and get them encouraged and motivated and inspired because they get to see some powerful artists who’ve been here,” said Lester.

They want others to feel that same energy as well.

“We hope that this will be an international culture, tourism attraction and with that, they can come to see this,” said Lester. “They can come to see all the other beautiful things we have in our vibrant city. We love Tulsa.”

They hope to open the new building in the late spring or early summer of next year.

Right now, they are looking for people to sponsor and name their four stages to use for performances.

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