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 back in October.) Our guests are the Harvard evolutionary biologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and the award-winning science writer Kathryn Bowers, who tell us about their jointly written book, "Wildhood." It makes several fascinating connections between the lives and behaviors of teenage animals and those of teenage human beings. Per the Los Angeles Times: "The vivid storytelling and fascinating scientific digressions in [this book] make it a pleasurable read.

As more people identify as non-binary, individuals often introduce themselves by the pronouns with which they identify. E-mails are signed with he/him/his, she/her/hers or they/them/theirs. Pronouns are now playing a prominent role in gender politics. This may seem new, but linguists have been puzzling over pronouns for a century or more.  Conflicts over pronoun usage goes back to the days of suffrage and gender equality, today it's the usage of a word thought to be plural --"they"--to denote a gender-neutral singular person. 

Keith Recker's life is all about colors. As a color trend consultant and forecaster for Pantone, he identifies new colors -- like Pantone's "Living Coral" (Pantone's color of the year for 2019) -- which designers in apparel, advertising, and industry look to in attracting eyes to their products.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we meet investigative journalist John Carreyrou, a two-time Pulitzer winning reporter with the Wall Street Journal, who broke the story of the fraud perpetrated by the medical tech company Theranos and its young CEO Elizabeth Holmes. The company had purportedly created a device that would revolutionize blood testing, utilizing just a few drops of blood, but was found to be a sham. At its peak, Theranos had a market value of $10 billion and its flawed prototype was actually in market testing in California and Arizona before Carreyrou helped expose the fraud.

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Donna Thomson, who is a co-author of "The Unexpected Journey of Caring: The Transformation from Loved One to Caregiver." As was noted of this important new guidebook by Booklist: "Caregivers often sacrifice their own health and relationships to take care of loved ones, which is a big problem in the United States, where nearly 45 million Americans provide unpaid care to an adult or child with medical problems or chronic conditions.

Samella Lewis "Field"
Gregory Staley

The Gilcrease Museum opened a new exhibition of African-American art collected by two ordinary people who created an extraordinary collection of artwork. Kerry Davis was a postman, and his wife, Betty, was a local television producer, but the two collected close to 300 works by black artists ranging from local artists in their hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, to internationally known artists, like Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Sam Gilliam, Elizabeth Catlett, Alma Thomas, and Norman Lewis.

New Society Publishers

As concern about the state of our land, air, and water grows, there is a belief among some within the environmental community, that there is a disconnect between environmental stewardship and communities of color. Angelou Ezeilo works to correct that misconception and works to open doors in those institutions that haven't been particularly welcoming to people of color.

Impact Tulsa

For the past six years, Impact Tulsa, a community partnership between Tulsa County school districts, business leaders, government, community organizations and philanthropic groups have been targeting several key indices for educational improvement. Through the collection of data, the group has designed and implemented strategies to improve kindergarten readiness, third-grade reading proficiency, eighth-grade mathematics proficiency, high school completion, postsecondary enrollment, and postsecondary completion.

Our guest, Dr. Arthur Kleinman of Harvard University, is an acclaimed and influential scholar-writer on the topics of psychiatry, anthropology, global health, and cultural issues in medicine. He's also the author of "The Illness Narratives: Suffering, Healing, and the Human Condition," which has long been taught in many U.S. medical schools. Dr. Kleinman joins us to discuss his new book, a work of both memoir and scholarship that stems from the pivotal decade or so during which he cared for his late wife.

Our guest is E.R. Ramzipoor, a writer based in California. She studied political science at UC-Berkeley, where she researched underground literature in resistance movements -- and her newly published first novel, which she tells us about, grew directly out of this research.

Tulsa Transit

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we meet the lead consultant for Tulsa's Mobility Innovation Strategy, which will encompass new ways of getting around the city from Rapid Bus Transit and scooters today, to autonomous and connected vehicles in the near future.  Kelley Coyner is the mobility innovation lead for the consultant firm Stantec, who has experience in government, education, research, and transit systems, and discusses the benefits of city investment in "smart transit," on vehicle and pedestrian safety, efficiency, environmental quality, and economic development.

