City of Tulsa

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?

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 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.

Gilcrease Museum

Our guest is Susan Neal, the executive director of Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa. It was recently announced that Gilcrease is now gathering applications from architectural firms seeking to execute the renovation, redesign, and expansion of the museum.

Mayfest -- the downtown Tulsa celebration that's been a spring highlight in our community since the 1970s -- is scheduled this year for May 17th, 18th,and 19th. And as we learn on today's ST, big changes are planned. Our guest is the executive director of Mayfest, Heather Pingry, who tells us that the festival is moving to the Tulsa Arts District (which is located a bit further north of its original location). Pingry adds that this move will also help to fill the gap left by the closure of the Blue Dome Arts Festival.

Our guest is James Wagner, the Chief of Performance Strategy and Innovation for the City of Tulsa. He leads a team in Mayor Bynum's office that aims to use data both effectively and intelligently in order to reach goals, remove barriers, find solutions, and foster community throughout Tulsa. Wagner joins us to discuss the results of a newly announced data-driven study that Tulsa has completed with the aid of the Gallup polling organization.

Photo by KWGS News

Our guest is State Senator Kevin Matthews, who recently held a press conference to announce that the name of the 1921 Race Riot Commission has been officially changed to the 1921 Race Massacre Commission. As Matthews, who chairs this Commission, noted at the conference: "The fact that it was called a riot was one of the reasons given for turning down insurance claims, and it has been offensive to many in the affected area for 97 years.

On this installment of ST, we learn about a remarkable and newly launched exhibit at Gilcrease, "Americans All!" This show, which is ongoing, is (per the Gilcrease website) the museum's "latest exhibition drawn from [its] permanent collection...[and it] showcases the many positive contributions immigrants have made, and continue to make, to American life and culture.

On this edition of ST, we learn about the City of Tulsa's just-announced plan to "build a resilient and welcoming city that embraces immigrants and fosters opportunity for all." Our guest is Christina da Silva, the City's Director of Community Development & Policy, who just last week unveiled (alongside Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum) the so-called New Tulsans Initiative.

On this edition of ST, we listen back to our April 2017 chat with David Grann, the bestselling author and staff writer at The New Yorker Magazine, about his book, "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI." As was noted of this book by a critic writing for Time: "Nearly 100 years ago, the Osage tribe of Oklahoma were thought to be the wealthiest people per capita in the world, thanks to their oil-rich reservation, kindly sold back to them by the federal government that had snatched it away.

Our guest is Tony Moore, Director of the Gathering Place, the greatly anticipated and privately funded public park that will open alongside the Arkansas River here in Tulsa on Saturday, September 8th. Moore brings us up to speed on what this massive and very special space -- the ground for which was broken back in 2014 -- will have to offer all of the people of Greater Tulsa. Per the Gathering Place website: "The next chapter is filled with excitement as we welcome our first guests....

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.

(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.

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.

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.

Our guest on ST is Dr. Deborah Gist, the Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools, who's worked in public education for nearly three decades at the school, district, and state levels (in Florida, Texas, Rhode Island, and elsewhere). Dr. Gist grew up in Tulsa -- and attended Tulsa Public Schools -- before earning degrees at the University of Oklahoma, the University of South Florida, Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the University of Pennsylvania. In 2015, she returned to Tulsa to begin her current post as TPS Superintendent.

Our guest is Clark Wiens, the president and co-founder of the non-profit Circle Cinema (which is located near the corner of Lewis and Admiral). This much-loved Tulsa landmark -- at once historic, unique, and irreplacable; a cultural lifeline as well as a crucial part of the our city's artistic community -- will soon turn 90 years old. Therefore, as Clark tells us, this special venue will soon host -- from July 7th through the 15th -- the Circle Cinema Film Festival and 90th Birthday Celebration.

Our guest is Karen Dills, the executive director of RSVP of Tulsa. The acronym officially stands for "Retired Senior Volunteer Program" -- and as noted at the website for this long-running non-profit: "RSVP serves as a one-stop clearinghouse to connect volunteers, age 55 and over, with meaningful community service. There is an RSVP match for everyone who wants to remain active in their local community.

The Blue Zones Project will present a series of events here in Tulsa this week, and so, on this edition of ST Medical Monday, we listen back to a Blue Zones-related interview from our archives. In 2016, we spoke with one Tony Buettner. Several years ago, Tony's brother Dan executed the original Blue Zones study, and then wrote a bestselling book about same.

