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

(Note: This program originally aired last year.) On this installment of ST, we chat with the British writer Kate Hamer, whose first novel has appeared here in the U.S. to widespread acclaim. "The Girl in the Red Coat," as an Amazon reviewer has noted of this book, recounts what is basically "every parent's nightmare: Beth, a single mother, takes her 8-year-old daughter, Carmel, to a local festival for some fun and frivolity and she vanishes. What follows is an unusual and terrifying journey for them both.

(Note: This program first aired in April.) On this installment of ST, we speak with the British author and historian Huw Lewis-Jones, who is one of the editors (along with his wife, Kari Herbert) of an engaging book called "Explorers' Sketchbooks: The Art of Discovery and Adventure." As was noted of this book in a starred review in Library Journal: "The intersection of adventure, art, and memoir doesn't get any better than this title, edited by polar guides and husband-and-wife team Lewis-Jones and ­Herbert.

(Note: This program first aired back in February.) On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we chat with Dr. Ronald Epstein about his book, "Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness, and Humanity." As was noted of this reflective and quite timely medical memoir by Kirkus Reviews: "Can the encounter between doctor and patient be improved? A renowned family physician thinks so, and he explains how in this compendium of a lifetime of experience.

On this installment of ST, we welcome Brett McKay, a native Tulsan whose "Art of Manliness" blog gets about 10 million visitors each month.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, an equally fascinating and entertaining discussion with the one-and-only Rebecca Ungerman, the influential and diversely-talented and fan-tabulous singer/songwriter/performer who's been wowing Tulsa audiences for 20+ years. She's bringing not one but two different shows to the Tulsa PAC's SummerStage series this month: "Cats of Any Color" will be staged on the 17th and 18th, and "Oy, Gestalt!" will be presented on the 24th and 25th.

Our guest is Bryce Hoffman, a bestselling author, speaker, and consultant who helps companies plan better and leaders lead better by applying systems from the worlds of business and the military. He joins us to discuss his new book, "Red Teaming: How Your Business Can Conquer the Competition by Challenging Everything." What is "red teaming," you ask?

Our guest on this broadcast of ST is the acclaimed filmmaker Annie O'Neil, who is probably best known for her work on the award-winning documentary, "Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago," which is a detailed profile, directed by Lydia Smith, of six hikers making the difficult, 500-mile Camino De Santiago pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James in Galicia, Spain. After this film came out in 2013, O'Neil was contacted by one Phil Volker, a man living near Seattle with Stage 4 cancer.

(Note: This program first aired back in January.) On this edition of ST Medical Monday, our guest is Dr. Rachel Carlton Abrams, who has been a board member of the American Holistic Medical Association since 2013. Dr.

Is America truly an "exceptional" nation? And what do we mean, really, when we assert this? Our guest on this edition of ST is Mugambi Jouet, who teaches at Stanford Law School, and whose writing has been featured in Mother Jones, Slate, The New Republic, the Huffington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He joins us to discuss his new book, "Exceptional America: What Divides Americans from the World and from Each Other." As was noted of this timely work by The Mercury News: "Thought-provoking....

(Note: This program originally aired in April.) On this edition of ST, we speak with Daniel Connolly, a reporter who has, for more than a decade, covered Mexican immigration into the Southern U.S. for The Associated Press in Little Rock, The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal, and other outlets.

(Note: This program originally aired last year.) Is technology taking over and/or fundamentally changing and/or worsening our lives? It's a debatable question...or series of questions...but, for whatever it's worth, there ARE more and more books and novels and TV shows these days in which technological devices are taking over, changing, or even, yes, worsening our lives as human beings.

Our guest on this installment of StudioTulsa Medical Monday is Richard Harris, a longtime science reporter at NPR, who joins us to discuss his new book, "Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions." As was noted of this alarming and well-regarded new book by Kirkus Reviews: "An award-winning science journalist reports that research in the biomedical sciences is too often guilty of wasting time and money and, worse than that, actually slowing scientific progress and misinforming the public.

Our guest on this edition of ST is Scott Stulen, the President and Director of the Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa, who tells us about a special show now on view at the museum. It's a rich gathering of work by 26 different artists from the well-regarded Chicano art collection of Cheech Marin, the movie actor and author.

Our guest is the celebrated photographer David Halpern, who was based for many years here in Tulsa and now resides in Santa Fe. A wonderful exhibition of his work -- "The Essence of Place: Celebrating the Photography of David Halpern" -- will be on view at the Gilcrease Museum through the end of this year.

On this edition of ST, a great discussion that first aired on our show in March. At that time we spoke with Aravind Adiga, who joined us to discuss his then-new novel, "Selection Day." As was noted by The New York Times of this fine coming-of-age saga that focuses on two brothers in a Mumbai slum who are raised to become cricket stars: "Mr. Adiga's third novel supplies further proof that his Booker Prize...was no fluke. He is not merely a confident storyteller but also a thinker, a skeptic, a wily entertainer, a thorn in the side of orthodoxy and cant....