PHOTO BY CNN.COM

Our guest is Dr. Joshua Landis, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and Professor at the University of Oklahoma's College of International Studies. He recently gave an address at the Tulsa Committee on Foreign Relations (or TCFR) titled "The U.S. and the Middle East: Making Sense of Oil, Regime Change, and Forever Wars." Dr. Landis also writes "Syria Comment," a daily newsletter on Syrian politics that attracts 100,000 readers per month -- and he often consults with U.S.

Our guest is Dan Weissmann, a public-radio reporter/editor/producer whose work has appeared on Marketplace, Planet Money, 99 Percent Invisible, and NPR’s Morning Edition. He once again joins us on ST Medical Monday to give an update on An Arm and a Leg, his widely acclaimed podcast about the various price tags that come with health care in the U.S.

Our guest is Daniel Hege, who will tomorrow night (Saturday the 11th) conduct the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra in its next concert. The program, titled "Strauss and Schumann," will offer an evening of lush, ornate, wholly gorgeous music. The night opens with J.S. Bach's "Fantasia and Fugue in C Minor," as orchestrated by Sir Edward Elgar. Next comes Richard Strauss' "Four Last Songs," featuring the acclaimed soprano Sarah Coburn. And finally: "Symphony No. 2" by Robert Schumann. Details are posted here

Our guest is Dr. Grant Jenkins, Associate Professor of English here at the University of Tulsa. He teaches creative writing as well as modern and contemporary U.S. literature, with a specialty in experimental poetry and poetics. Dr. Jenkins has just published his first novel, which he tells us about. "Ivory Tower" is an engrossing, genre-hopping crime thriller, set mainly on an American university campus. It's about a film professor who sets out to uncover sexual corruption within her school's football program. Please note that Dr.

Our guest is our friend, Barry Friedman, the Tulsa-based writer and comic, who's also a longtime commentator for this public-radio program. His son, Paul, died a few years ago from a drug overdose -- at age 24. And while Barry was devastated by this tragedy, as any parent would be, he was not really surprised. Paul's death, as Barry notes in his new book about his son, had been foreshadowed for years. Barry joins us to discuss his moving, unsettling, and perceptive new book, which is meant not as eulogy but as an elegy. And as the writer Dave Barry has noted: "It's a wonderful book.

Our guest is Devin Fergus, the Strickland Distinguished Professor of History, Black Studies, and Public Affairs at the University of Missouri. He's written on politics, policy, and inequality in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The American Prospect, The Guardian, and so forth. He joins us to discuss his latest book, which is just out in paperback: "Land of the Fee: Hidden Costs and the Decline of the American Middle Class." This book exposes the effects that fees have on wealth redistribution, from the poor and the middle class up to wealthy corporations.

It's easy to take safe drinking water for granted, but so very much of public health stems from having it (that is, having lots of it) on hand. Moreoever, the problems that've recently affected Flint, Michigan -- and other communities -- have brought the whole potable-water issue to the forefront for many Americans. Where does Tulsa's drinking water come from, and how does it get here? How safe is it, and how clean or "pure" is it? And how do we know these things? How is our water monitored? And how often?

Happy New Year, and thank you for listening to StudioTulsa.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we learn about The Prism Project, a far-reaching, recently-released needs-assessment survey that was commissioned in order to better inform the Greater Tulsa community about issues related to our LGBTQ+ neighbors, friends, and fellow citizens. As per the Prism Project website, Tulsa Reaches Out (which is an advisory council within the Tulsa Community Foundation) "commissioned The Hope Research Center at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa to conduct the survey within Tulsa's LGBTQ+ community.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we offer another edition of the popular Museum Confidential podcast, which is co-created twice a month by Jeff Martin with Philbrook Museum and Scott Gregory with Public Radio Tulsa. This time around, MC looks back to May of 2018, when -- at Christie's in Hong Kong -- an 18th-century Chinese vase owned by Philbrook sold for $14.5 million. MC sets out to learn the full story behind this potentially controversial sale.

