Rich Fisher

General Manager & host of StudioTulsa

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government.  Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.  

In addition, Rich is an active musician. He’s currently the principal trombonist of the Signature Symphony at TCC, leads the Starlight Jazz Orchestra, and is a free-lance musician whose work ranges from the pit of touring Broadway musicals, to the salsa band, Grupo Salsabor.

Ways to Connect

(Note: This interview first aired in September of 2020.) Our guest is Rachel Louise Snyder, an award-winning journalist and professor of creative writing and journalism at American University. She talks about her latest book, which is "No Visible Bruises: What We Don't Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us." As was noted of this widely-acclaimed study by The Washington Post: "Compulsively readable.... In a writing style that's as gripping as good fiction, as intimate as memoir, and deeply informed, [Snyder] takes us into the lives of the abused, the abusers, and the survivors....

Our guest is Marcello Angelini, the Artistic Director of Tulsa Ballet. From March 5th through the 14th, the company will once again offer a Signature Series at Studio K three-part program (which will be accessible in both online/streamable presentations as well as in-person/socially-distanced shows at the Studio K performance space in Tulsa's Brookside neighborhood). The series will include two newly-made World Premieres and a piece that was created just for Tulsa Ballet. These three ballets will be the work of choreographers Andrew McNicol, Yury Yanowsky, and Jennifer Archibald.

We are pleased to welcome Joy Harjo back to StudioTulsa. The poet, writer, performer, and musician is the current United State Poet Laureate. She's also a Tulsa resident, and a Tulsa Artist Fellow. A member of the Mvskoke/Creek Nation, she started writing as a young woman and started playing saxophone in her forties -- by now, she's well-regarded and widely celebrated in both capacities. Harjo joins us to discuss her new album, "I Pray for My Enemies," which is the first new recording of her music to appear in a decade.

Photo of Claudio Saunt by Dorothy Kozlowski/UGA

Our guest is Claudio Saunt, a professor of American History at the University of Georgia. He'll soon deliver the 2021 Cadenhead-Settle Memorial Lecture at the University of Tulsa. His talk -- which will be offered as a digital/livestream/online-only event on March 4th (starting at 7pm) at utulsa.edu/cadenhead-settle -- will explore how slavery and indigenous dispossession effectively built the Antebellum South.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we learn about the National Center for Wellness & Recovery, which is based at the OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa. The mission for this facility, per its website, is "to inspire hope and to develop innovative, science-driven treatment interventions to improve the lives of those afflicted by pain and substance-use disorders." Our guest is Dr. Kelly Dunn, a psychiatrist who is also the Executive Director for Clinical Treatment at the National Center.

(Note: This interview first aired back in October.) We welcome Sarah Smarsh back to StudioTulsa for a discussion of her latest book. It's a collection of essays that all focus on a certain country-music icon who also happens to be one of the most unifying figures in American culture: Dolly Parton. Smarsh talks with us about how Parton has, for decades now, both embodied and emboldened American women who live and work in poverty.

Our guest on StudioTulsa is the well-regarded African-American composer Adolphus Hailstork, who is based in Virginia. His music will be part of the program for a special broadcast-only concert to be presented by the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra on Saturday (the 27th) at 8pm -- with a re-airing on Sunday (the 28th) at 4pm. This concert will be a celebration of Black History Month, and it will air on our sister-station, Classical 88.7 KWTU-FM. More details are posted here.

Our guest is Kayleen Schaefer, a journalist and author who has written for The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and other publications. Her new book, which she tells us about, is "But You're Still So Young: How Thirtysomethings Are Redefining Adulthood." The book looks carefully at how thirtysomethings in America today are -- and aren't -- meeting the milestones which sociologists commonly cite as the five markers of adulthood: finishing school, leaving home, marriage, gaining financial independence, and having kids.

