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 will celebrate 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

Recently, Tulsa's St. John Health System and the Tulsa Cancer Institute joined forces to become the Oklahoma Cancer Specialists and Research Institute (or OCSRI). Our guest on StudioTulsa Medical Monday is Suanne Gersdorf, who became the chief executive officer of OCSRI about a year and a half ago. She arrived at this position with more than 20 years of oncology leadership experience; previously, Gersdorf served at Valley Health Services in Winchester, Virginia, where she was executive...

On this installment of ST, we speak with Alex Prud'homme, who is Julia Child's great-nephew as well as the co-author of her autobiography, "My Life in France" (which was adapted into the hit movie, "Julie & Julia"). Prud'homme joins us to discuss his new book, "The French Chef in America: Julia Child's Second Act." In this work, per a critic for Booklist, "Prud'homme deftly chronicles the years after Julia Child left France and settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts.... As Child’s...

"Into the Sun: A Novel"

Oct 24, 2016

Our guest on this edition of ST is Deni Ellis Béchard, whose previous books includethe novel "Vandal Love" and the memoir "Cures for Hunger." He joins us to discuss his new book, a novel called "Into the Sun." This book explores, as a critic for Kirkus Reviews noted, "how living in Afghanistan profoundly affected a group of friends. Canadian-American writer Béchard won the 2007 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for his quirky and lyrical debut novel, 'Vandal Love.' He draws upon his extensive...

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we learn about "Native Fashion Now," a traveling exhibition on view at the Philbrook Museum here in Tulsa through January 8, 2017. Our guest is Christina Burke, the Curator of Native American and Non-Western Art at Philbrook, who tells us how this show thoroughly and engagingly blends cutting-edge/modern-day fashion with classic Native American iconography/imagery. And further, per the Philbrook website : "Visitors are invited to explore the rich and surprising...

On this installment of ST, we learn about an exciting new production of Bizet's "The Pearl Fishers," which Tulsa Opera will present at the Tulsa PAC on both Friday (the 21st) and Sunday (the 23rd). As noted of this production at the Tulsa Opera website : "Georges Bizet's sensual tale of forbidden love and the bonds of true friendship is musical ambrosia. Tuneful and exotic, 'The Pearl Fishers' centers on an unusual love triangle in which two men, Nadir and Zurga, compete for the same woman...

What, exactly, is a brain concussion? What causes one -- and what is happening to one's brain when a concussion occurs? Also, are concussions actually happening more often these days, or are medical and neurological professionals simply more sensitive to them -- or more aware of them? On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we speak with Dr. Eric Sherburn, who is on the faculty of the OU-TU School of Community Medicine, where he serves in the Department of Family Medicine and Sports Medicine....

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...

Photo Credit: Wendy Mutz

On this edition of our show, we learn about a newly created original musical called "Pryor Rendering," which is being staged from today, the 13th, through Sunday, the 16th, at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center (at 2nd and Cincinnati). Tulsa's American Theatre Company has joined forces with the Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre and the University of Oklahoma to create this work. It's a coming-of-age story about a young boy who struggles with his loneliness, his sexuality, and his father's absence...

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with two staff members at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research (LIBR): Martin Paulus is Scientific Director and President of the facility, and Florence Breslin is its Psychiatric Research Coordinator. Both tells us about a truly groundbreaking new brain-development study that LIBR is participating in. As is noted of this study at the LIBR website : "As one of 19 institutions selected nationwide to receive the prestigious Adolescent Brain Cognitive...

On this installment of ST, we learn about a new exhibit at the Gilcrease Museum, "Chocolate: The Exhibition," which will be on view through January 8th. Our guest is Gary Feinman, the MacArthur Curator of Mesoamerican, Central American, and East Asian Anthropology at The Field Museum in Chicago; he's one of the curators of this interesting show, which was actually created over a decade ago. As is noted of this exhibition at the Gilcrease website : "'Chocolate' will immerse you in a sweet...

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we talk with Alan Schwarz, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated investigative reporter who (until recently) was on the staff at The New York Times. He joins us to discuss his groundbreaking new book, "ADHD Nation: Children, Doctors, Big Pharma, and the Making of an American Epidemic." It's a detailed report on why the widespread misdiagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has become a sad yet undeniable fact of American life. More than one in...

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Philip Mann, the music director of the Arkansas Symphony, who's also been an assistant conductor for performances with the Cleveland Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Mann has also worked with l'Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Sofia Philharmonic, Batumi International Festival, Busan Philharmonic, National Radio Orchestra of Romania, and other major orchestras and operas worldwide, and...

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with David Spear and Joseph Julian Gonzalez, two film/concert composers from Los Angeles who are both lecturing and teaching here at TU as J. Donald Feagin Visiting Artists. About a year ago, Spear and Gonzalez composed a new score of original themes for the 1928 silent film "Ramona" -- and in doing so, they also re-arranged the title song and adapted sacred and Spanish classical music for their newly created score. They tell us about this film --...

On this edition of ST, we speak with Tamara Draut, who is Vice President of Policy and Research at Demos, a left-leaning national think tank. She's also the author of "Strapped: Why America's 20- and 30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead," and she joins to talk about her new book, which is called "Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America." As was noted of "Sleeping Giant" by Kirkus Reviews: "A close examination of the plight of the working class, the decline of organized labor...

On this installment of ST, we are discussing State Question 777, the so-called "Right to Farm" proposal, which voters statewide will decide on come November. As was noted recently in a Tulsa World editorial: "Both sides in the debate over State Question 777...have been guilty of excesses in their arguments. The proponents have suggested that only a state constitutional measure could shield cherished rural values of decent working farmers from the meddling hands of bureaucrats and lunatic eco...

