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 on ST is the widely acclaimed mandolinist and composer, Jeff Midkiff. He will soon perform his "Concerto for Mandolin and Orchestra: From the Blue Ridge" with the Signature Symphony at TCC. The concert happens on Saturday night, the 28th, at the TCC Van Trease PACE (at 10300 E. 81st Street in Tulsa). It begins at 7:30pm; ticket information is posted here. The evening will also feature Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony as well as the Overture from "Ruslan and Lyudmila" (the opera by Mikhail Glinka).

Our guest on ST is Petina Gappah, an award-winning, widely translated Zimbabwean writer and lawyer. She joins us to discuss her new novel, which explores the life of David Livingstone, the 19th-century Scottish missionary who famously set out to find the source of the Nile. As was noted of this book, which is called "Out of Darkness, Shining Light: A Novel," in The New York Times Book Review: "Gappah lists at least 30 books in the bibliography of her scrupulously researched new novel.

Our gust is Craig Johnson, author of the beloved and best-selling "Longmire" series of mystery novels. His newest book, "Land of Wolves," is the 15th novel to feature the Wyoming-based protagonist, Sheriff Walt Longmire. (These novels are also the basis, of course, for a popular TV series on Netflix.) Mr. Johnson will appear at a ticketed reading/signing event here in Tulsa on Thursday the 26th at the IDL Ballroom.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization plays a much different role in the world today than it did when it was originally established in 1949. But what exactly is the role of NATO now? Our guest is Dr. Rajan Menon, Professor of International Relations at the City College of New York. He was a guest recently of the Tulsa Committee on Foreign Relations, where he spoke on "NATO Goes Global: A Look at the Record." Dr. Menon has been a Fellow at the Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs and at the New America Foundation.

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 Titus I. Jackson, the writer/director of a new documentary about the economic decline of the Sooner State and how this decline has affected public education. The film is called "Brokelahoma," and it         includes the voices and perspectives of many teachers from across our state. Note that there will be a special screening-plus-Q&A of this film on Monday the 23rd at the Circle Cinema here in Tulsa; more details are posted here.

Our guest is Dr. Amir Hussain of Loyola Marymount University. He'll be speaking tomorrow night (Friday the 20th) at Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa in connection with that museum's soon-to-close exhibit, "Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam Through Time & Place." Dr. Hussain's remarks will be derived from his book, "Muslims and the Making of America," which explores everything from Muslims who fought in the Civil War to the cultural icon (and sports legend) Muhammad Ali.

Our program today explores the work of Jave Yoshimoto, a visual artist and educator born in Japan to Chinese parents who immigrated to California at a young age. A recent Tulsa Artist Fellowship alum as well as a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painter's and Sculptor's grant, Yoshimoto now has a show at the Living Arts of Tulsa gallery, which he tells us about.

Photo by Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936.

On this installment of ST, we learn about a new photography show at Gilcrease dedicated to the work of Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) and her peers. (The exhibit is on view through January 5, 2020.) Per the Gilcrease website, Lange's "empathetic images documented the toll that the Depression took on the nation. The evidence was seen in the long lines of desperate, jobless men, migrant workers searching for work, and impoverished families living in squalid conditions.

One in five Americans now has medical debt in collections. Today's rising health care costs threaten pretty much every small business in the nation. How did we get here? What can be done? Our guest on ST Medical Monday is the bestselling author and Johns Hopkins surgeon, Dr. Martin Makary, who tells us about his book, "The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care -- and How to Fix It." The book offers, per Kirkus Reviews, "plain talk from a surgeon and professor who has long studied health care issues and finds the American system badly in need of repair....

Tomorrow night, Saturday the 14th, the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra will present a special gala concert at the Tulsa PAC (beginning at 8pm). The guest artist will be the world-renowned violinist Rachel Barton Pine, who will play Samuel Barber's soulful and lyrical Violin Concerto. Also on the program will be Rossini's "Barber of Seville" and Mussorgsky/Ravel's "Pictures at an Exhibition." Our guest on StudioTulsa is the TSO's Principal Guest Conductor, Daniel Hege, who will lead the orchestra.

Our guest on ST is James Poniewozik, the chief TV critic at The New York Times. He joins us to discuss his widely hailed new book, "Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America." As was noted of this incisive work of cultural criticism and American history in the pages of Bookforum: "The smartest, most original, most unexpectedly definitive account of the rise of Trump and Trumpism we've had so far.

Our guest is Marcello Angelini, the Artistic Director at Tulsa Ballet. The company continues its current season with "Creations in Studio K," an exciting, three-part presentation happening September 12th through the 22nd at the Studio K @ Tulsa Ballet space (on East 45th Place near Peoria Avenue).

Our guest is the journalist Sarah Smarsh, whose book, "Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth," is now out in paperback. It's a far-reaching account of her coming of age in smalltown Kansas that sharply explores matters of poverty, class, family, income inequality, Midwestern values, personal ambition, faith, womanhood, and other key social and economic concerns.

On this edition of our show, we are discussing adverse childhood experiences (or ACEs) in Oklahoma. Specifically, we're talking about an in-depth series of articles about ACEs that ran in the Tulsa World earlier this summer. Our guests are Dr. Kim Coon, a Professor and the Director of Psychotherapy Education in the Department of Psychiatry at the OU-Tulsa School Of Community Medicine, and Ginnie Graham, a columnist with the World. Dr.

