A Gathering Place (at River Parks)

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 StudioTulsa, we welcome Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum back to our studios. He was sworn in as Tulsa's newest mayor in December, having previously served as a member of the Tulsa City Council since 2008. (Mayor Bynum's great-great grandfather [1899-1900] and maternal grandfather [1970-1978] also served as mayors of Tulsa.) The Mayor joins us to talk about what he's accomplished in his mayoral tenure thus far as well as what he has planned for the immediate future.

Our guest on this edition of ST is Tony Moore, who was formerly the chief operating officer at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida, and now serves as the director of both A Gathering Place and Guthrie Green. The former is, of course, the George Kaiser Family Foundation's $350 million initiative -- now being built along Riverside Drive near 31st Street -- that will open late next year, and the latter is the popular public-park-and-open-stage space in downtown Tulsa, just across the street from the Woody Guthrie Center.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we are talking about the Vision program, which was recently approved by the Tulsa City Council in unanimous vote, and which is now slated to appear on the April 5th ballot. Our guests are City Councilors Karen Gilbert (of District 5) and G.T. Bynum (of District 9), who both describe the Vision program in detail why also explaining why they think it's vitally important for voters to approve this program.

In several ways, obviously, Tulsa -- especially downtown Tulsa -- looks and feels much different than it did ten or fifteen years ago. Or even five years ago. Developments, improvements, enhancements, and refurbishments are occuring on many fronts. But what about the mass transit system that serves this community? On today's ST, another discussion in our series of interviews with organizations aiming to acquire funding through the Vision 2025 sales tax extension.

Our guest today on ST is Bill Leighty, executive director of the Smart Growth Tulsa Coalition, which was founded in 2014 as an organization "committed to creating healthy communities that work for everyone with strong schools, shops, and local businesses, improved mobility options, and jobs that pay well." A longtime Tulsa-based realtor and businessman who's been consistently active in community and professional development, and who has served on the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission as well as the city's Transpor

On this edition of ST, we welcome Robert J. LaFortune, a former Mayor of Tulsa, and Ann Patton, a locally based writer, activist, and former journalist. Patton has a new book out, for which LaFortune wrote the Foreword; it's a collection of essays on and photos of the Arkansas River, and it's called "The Tulsa River." But to what degree is Tulsa truly a "river city"? And are the age-old questions about riverfront development in this community changing -- or else taking on new meaning -- given the eventual creation of A Gathering Place on Riverside Drive?

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On this edition of ST, we speak with Jeff Stava of the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Stava is the project manager for A Gathering Place, the multimillion-dollar initiative of the Foundation that will -- after many months of planning and anticipation -- officially break ground in Tulsa near 31st Street and Riverside Drive tomorrow, Saturday the 20th, at noon, with the day's events actually beginning, come rain or shine, at 10am.