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

Our guest is Vanessa Hua, a columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle, who joins us to discuss her debut novel, "A River of Stars: A Novel." It's a powerful and moving saga of modern-day motherhood, immigration, and identity in which a pregnant Chinese woman makes her way to California (i.e., Los Angeles, and then San Francisco's Chinatown) in pursuit of the American dream. Per USA Today: "Hua's story spins with wild fervor, with charming protagonists fiercely motivated by maternal and survival instincts."

Our guest on StudioTulsa is Randa Warren, a Tulsa-based Master Sommelier who's been offering popular wine classes here in our community for more than a decade. Now comes a new book, "60-Minute Wine Expert," which she tells us about. It's a guidebook that mainly aims to show readers how to properly taste wine while also sharing helpful insights into how to best pair food and wine. Please note that Warren will appear at a special book-and-wine event on Friday the 24th at Magic City Books in downtown Tulsa.

Our guest is Christina Dalcher, whose new novel, her first, is an equally engrossing and unsettling thriller called "Vox." Per a critic writing for Vanity Fair: "Dalcher's debut novel, set in a recognizable near future and sure to beg comparisons to Margaret Atwood's dystopian 'The Handmaid's Tale,' asks: if the number of words you could speak each day was suddenly and severely limited, what would you do to be heard?

On this edition of our program, we learn about "The Bleeding Edge," a new documentary film that recently started airing on Netflix. This film, directed by Kirby Dick, offers a detailed and unsettling look at the unforeseen consequences of various advanced technological devices that are routinely used by Big Medical today. Our guest is the producer of this film, Amy Herdy, who has worked in film -- specializing in social justice issues -- for more than twenty years.

On this edition of ST, we learn about the City of Tulsa's in-depth and multifaceted efforts to address issues of resilience, equity, and racial disparity across various demographic and geographic sections of our community. Our guest is DeVon Douglass, who was recently appointed by Mayor G.T. Bynum as Tulsa's Chief Resilience Officer. Before this appointment, Douglass served as the Economic Opportunity and Poverty Policy Analyst for the Oklahoma Policy Institute.

On this installment of ST, we learn about the Osage Nation Museum in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we chat with Kay Stout, the executive director of the Peaceful Animal Adoption Shelter (or "PAAS") in Vinita, Oklahoma. This important and award-winning nonprofit, which opened in 2015, is, as noted at its website, "dedicated to the rescue, temporary care, and adoption of homeless and unwanted cats and dogs."

On this encore edition of ST, we hear from the Oklahoma-based writer and writing teacher Brandon Hobson, whose latest novel is "Where the Dead Sit Talking." Set in rural Oklahoma during the late 1980s, it's a lyrical and at times troubling story about a fifteen-year-old Cherokee boy who's been placed in foster care. As was noted of this book in a starred Publishers Weekly review: "Hobson's narrative control is stunning.... Far more than a mere coming-of-age story, this is a remarkable and moving novel."

Our guest on this encore edition of ST Medical Monday is Dr. Barbara Lipska, Director of the Human Brain Collection Core at the National Institute of Mental Health, where she studies mental illness and human brain development. She joins us to discuss her engaging and disturbing memoir, "The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: My Tale of Madness and Recovery." As noted of this book by Kirkus Reviews: "A vibrant mental health expert's bout with brain cancer and the revolutionary treatments that saved her life....

Our guest today is John Pavlovitz, a progressive Christian pastor, writer, and activist from Raleigh, North Carolina. He's the author of the popular blog, "Stuff That Needs To Be Said," which offers advice and admonitions for Christians living in the era of Trump.

Our guest on this edition of StudioTulsa has written a comprehensive account of the financial crisis of 2008, covering how its roots that go back decades -- and how it spawned further economic and political crises in the years since, from Brexit and the Euro-crisis in Greece, to the conflict in Ukraine, and the rise of economic nationalism in the U.S. and throughout Europe. Adam Tooze is a Professor of History at Columbia University and author of "The Deluge" and "The Wages of Destruction," both award-winning economic histories.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we feature our interview with Tulsa Arts Fellowship writer Anna Badkhen. Badkhen has been a journalist and war correspondent in many of the world's conflict areas in this century, and the author of six books of literary non-fiction about the remarkable people she has met in her travels; families who due to conflict, globalization, or climate change, find their way of life on a knife's edge.

On this encore edition of ST Medical Monday, our guest is F. Diane Barth, a longtime psychotherapist based in New York City. She joins us to discuss her book, "I Know How You Feel: The Joy and Heartbreak of Friendship in Women's Lives." As was noted of this readable and useful study by Kirkus Reviews: "A psychotherapist offers advice about how to be, and keep, a friend. Barth, whose Psychology Today blog frequently focuses on women's friendships, draws on interviews with diverse women to examine the 'magical, meaningful, and surprisingly difficult' connections they make with friends."

(Note: This show originally aired back in February.) "Bobby BlueJacket: The Tribe, The Joint, The Tulsa Underworld" is a well-researched book exploring little-known aspects of American crime, Native American identity, and smalltown politics in the 20th century. It's also an engrossing biography of a real and remarkable person: Bobby BlueJacket, born in 1930, who grew up in Tulsa amid teenage rumbles, mean streets, dangerous pool halls, and Midwest safecracker crews -- and who actually went from being a career thief to a prison journalist to a Eastern Shawnee Indian activist.