On this edition of our show, we learn all about Kendall Whittier, Incorporated, or KWI, which is a neighborhood-minded and long-running nonprofit now marking its 50th Anniversary. KWI is, per its website, "a home-grown organization incorporating self-sufficiency for our neighbors through food security, nutritional health, and well-being." KWI -- the only food pantry in the Tulsa area that actually delivers to its participants' doorsteps -- will host an event tonight (Thursday the 7th) in celebartion of its Golden Anniversary.

On this broadcast of ST, we learn about a new book called "Art Deco Tulsa" -- and our guests are the two people who created it: Suzanne Fitzgerald Wallis wrote the text, and Sam Joyner made the photographs. As is noted of this book at its publisher's website: "Transformed from a cattle depot into the Oil Capital of the World, Tulsa emerged as an iconic Jazz Age metropolis. The Magic City attracted some of the nation's most talented architects, including Bruce Goff, Francis Barry Byrne, Frank Lloyd Wright, Joseph R.

The Arena District in downtown Tulsa can seem, at times, like the heart of the city -- like when there's a big show at the BOK Center, or a large convention at the Cox Convention Center. At other times...it's pretty quiet. So, one key question is how best to turn a limited-use area into a thriving year-round destination. This matter is now being explored by the City of Tulsa's Master Planning Process; it's a process that's being underway for months now.

Photo by Don Thompson

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we chat with the noted photographer Don Thompson, who's been documenting the people and places of north Tulsa for more than 40 years now. His photos have been shown at local galleries, are on permanent display at OSU-Tulsa, and were recently added to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

Our guest on ST is Ren Barger, the founder and CEO of Tulsa Hub, which is, as noted at its website, "a syndicate of volunteers on a mission to change lives through cycling. It is the only nonprofit in Oklahoma providing certified bicycling-for-transportation education, refurbished bicycles, safety gear, and follow-up support to people in poverty, people with physical and mental disabilities, and people who are otherwise disenfranchised in our community.

The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, which is part of the National Park Service, will soon host a three-day symposium here in Tulsa regarding the preservation of roadside architecture and attractions. It happens April 10th through the 12th, and it will include 20+ invited as well as solicited papers, an evening neon-sign tour, and a half-day field session exploring local roadside attractions and issues related to their preservation.

Oklahoma -- sadly, and perhaps unsurprisingly -- is number two in the United States when it comes to teen pregnancy. On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we learn about an organization working to address our state's high teen-birth rate. Our guest is the Executive Director of the nonprofit Take Control Initiative (or TCI). Per its website, the TCI "is a program aimed at reducing the high rate of unplanned and teen pregnancies in the Tulsa area.

On this installment of ST, our guest is Cameron Walker, the Executive Director of Tulsa Habitat for Humanity (or THFH). This crucial nonprofit recently received a $6.7 million grant from the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, and therefore, as we learn on today's program, THFH is transitioning from building 25 to 30 houses per year (which is what it does in the Tulsa area currently) to building 150 houses per year (which is what it aims to be doing four years from now).

"Bobby BlueJacket: The Tribe, The Joint, The Tulsa Underworld" is a just-published book exploring little-known aspects of American crime, Native American identity, and smalltown politics in the 20th century. It's also a biography of a real and remarkable person: Bobby BlueJacket, born in 1930, who grew up 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 guests on ST today are Michael P. Daley, the author of this new book, and Mr.

For every six Oklahomans, one is hungry, according to the latest data. And as the U.S. Congress looks to potentially address a $1.5 trillion projected deficit, many domestic programs face an uncertain if not bleak future -- including food-assistance and hunger-relief programs -- both here in the Sooner State and nationwide. On this edition of ST, we are discussing these matters with Effie Craven, who is the State Advocacy and Public Policy Director for both of the Oklahoma Food Banks (i.e., the Regional Food Bank in OKC as well as the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma in Tulsa).

On this edition of ST, we speak with the locally based poet, poetry teacher, and literary activist, Victoria McArtor. She tells us about her new book, "Reverse Selfie," which is a collection of poems written in response to -- or in conversation with, or in tribute to -- various Tulsa landmarks. This book, which actually began as a write-one-poem-every-day-for-a-month project back in 2015, also features striking photographs by Matthew Phipps, thereby capturing in both words and images the vitality, beauty, wonder, and strangeness of the City of Tulsa.

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