On this edition of StudioTulsa Medical Monday, we welcome Dr. Lisa Miller, an author and psychologist who's latest book, a bestseller called "The Spiritual Child," is now out in paperback. Dr. Miller -- who wrote an article for Time.com last year based on this book entitled "Why Kids Who Believe in Something Are Happier and Healthier" -- is the Director of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University's Teachers College, and she joins us by phone. As was noted of this book by Publishers Weekly: ...

On this edition of ST, we welcome back Tulsa City-County Library CEO Gary Shaffer. He joins us to describe in detail the TCCL's newly renovated Central Library, which will re-open to the public tomorrow morning (October 1st) with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. For the past two years or so, the Central Library branch -- which originally opened in 1965 near Fifth and Denver in downtown Tulsa -- has been getting a complete overhaul, both its exterior and interior. As Shaffer recently announced when...

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we offer a discussion with the widely acclaimed American writer Dennis Lehane, who's well-known for his bestselling novels in the crime/mystery/thriller genre, among them "Darkness, Take My Hand," "Sacred," "Gone Baby Gone," "Mystic River," "Shutter Island," "Live by Night," and "World Gone By." Lehane has also written for "The Wire" and "Boardwalk Empire," two popular TV series that aired in recent years on HBO, and several of his novels have been adapted...

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Jeff Olivet, who is the President and CEO of the Boston-based Center for Social Innovation. Olivet is also a nationally recognized expert on homelessness, poverty, affordable housing, behavioral health, public health, and HIV -- and he'll be speaking about "Racism and Homelessness in America" at this year's National Zarrow Mental Health Symposium, which happens here in Tulsa from today (the 28th) through Friday (the 30th) at the Cox Business...

On this edition of ST, we listen back to a fascinating conversation that we had in April of 2013 with the noted primatologist Dr. Robert Sapolsky. At that time, we spoke with Dr. Sapolsky (who's a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University) about his popular book, "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers," which is now in its third edition. It's an engrossing and often witty study of how stress affects the human body, and as we note in this book: "How many hippos worry about whether Social...

Do you happen to know, among your circle of friends and relatives and colleagues, a "pack rat" or two -- i.e., people who just can't seem to throw things away? On this edition of StudioTulsa Medical Monday, we offer a discussion of compulsive hoarding, which is an anxiety disorder affecting a great many Americans that makes it quite difficult for someone to discard with possessions, regardless of the actual value of those possessions. Our guest is Matt Paxton, host of the popular A&E...

On this edition of our program, we speak with Phil Klay, a writer and veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps whose 2014 short-story collection, "Redeployment," won the National Book Award for Fiction. Klay will appear in our community soon as part of a "Creative Writing Celebration" being presented by TU's newly established Creative Writing segment within the Department of English. This two-day celebration will happen today and tomorrow, the 23rd and 24th, and you can learn more about it by calling...

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Philip Howard, a professor of community sustainability at Michigan State University. He's also president of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society, and is a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems. His new book, released earlier this year, is "Concentration and Power in the Food System: Who Controls What We Eat?" -- and, working from ideas set forth in this book, he'll give a free-to-the-public address...

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we're talking about the Bob Dylan Archive, that widely-reported-on treasure trove of 6,000+ items documenting the entirety of the legendary singer-songwriter's still-active career. This archive was purchased earlier this year by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and The University of Tulsa; it will be housed at TU's Helmerich Center for American Research (which is located within the Gilcrease Museum). Nearly all of the materials in this archive have never...

On this edition of ST, our guest is Yuval Rabin, son of the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who will appear at the Circle Cinema tonight (Tuesday the 20th) as part of the 3rd Annual Oklahoma Jewish Film Festival. This event is a special screening-plus-Q&A gathering co-presented by the Circle Cinema, the Jewish Federation of Tulsa, and the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art. Mr. Rabin will present -- and then answer questions about -- a documentary film concerning his late...

After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in America; it's a disease that afflicts 16 million men worldwide. Moreover, nearly 60% of African American men will develop, at some point in life, an issue with their prostate...and 19 percent of African American males will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. On this edition of our show, ST Medical Monday host John Schumann is talking about prostate cancer awareness with two Tulsans, Mike Newman and Walter Armstrong,...

On this edition of ST, we speak with Jose Ramos-Horta, the former president of Timor-Leste (a/k/a East Timor) in Southeast Asia. Ramos-Horta also chairs the U.N. High Level Independent Panel on U.N. Peace Operations, and he was a co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize for Peace. He recently gave an address to the Tulsa Committee on Foreign Relations entitled "U.N. Peace Operations: Have They Really Brought the World Closer to Peace?" -- and he stopped by our KWGS to speak about this when he was...

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we listen back to a 2008 discussion with author and journalist Steve Lopez about his bestselling nonfiction account, "The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music." At that time, this book -- which explores themes of mental illness, homelessness, artistic inspiration, and creativity -- had just come out; it was later the basis for major motion picture of the same title. Now, the Mental Health Association Oklahoma's 2016...

How have civil rights changed in this country -- and indeed, around the world -- since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001? How has our understanding of civil rights -- our common impression of it -- changed in this regard, as well as our politics? We explore such questions with our guest on ST today, Sahar F. Aziz, who is a professor at the Texas A&M University School of Law and a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Doha Center. She'll deliver the 17th Annual Buck Colbert...

This weekend -- beginning on Friday night -- Tulsa Ballet will kick off its 60th Anniversary Season with a mixed-repertory evening of three world-premiere ballets featuring the choreography of Ma Cong, Alejandro Cerrudo, and Nicolo Fonte. "Creations in Studio K" begins at 8pm on the 16th at the Tulsa Ballet Studio K space (on East 45th Place) -- and you can learn more about this three-part presentation, including details on additional performance dates and show times, at this link . Fonte is...

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