Our guest is the writer Andrea Pitzer, who tells us about her newest book. It's a page-turning work of history about the Dutch polar explorer William Barents, one of the 16th century's greatest navigators. In particular, "Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World" details the three harrowing Arctic expeditions that Barents led, the last of which resulted in an extremely challenging year-long fight for survival. As was noted by The Wall Street Journal: "A fascinating modern telling of Barents's expeditions.... Ms.

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Dr. T. Colin Campbell, who has been for more than four decades a leading expert on nutrition research in American medicine. His bestselling book from several years ago, "The China Study," grew out of the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted, which he led. Dr. Campbell joins us to discuss both his pioneering career and his newest book, "The Future of Nutrition: An Insider's Look at the Science, Why We Keep Getting It Wrong, and How to Start Getting It Right."

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we welcome Bassem Youssef, the Egyptian comedian, media critic, TV host...and former surgeon and doctor. He came to widespread attention as the host of "El-Bernameg" ("The Show"), a popular satirical news program in Egypt, which aired from 2011 to 2014. (His work on this program, which grw out of the Arab Spring, led to Youssef's being widely compared to the American satirist Jon Stewart.) Youssef joins us to discuss the development of his career thus far, which now includes a new children's book: "The Magical Reality of Nadia."

Our guest, Amelia Pang, is an award-winning investigative journalist who's written for "Mother Jones," "The New Republic," and other publications. In her new book, "Made in China," she profiles an political prisoner named Sun Yi, who was forced into harsh labor by the Chinese government for campaigning for the right to join a forbidden meditation movement.

Our guest is the writer and film historian Mark Harris, whose newest book, which he tells us about, is a biography of Mike Nichols (1931-2014). Born Mikhail Igor Peschkowsky in Berlin, the young Nichols, along with his brother and his parents, escaped the Nazis in 1939 by relocating to the United States. Nichols went on to have a long, remarkably creative career in show business, thriving as a film and theater director, actor, producer, and comedian. As a director, he was known and celebrated for helping his actors deliver particularly strong performances.

Our guest is Michelle Commander, an Associate Director and Curator at The Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, which is a branch of the New York Public Library located in Harlem. The Schomberg Center has recently put out a pathbreaking new anthology, which she tells us about. The book is "Unsung: Unheralded Narratives of American Slavery and Abolition." It's a thorough and well-edited volume that traces gathers various writings and texts in order to convey the full historical arc of transatlantic slavery in the US.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we offer a discussion of what is commonly referred to as "long-haul syndrome" or "long COVID." Our guest is Dr. Stan Schwartz, who's the chief medical officer of The Zero Card, a digital-health enterprise. He's also a former medical director of Tulsa's Warren Clinic. Dr.

Our guest is Dr. Michael F. Myers, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University in Brooklyn, New York. He's the author or co-author of several works, including "Why Physicians Die by Suicide." Dr. Myers joins us on StudioTulsa Medical Monday for a discussion of his new book, "Becoming a Doctors' Doctor: A Memoir." As was noted of this reflective and readable work by Dr.

A new season of Museum Confidential begins in partnership with the Greenwood Art Project, an initiative of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission. To get a broader view of the project, host Jeff Martin speaks with anthropologist/archivist Marlon Hall who handles the project’s unique use of social media, Kode Ransom who runs the GAP mobile outreach efforts, and Program Director, Jerica Wortham. Jerica will serve as Co-Host on several Museum Confidential episodes this season.

Our guest is the Tulsa-based writer, creative writing teacher, playwright, and performer, Michael Wright. He's had an active, far-flung career in the dual worlds of literature and theatre. The author of novels, plays, poems, and varous performance-art and spoken-word experiments, Wright was also the 2010 Playwriting Teacher of the Year for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and the winner of the Kennedy Center 2011 Milan Stitt Award for outstanding teaching and professional work in playwriting.

Our guest is the British author Jenny Lecoat. She's just published her debut novel, which she tells us about. "The Girl from the Channel Islands" is a compelling saga that happens to employ, at least in part, her own family's history. As was noted by Publishers Weekly: "Lecoat...draws on the history of Germany's WWII occupation of Jersey, one of the Channel Islands, where [she] was raised. During the summer of 1940, Hedy Bercu is living on Jersey after having escaped Nazi-occupied Vienna.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in August.) Robert Draper is our guest; he is a writer at large for The New York Times Magazine and a contributing writer to National Geographic. His past books include the bestselling "Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W.

