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

(Please note: This show first aired back in March of this year.) Ever felt like quitting the whole earning-and-buying rat race? Ever wondered what it'd be like to live without a wallet, a car, a mortgage, or even a roof over your head?

Tulsa Partners, a nonprofit organization that's been working to build a disaster-resistant and sustainable community since late 2000, will celebrate its 2012 Nania Awards this evening (Tuesday the 19th) at a banquet and fundraising auction at the Tulsa Garden Center.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, Nancy Pearl, our longtime book expert and the author of four "Book Lust" volumes of recommended reading --- and now, also, the curator of Amazon.com's new series of reprints of classic, out-of-print books --- offers her summer reading list. (Summer arrives, officially, on Wednesday the 20th!) Here is Nancy's list:

"A Partial History of Lost Causes" by Jennifer Dubois

"After Life" by Rhian Ellis

"The Forgotten Waltz" by Anne Enright

"Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" by Ben Fountain

"The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green

Did you know that more than 16% of Oklahomans live in poverty? Or that more than 23% of the children in our state live in poverty? Or that more than 80% of the students in the Tulsa Public Schools qualify for the free and reduced-cost lunch program? Or that 17% of the residents in Tulsa County are "food insecure" --- meaning, they're unsure of where they'll get their next meal? On this installment of StudioTulsa, we hear about a new anti-hunger campaign in our community that kicked off just last month: Live Local, Give Local.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the Tulsa-based writer, consultant, and activist Ann Patton, who's just published a biography of the late (and legendary) Father Dan Allen, a Catholic priest turned social activist who worked incessantly (and memorably) to combat poverty and promote equality in Tulsa in the 1960s and beyond. Father Dan is probably best known for creating the Tulsa-area social service agency, Neighbor for Neighbor, which still exists today.

Eric Gibson, artistic director of LOOK Musical Theatre, is the guest on this edition of StudioTulsa. LOOK is an anchor for the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust's annual Summerstage Festival (which happens each June and July).

State Impact Oklahoma examines the latest data on the top occupational classifications for the next decade.

On this edition of our show, we speak with our old friend Jeff Martin, who occasionally contributes commentaries to ST, works as the Online Communities Manager at Philbrook Museum of Art, and is the founder/mastermind behind the ongoing (and non-profit) Book Smart Tulsa series of readings/signings. This always-active, ever-engaging literary series --- which has been popular with Tulsa book-lovers of all sorts since its inception three years ago (or so) --- will present its 100th event tonight, Tuesday the 12th, at 7pm at Dwelling Spaces in downtown Tulsa.

On this edition of ST, which originally aired back in March, we speak with Jamal Joseph, whose new memoir is "Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention." This engrossing autobiography --- a gritty yet hopeful hybrid of coming-of-age candor, street-savvy wisdom, and recent socio-political history --- follows Jospeph from his early years in the Bronx and Harlem, to incarceration stints in Riker's Island and then Leavenworth, to the Film School faculty of Columbia University.

On this edition of our show, which originally aired back in February, we hear from the writer and linguistic scholar Michael Erard, who's written about language for Science, Seed, Wired, The Atlantic, The New York Times, New Scientist, and other publications.

On this edition of ST, we listen back to a show that first aired in March, when we spoke by phone with Lisa See, the bestselling author of "Shanghai Girls," "Peony in Love," "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan," "Dragon Bones," and other novels, as well as an acclaimed memoir, "On Gold Mountain." See's latest book, now in paperback, is a novel called "Dreams of Joy" --- this is the book that she tells us about on today's program.

The second regular session of the 53rd Oklahoma Legislature (2011-2012) was recently adjourned. (The state legislature will convene for its first regular session of the 54th Oklahoma Legislature [2013-2014] on January 8th, 2013.) With the session now over, many citizens are wondering why the legislature DIDN'T adopt a tax-cut plan. Wasn't this the oft-repeated aim of the GOP-controlled House, Senate, and Governor's Mansion?

Our guest on this edition of ST is Ken Busby, the Executive Director and CEO of the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa (AHCT), which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. As everyone who cares about the arts (and the ongoing presence of the arts) in this city knows already, the AHCT has been enriching the cultural life of our community ever since it began in 1961. And now, the ACHT is nearing the completion of its largest initiative ever, the new 42,000-square-foot Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa Hardesty Arts Center (or "AHHA"), which will open in the fall of this year.

This year's OK Mozart Festival gets underway on Friday the 8th; it runs for more than a week, with an array of not-to-be-missed performances in both Bartlesville and OKC. We're joined on this installment of StudioTulsa by four members of the Amici New York Orchestra, the outstanding classical collective that's been at the heart of the OK Mozart Festival since its beginning in 1985.