Our guest is Michael Brose, the longtime Chief Empowerment Officer at Mental Health Association Oklahoma (or MHAOK). Brose joins us to discuss this important nonprofit's ongoing work to secure permanent housing for the homeless throughout our city and our state. Per the MHAOK website: "The Association's statewide work is dedicated to promoting mental health and the equity of access to mental health care through advocacy, education, research, service, and housing. Since 1955, we have worked toward this goal.

Our guest is Phil Keith, who is the co-author of a remarkable new biography titled "All Blood Runs Red: The Legendary Life of Eugene Bullard -- Boxer, Pilot, Soldier, Spy." As was noted of this compelling work in a starred review in Publishers Weekly: "This dazzling biography, drawing on the subject's unpublished memoir, explores the incredible life and times of the first African-American fighter pilot: Eugene 'Gene' Bullard. At 12, he ran away from Columbus, Ga., to escape the vicious racism of the early-20th-century South for France, the country revered by his formerly enslaved father.

As many of us return home for the holidays, we might see certain signs that our parents are not only aging but also, perhaps, are in declining health. What are those signs, and what should we do if we see them? Our guest has some answers. He's Tulsa-based attorney Todd Whatley, and he's with the Oklahoma Elder Law Group.

PHOTO BY THE INDEPENDENT (UK)

Following a recent coup attempt, more than 100,000 people were arrested and dismissed from their jobs in the Republic of Turkey. Turkey is also the world's largest jailer of journalists; 300+ are now behind bars. Our guest is an expert on these and related matters: Vonya Womack teaches at Cabrini University in Pennsylvania and spoke recently at the Raindrop Turkish House in Broken Arrow, OK. She spoke about her work as a human rights activist and about how she recently visited with Turkish political refugees in Greece. She tells us about these adventures on StudioTulsa.

PHOTO BY EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS

The Tulsa Committee on Foreign Relations recently presented an evening focused on Russia-China relations, and what the increasing ties between these two nations might mean for the United States. Our guest participated in that evening: Nina Rozhanovskaya has 7+ years of experience working on international academic projects and facilitating cooperation among Russian organizations and their overseas partners in a variety of areas. She is a coordinator and academic liaison for Kennan Institute in Russia.

Our guest is Robert Boyers, a professor of English at Skidmore College and the director of the New York State Summer Writers Institute. He joins us to talk about his new book, "The Tyranny of Virtue: Identity, the Academy, and the Hunt for Political Heresies." As was noted of this work by Kirkus: "A rousing call for speech on college campuses that is truly free, addressing uncomfortable issues while allowing room for dissent....

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we welcome a new book reviewer to the program. Rebecca Howard is a regional manager for the Tulsa City-County Library system and has served as the county-wide literacy coordinator, and helped launch the library's reader's advisory service "Your Next Great Read." For the past year, Rebecca has written "Imprint", a monthly column in our e-newsletter, and today she offers her list of the best books of 2019 for the book lover on your holiday gift list.

"Lager Queen of Minnesota" by J. Ryan Strahdal

"Normal People" by Sally Rooney

At a time when America's foreign service professionals are front and center in the national debate, we hear the story of four exemplary ambassadors from the State Department's Near East bureau.

Steve Liggett

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with two Tulsa art icons, painter P.S. "Pat" Gordon, and ceramic artist, curator, and arts advocate Steve Liggett. These two artists have been fixtures in the visual arts community for over forty years, and describe their shared history. The two are now collaborating on a project of ceramic objects featuring Gordon's trademark floral botanic designs on Liggett's pottery. "Botanica-Patrick (P.S.) Gordon and Steve Liggett, A Collaboration" is currently on display through December 21st at the Liggett Studio at 314 S Kenosha Ave. in downtown Tulsa. 

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