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 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. 

Our guest is the widely acclaimed writer and historian Stacy Schiff, who is the winner of the 2019 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award. This award is given each year by the Tulsa Library Trust and Tulsa City-County Library.

On this edition on ST Medical Monday, we learn about Sick, a podcast from WFYI and Side Effects Public Media (with help from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PRX). This podcast, per its website, "is a new investigative [series concerning] what goes wrong in the places meant to keep us healthy. The first season explores the complications of fertility medicine, one Indiana doctor's abuse of power, and the generations of lives he affected." Our guests are the two reporters behind Sick, Lauren Bavis and Jake Harper.

(Note: This show first aired back in July.) Our guest is Carla Rachel Sameth, a writer who teaches at the LA Writing Project (at California State University Los Angeles) and at Southern New Hampshire University. She joins us to discuss her new book, "One Day on the Gold Line: A Memoir in Essays." As Sue William Silverman, author of "The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew," has noted of Sameth's book: "Race, class, drugs, sexuality, otherness.... Twenty-first century American hot-button issues are on full display in this brave, gritty, unflinching memoir.

On this edition of ST, we present another installment in our ongoing Museum Confidential podcast series, which is created twice a month by our own Scott Gregory and Philbrook Museum's Jeff Martin.

Our guest is the noted psychiatrist and historian Robert Jay Lifton; he's written more than twenty books, including the National Book Award-winning "Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima" as well as "The Nazi Doctors." He joins us to discuss his new book, which is just out.

Our guest is journalist Maria Goodavage, whose previous books include "Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America's Canine Heroes" and "Top Dog: The Story of Marine Hero Lucca." She joins us to talk about her newest book, "Doctor Dogs: How Our Best Friends Are Becoming Our Best Medicine." As noted by Prof. Clive Wynne, director of the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University: "Goodavage takes the reader on a fascinating journey to uncover the amazing things dogs can do for their human friends.

Our guest is Klon Kitchen, who leads the tech policy initiative at the Heritage Foundation. He recently gave a talk titled "Disrupting National Security: The Growing Role of Big Tech in Geopolitics" at the Tulsa Committee on Foreign Relations (or TCFR). At the Heritage Foundation, Kitchen heads an enterprise-wide, interdisciplinary effort to understand and shape our nation's most important technology issues.

Our guest is Dr. Lisa Sanders, an internist on the faculty of the Yale University School of Medicine. She writes the monthly "Diagnosis" column for The New York Times Magazine, and her newest book, which she talks to us about, grew out of this popular column. The book is called "Diagnosis: Solving the Most Baffling Medical Mysteries." Dr. Sanders also tells us about her work on a streamable, multi-part Netflix series likewise called "Diagnosis."

Our guest is the esteemed pianist, Robin Sutherland, who's known for his long, well-regarded tenure with the San Francisco Symphony. He'll join the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra onstage on Saturday night, the 16th, in a concert led by Gerhardt Zimmermann. Sutherland will perform Mozart's Piano Concerto in C Minor; also on the program will be works by Berlioz and Lutoslawski. More information, including ticket details, is posted here.

Our guest on ST is Randy Krehbiel, who's been a reporter for The Tulsa World since 1979 and now covers political and governmental affairs for that paper. He joins us to discuss his new book, "Tulsa, 1921: Reporting a Massacre." In this deeply-researched work, Krehbiel studies local newspaper accounts in order to understand the mindset and motivations of Tulsa's citizens (both black and white) at the time of this tragedy.

Our guest is the Kansas City-based poet and teacher Anne Boyer, who joins us to discuss her bold, well-written memoir of cancer.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in July.) Our guest is the BBC journalist and author, Anita Anand. Her new book, a work of fascinating and compelling history, is "The Patient Assassin: A True Story of Massacre, Revenge, and India's Quest for Independence." This book tells the story of how Udham Singh, an orphan Sikh from India's lower castes, traveled to four continents over twenty years -- including the United States -- in an epic quest for revenge against a Raj official.

On this edition of ST, we learn about two 2019 Ruth Mayo Memorial Distinguished Visiting Artists here at TU, the painters Gideon Bok and Meghan Brady. They're based in Maine, and they also happen to be married. And their duo exhibit, "Being There," will open this evening (the 7th) at a special lecture/reception at the Alexandre Hogue Gallery on the TU campus. More info is poste here.

Our guest is Terence Hawkins, whose second novel, "American Neolithic," was named a Kirkus Reviews Best of 2014. In a starred review, some five years ago, Kirkus called it "a towering work of speculative fiction." This book is now appearing in a revised, newly re-published edition, and Hawkins tells us about it on ST today. As the bestselling novelist Tom Perrotta has noted of this work: "A one-of-a-kind novel, a bizarre but gripping amalgam of anthropology, political diatribe, and speculative science fiction....

Our guest is the Tulsa-based author Hunter Howe Cates, who tells us about his new book, "Oklahoma's Atticus." It's a work of biography/history that profiles his own grandfather, Tulsa County public defender and Creek tribal member Elliott Howe. Howe, as we learn, was closely involved in the investigation and trial of a Tulsa murder case that made national news back in the early 1950s. On Nov. 7th, Cates will do a free-to-the-public reading and signing in connection with this work at Magic City Books.

Our guest is Dr. Jen Gunter, who is board-certified in OB/GYN and pain medicine, and who writes about the intersection of women's health, sex, science, and pop culture for The New York Times. She joins us via Skype to discuss her new book, which is her second: "The Vagina Bible." Does eating sugar cause yeast infections? Does pubic hair have a function? Should you have a vulvovaginal care regimen? Will your vagina shrivel up if you go without sex? What's the truth about the HPV vaccine? Such are the questions explored in this thorough, useful, myth-busting, and best-selling book.

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