(Note: This show first aired back in July.) Our guest is Russell Gold, who has reported on energy regularly in The Wall Street Journal since 2002; his coverage of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was honored with a Gerald Loeb Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Gold joins us to discuss his book, "Superpower: One Man's Quest to Transform American Energy." This book profiles Michael Skelly, an infrastructure builder who began working on wind energy in 2000, back when many people considered the entire wind-power industry a joke.

Our guest is Robert Kuttner, co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, who is also a former columnist for BusinessWeek, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe. He joins us to discuss his new book, which argues that the 2020 presidential election will determine the very survival of American democracy. To restore popular faith in government -- and win the election -- Kuttner maintains that Democrats must nominate and elect an economic progressive. "The Stakes" explains how the failure of our economy to serve ordinary Americans effectively paved the way for a demagogic president.

Our guest on StudioTulsa is the University of Maryland historian Dr. Richard Bell, who will give a free-with-museum-admission talk this coming Sunday afternoon (the 8th) at Gilcrease titled "HAMILTON: How the Musical Remixes American History." Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony-winning musical, which is now playing at the Tulsa PAC, is surely among the most popular works to hit Broadway in recent memory...but how, well, historically accurate is it?

(Note: This interview originally aired earlier this year.) Our guest is the British scholar Thomas Lockley, an Associate Professor at Nihon University College of Law in Tokyo, where he teaches courses related to the international and multicultural history of Japan and East Asia. He's also the co-author of a biography titled "African Samurai: The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan," which he tells about.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in April.) When we refer to "implicit bias" in today's world, we mean those unconscious stereotypes or automatic assessments that we all make -- all of us -- about people of a race, color, or background that differs from our own. What happens when implicit bias occurs among doctors, nurses, or other medical experts? On this edition of ST Medical Monday, our guest is Dr. Jabraan Pasha with the OU-TU School of Community Medicine, where he is Associate Program Director for Internal Medicine and Faculty Director of Student Recruitment. Dr.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in January.) Our guest is Terrence Moore, an acclaimed photographer who's been shooting images along Route 66 for 40+ years. He tells us about his new book, "66 on 66," which gathers his finest images culled from the many hundreds he's made over the years of "the Mother Road." This book also has a corresponding text by local historian and author Michael Wallis.

Photo by KWGS News

At any given time, anywhere from just over 100 to over 250 people are being held at the David L Moss Criminal Justice Center as immigrant detainees by U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, through the 287g program or as an ICE contract facility. Some are immigrants seeking asylum, others have been accused of a crime, some minor, others more serious. But upon arrival, they enter a strange amalgam where state law, federal law, and immigration law collide and intersect. 

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.

Got your "Hamilton" tickets yet...or did you already see it? The smash-hit Broadway musical is now beginning the second week of its run at the Tulsa PAC. And so we're offering a course in Hamilton 101 on today's ST as we listen back to a 2003 interview with the author and historian Willard Sterne Randall. At the time, Randall had just put out "Alexander Hamilton: A Life."

Our guest is Dr. William Hoy, who has studied funeral rites and rituals (as practiced worldwide) for three decades, examining how they're used to help mourners both make sense of death and deal with the major changes it brings to the lives of suvivors. Dr. Hoy teaches in the Medical Humanities Program in the College of Arts and Sciences at Baylor University. He'll be the first speaker (on September 3rd) in a three-speaker series of events happening soon at the OU-Tulsa Schusterman Learning Center.

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.

Our guest is the gardening expert Benjamin Vogt, who grew up in Oklahoma and Minnesota and is now based in Nebraska, and who is also the author of "A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future." Vogt will deliver the keynote address at a day-long gathering happening in OKC on Wednesday the 28th called "Rewilding Oklahoma: A Symposium for People, Places, and Pollinators." This event will highlight statewide successes in pollinator conservation, and you can learn more about it here.

(Note: This show first aired back in March.) Our guest is the Colorado-based writer Peter Heller, who tells us about his new novel, "The River." Per The Denver Post: "A fiery tour de force [of] poetic, staccato sentences and masterfully crafted prose.... The story itself resembles a trip down a river -- some parts are peaceful and allow for quiet introspection and big, deep breaths. But then you hit the rapids and the danger and risk jump off the page, forcing a sense of urgency. In those thrilling parts, reading required self-discipline.

"Lovely War: A Novel"

Aug 20, 2019

Our guest is Julie Berry, the bestselling young-adult novelist. Her writing has earned starred reviews from Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, the Horn Book, and elsewhere. She joins us to discuss her new book, "Lovely War: A Novel." As was noted of this work by School Library Journal: "The Greek gods relate the tale of how four young people's fates collide in a love story for the ages. Caught by Hephaestus in an compromising position with Ares, the god of War, Aphrodite is put on trial by her husband in a Manhattan hotel.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we present our third and final health-related installment of the popular Life Kit podcast from NPR, which is an ongoing feature presenting useful "how to" tips to listeners on various aspects of daily living. Our own John Schumann co-hosted a trio of medical-based Life Kit podcasts which originally appeared earlier this summer, and those are the three episodes we're sharing on our program (last week, the week before last, and today).

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