WGBH Boston

Our guest on ST is the documentary filmmaker, Sam Pollard, who directed "Goin' Back to T-Town." This remarkable film, which dates from the early 1990s, tells the then-nearly-forgotten-but-now-familiar story of Greenwood, the "Black Wall Street" neighborhood in Tulsa which prospered during the early 20th century, and which was all but erased in 1921 by one of the worst race-driven massacres in U.S. history. "Goin' Back to T-Town" will be shown next week (on Monday the 8th) on PBS television.

Our guest is Dr. Ina Park, who's an associate professor at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, a Medical Consultant at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Division of STD Prevention), and the Medical Director of the California Prevention Training Center.

ARTWORK BY FRED VILLANUEVA (via ahhatulsa.org)

Our guest is the Dallas-based artist Fred Villanueva, whose exhibition titled "The Trayectorias" (or "the trajectory," or "the path") is on view at ahha in downtown Tulsa through February 21st. This show, per the ahha website, "presents past artistic explorations that Villanueva has re-mixed to create new paintings, drawings, and installations.

Photo Credit Union Theological Seminary

Our guest is the Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, a well-known theologian who grew up in Oklahoma and is now the President and Johnston Family Professor for Religion and Democracy at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City. (Union is an interdenominational seminary that was established in 1836.) Formerly a professor at Yale Divinity School, Dr. Jones has published many articles and books over the years, and she's an ordained minister in both the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ. On Sunday the 31st, Dr.

The acclaimed Hollywood screenwriter Walter Bernstein died recently at the age of 101. His films included "Fail-Safe," "Paris Blues," "The Molly Maguires," "Semi-Tough," and lastly, to cite a 1976 classic starring Woody Allen that was based on Bernstein's own experiences as a blacklisted writer in Fifties Hollywood, "The Front." On this edition of ST, we listen back to our 1997 conversation with Walter Bernstein. At that time, he'd just put out a book called "Inside Out: A Memoir of the Blacklist."

Despite the pandemic-triggered federal moratorium on residential evictions, evictions do still happen in certain cases here in the Tulsa area. Why? Our guest is Prof. Roni Amit, who's with the Terry West Civil Legal Clinic at the University of Tulsa College of Law. This clinic, per its website, "addresses access to justice for marginalized communities in Tulsa, with a particular focus on the intersection of legal needs within these communities.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we learn about "Where It Hurts," a podcast co-produced by Kaiser Health News and St. Louis Public Radio. Our guest is the host of this podcast, investigative journalist Sarah Jane Tribble. Season One of "Where It Hurts" -- subtitled "No Mercy" -- was just completed, and as we learn on today's show, the full season focused on the intricate, far-reaching why and how of the closing of Mercy Hospital in Fort Scott, Kansas.

National Park Service / Liberty Bell Center (nps.gov)

It's well-known that Americans today -- in so many cases, if not in most cases -- inhabit completely different worlds when it comes to acquiring news and daily information. But do we also have completely different understandings of our country's history? On this edition of ST, we're discussing the official report of the "1776 Commission." This report was released by the Trump Administration on Monday of this week...and then removed from the White House website two days later by the newly-incumbent Biden Administration.

(Note: This interview first aired last fall.) Our guest is Harold McGee, who writes about the science of food and cooking. He joins us to discuss his new book, "Nose Dive: A Field Guide to the World's Smells." As was noted of this work by Booklist: "In his detailed survey of scents, food writer and cooking scientist McGee elegantly explains olfaction.... His exploration of our smelly world includes the odors of flora and fauna, soil and smoke, food and fragrances, but also the unexpected: primordial earth, rain, and the whiff of old books.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we're looking at the connections between diet, weight control, and health.

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