On this edition of ST, we listen back to a broadcast from late February. At that time, our guest was psychologist and author Kenneth E. Miller, who has been working with war-affected communities since 1991 as a researcher, clinician, organizational consultant, and filmmaker.

This edition of StudioTulsa Medical Monday is a replay from early February. At that time, we spoke with Dr. Danielle Ofri, an associate professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine who has cared for patients at Bellevue Hospital for more than two decades. She told us about her book, "What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear." As was noted of this book by Kirkus Reviews, it shows us "why communication between doctor and patient is the most critical element of medical care....

On this edition of ST, we listen back to a discussion we first presented in January, when our guest was Helen Czerski, a physicist at University College London's Department of Mechanical Engineering as well as a science presenter for the BBC.

Our guest on StudioTulsa is Priya Raju of the Tulsa-based Kripalaya Dance Academy. Raju is directing a production called "Sangama," which will be presented tonight (the 25th) and tomorrow night (the 26th) as part of the Tulsa PAC's SummerStage series for 2017. This word, as we learn, means "confluence," and thus Raju's show -- based in classical South Asian choreography but drawing on many other styles -- aims to not only celebrate cultural diversity but also to display how such diversity can be transcended through dance and music.

On this edition of ST, we chat with Michael Wallis, the best-selling Tulsa-based author of "Route 66" and "David Crockett" and many other books.

Lots of talk these days, as we all know, about "building that wall." But what about the borderwall that already exists between much of the U.S. and Mexico? And what about the cultures, events, art works, communities, and lives that are associated with this borderwall -- that is, with the various walls and fences running between these two countries? Our guest is Ronald Rael, an Associate Professor in the Departments of Architecture and Art Practice at the University of California, Berkeley.

On this edition of our show, we speak with Dr. Rachel Pearson about her new book, "No Apparent Distress: A Doctor's Coming-of-Age on the Front Lines of American Medicine." As was noted of this reflective and well-written book by Kirkus Reviews: "[In this book] a sensitive doctor describes her beginnings navigating the unpredictable, woolly world of modern American health care. Pearson’s inspired collective of illuminating clinical episodes immediately sparks to life with anecdotes from her early work in a female-owned and -operated abortion clinic in her 20s.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we learn about "The Light Fantastic, or In the Wood," a new play that will be staged by the locally based Heller Theatre Company tonight (the 19th), tomorrow night (the 20th), and Sunday afternoon (the 21st) at the Nightingale Theatre in downtown Tulsa, which is located at 1416 East 4th St. Our guests are David Blakely, who wrote this play, and Susan Apker, who is the president of Heller Theatre Company (or HTC).

KWGS News File Photo

Last night, a jury here in Tulsa acquitted one Betty Shelby -- a white Tulsa Police officer -- who had been charged with first-degree manslaughter after she shot and killed an unarmed black man named Terence Crutcher last September. Some people in this community feel that justice has been served, while others feel, as was stated by Rev. Joey Crutcher, the victim's father, after the verdict came down: "I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder." Where does Tulsa go from here?

This edition of ST features a discussion with José Torres-Tama, the New Orleans-based performance artist who will soon present his Taco Truck Theater / Teatro Sin Fronteras project at Living Arts of Tulsa. This production will be staged on Thursday and Friday, the 18th and 19th, with both shows starting at 8pm. Also on our program is the local poet Amairani Perez, who will be one of the Tulsa-based artists participating in this project.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we learn about the Oklahoma Bike Summit 2017, which will happen later this week (the 19th and 20th) in Muskogee and Tahlequah -- and which will, per its website, focus "on attaining physical and mental well-being through bicycling. It will address bicycling for individuals with disabilities, as spiritual and emotional healing process, and to improve the health of a whole community." Our guest is Jayme Brown, who will give an address entitled "Ride to Recovery: Cycling as Rehabilitation" at this summit.

On this edition of our program, we learn about the Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative, or OHAI, which was, per its website, "established in 2012 by a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. OHAI understands that good health is key to successful aging. We focus in improving the health of older adults across the state through caregiver-training and health-promotion education. We also partner with health systems to establish senior health clinics to increase access to geriatric health care.

Our guest on StudioTulsa is Daniel Hege, the Principal Guest Conductor for the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, who returns to our show to speak about the final TSO concert of the season (for which he'll be at the helm). That concert will happen tomorrow night, Saturday the 13th, at the Tulsa PAC. On the program, three "can't miss" favorites: Haydn's "Symphony No. 90," Kodaly's "Háry János Suite," and Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite" (the 1945 version). Please note that you can access more information about this concert here.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we are discussing "In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)," a contemporary comedy by the much-acclaimed American playwright Sarah Ruhl, which will be staged here in Tulsa from May 12th through the 22nd. It's being presented by American Theatre Company, and you can fine more information (including ticket details and show times) at this link. Our guest is Lisa Wilson, who is directing this production.

Our guest on this edition of ST is David Dawson, the noted British choreographer. Tulsa Ballet will soon stage one of Dawson's most celebrated works, "A Million Kisses to My Skin," as part of a three-piece presentation at the Tulsa PAC.

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