Our guest is the award-winning British author and journalist William Atkins, whose new book -- a dense and engrossing blend of history, memoir, geography, and travel writing -- is called "The Immeasurable World: Journeys in Desert Places." It's a work that, per The Wall Street Journal, "courts comparisons with the capaciously learned nature writing of John McPhee. But there's also an open-ended spiritual quest to Mr.

Our two guests on ST are the architects who will design the forthcoming Bob Dylan Center, which will be the "public face" of the Tulsa-based Bob Dylan Archives -- and which is slated to open in 2021 at the corner of MLK Blvd. and Archer Street. After a far-reaching, international competition, architect Tom Kundig (of the well-regarded, Seattle-based firm Olson Kundig) was chosen by the George Kaiser Family Foundation to design this exciting new public venue. Along with Mr.

Our guest on ST is Kendra Taira Field, an assistant professor of history and director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University.

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Mike Scardino, whose debut memoir, just out, is "Bad Call: A Summer Job on a New York Ambulance." The book details his experiences working an ambulance job in Queens, New York, in the late '60s and early '70s. As per a starred review in Publishers Weekly: "Fresh and powerful...Scardino looks back on his summers during college...when he worked as a New York City hospital ambulance attendant.

(Note: This show originally aired back in March.) Our guest is Kim Brophey, a nationally certified and award-winning canine behavior consultant based in Asheville, North Carolina. She joins us to discuss her book, "Meet Your Dog: The Game-Changing Guide to Understanding Your Dog's Behavior." In this work, Brophey explains her so-called "L.E.G.S." approach -- as in, "Learning, Environment, Genetics, and Self."

Our guest is Ken Tracy, the executive director of the non-profit Choregus Productions, which has been bringing world-class contemporary dance to Tulsa for several years now. Choregus will soon present its third annual Summer Heat International Dance Festival, beginning on Saturday night, the 28th, with a performance at the Tulsa PAC by Doug Varone and Dancers -- to be immediately followed by a gala opening reception. Then Beijing Dance Theater (shown above) will perform on Sunday afternoon, the 29th.

Photo by John Cohen / Bob Dylan in 1962

On this edition of ST, we speak once again with Michael Chaiken, the curator of the Tulsa-based Bob Dylan Archive, which is currently located at the University of Tulsa's Helmerich Center for American Research at Gilcrease Museum, and which houses some 6,000 items related to Dylan's life and career in music -- nearly six decades of writings, recordings, memorabilia, film, and more. This facility is meant for researchers and scholars; it is not open to the public.

On this edition of ST, we continue our series of conversations with the major candidates running to fill the open seat in Oklahoma's 1st Congressional District. Our guest is Tim Harris, a Republican, who was elected District Attorney for Tulsa County in 1998 and was, as noted at the Harris campaign website, "the longest serving DA in Tulsa County history.

It's taken a while for this particular truth to sink in, but America finally seems to be waking up to it: People with mental illness don't need to be locked up -- they need to be treated. On this edition of our show, we speak with journalist Alisa Roth, whose new book, "Insane," is a well-regarded and quite alarming exposé of the mental health crisis now facing our courts, jails, and prisons. As was noted  of this book by The New York Times Book Review: "Chilling.... Roth writes movingly of the human toll of incarceration....

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we continue our series of conversations with the major candidates running to fill the open seat in Oklahoma's 1st Congressional District. Yesterday we aired a discussion with Democratic candidate Amanda Douglas; today we chat with Tim Gilpin, also a Democrat. Mr. Gilpin, as noted at his website, "has practiced law in Oklahoma since 1986. Over his career, Tim has worked in both private practice and for the State of Oklahoma.

On this edition of ST, we begin our series of interviews with the major candidates running to fill the open seat in Oklahoma's 1st Congressional District. Our guest tomorrow will be Democratic candidate Tim Gilpin; on today's program, we interview Amanda Douglas, also a Democrat. As per the Douglas campaign website: "Amanda Douglas was born and raised in Oklahoma. As one of four children in a low-income family, [she] wasn't handed a lot of opportunities in life.

T. C. Cannon (1946–1978, Caddo/Kiowa), Small Catcher, 1973–78. Oil on canvas. Collection of Gil Waldman and Christy Vezolles. © 2018 Estate of T. C. Cannon. Courtesy of the Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Craig Smith.

We learn about a striking show on view at the Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa; "T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America" will run through October 7th of this year. It is, per the Gilcrease website, "the first major traveling exhibition of Cannon's work since 1990 and explores the dynamic creative range and legacy of an artist whose life was cut short at age 31.

The long-awaited Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (or OKPOP) is our topic on today's StudioTulsa. The design of the downtown Tulsa building that will house this museum has jus been announced. The structure will be on Main Street, across the street from the Cain's Ballroom, with construction to begin in the fall of this year.

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Gary Schwitzer, a longtime journalist and the publisher of the non-profit website HealthNewsReview.org, which he founded in 2006 (and which is now, due to time-limited funding, slated to cease operations at the end of 2018). This well-respected site, as per its Editorial Team page, has by now "grown to a team of about 50 people who grade daily health news reporting by major U.S.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we talk about the ongoing effort to make Route 66 a part of the U.S. National Park Serivce's National Historic Trail System. If this were to happen, Route 66 would become the 20th such trail in America, joining The Lewis and Clark Trail, The Oregon Trail, and others. This designation could mean a serious economic boost to our state, as Oklahoma has more Route 66 mileage than any other state through which the highway runs. We have two guests today.

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