On this edition of our show, we speak with the artist Joseph Velasquez, who has an MA and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the co-founder of the Dirty Printmakers of America, is a curator at the SlingShot Gallery (in Madison, WI), and is one of the creators/participants/educators behind Drive-By Press (which, per its website, is on a "mission to share [its] enthusiasm for printmaking with audiences everywhere.") Now based in Austin, Texas, Velasquez tells us that he began Drive-By Press in order to give demonstrations --- from the back of his truck --- of relief printing,

On this edition of our show, we speak by phone with the journalist Matti Friedman, a correspondent for the Associated Press who grew up in Toronto and now lives in Jerusalem. Friedman's new book --- a highly engaging hybrid of history, mystery, biblical scholarship, and good old suspense-driven storytelling --- is called "The Aleppo Codex: A True Story of Obsession, Faith, and the Pursuit of an Ancient Bible." As has been written of Friedman's book in a starred review in Booklist: "Written in the tenth century, the Aleppo Codex is the most accurate copy of the Hebrew Bible.

On this edition of our show, we discuss a newly created, two-generation program to move parents and their children beyond poverty: the Community Action Project of Tulsa's CareerAdvance initiative. Our guest is Anne Mosle, a Vice President at the Aspen Institute and the Executive Director of the its Ascend Program, which focuses on economic security for families. Mosle recently visited Tulsa in order to observe the CareerAdvance program (which has been funded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the Inasmuch Foundation, and the Health Profession Opportunities Grant) firsthand.

Our guest is Dr. Ricki Lewis, a geneticist, journalist, professor, and genetic counselor. She's also the author of one of the most widely used college textbooks about genetics --- "Human Genetics: Concepts and Applications" (now in its tenth edition) --- and her latest book, just out from St. Martin's Press, is "The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It." Dr. Lewis will be a featured speaker later this week at the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society's Annual Conference, which has been happening here in Tulsa since Saturday the 26th.

On this edition of ST, which originally aired last fall, we welcome back Steven Johnson, the bestselling and award-winning author of several books on science and technology.

We're listening back, on this edition of our program, to a conversation we had in late November of last year with the widely celebrated novelist, Alan Furst. At that time, Furst was just about to appear in Tulsa to receive the Tulsa Library Trust's 2011 Peggy Helmerich Award.

What do we mean when we call someone an "amateur"? What are we saying? As it happens, there are many answers to this question. On this edition of ST, we speak with Jack Hitt, a contributing editor to The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, and public radio’s This American Life.

On this edition of ST, a discussion of the neurobiology of pleasure --- and of how pleasures can turn into addictions. We chat by phone with David J. Linden, who is a Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as well as the Chief Editor of the Journal of Neurophysiology.

Our guest on this edition of StudioTulsa is the New Mexico-based photographer Gus Foster, who's been capturing images with various panoramic cameras since the early 1970s. There's a new exhibit at Tulsa's Gilcrease Museum --- on view through October 7th of this year --- called "Panoramic Landscapes of the American West: Gus Foster's Views of this Broad Land." It's a collection a 20+ works that are as spectacular and sweeping as they are carefully executed and richly diverse: a series of color photographs of our western States that are 8, 10, or 12 feet in length.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, our guest is the Washington-based attorney Reid Chambers, who was formerly (during the Nixon and Ford administrations) Associate Solicitor for the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Chambers will be the moderator for a free-to-the-public forum entitled "Renunciation of Termination, Self-Determination, and the Trust Relationship," which is being jointly presented by the Gilcrease Museum, the University of Tulsa, the National Archives, and the Richard Nixon Foundation.

Today and tomorrow (May 18th and 19th), the University of Tulsa and Gilcrease Museum will host a two-day symposium to announce the now-being-planned Helmerich Center for American Research, a new scholarly resource to be constructed on the grounds of the museum. The symposium is entitled "Material Memory" (and you can learn all about it at this link). Our guest on this edition of StudioTulsa is the award-winning Civil War historian, David W.

On this edition of ST, we welcome Amy Wells, a Hollywood-based set decorator who's worked on several outstanding films and TV series over the years, among them the television programs "House," "Love Field," and "Mad Men," as well as the motion pictures "Clueless," "There Will Be Blood," and "A Single Man." Wells will speak this evening (Thursday the 17th) at 7pm at the Philbrook Museum of Art; her appearance is a part of the museum's ongoing "Third Thursday" series.

On this edition of our program, a discussion of the personhood movement, the patriarchy movement, the anti-abortion movement, and the points in our American socio-political landscape where all three movements now intersect. We speak by phone with Kathryn Joyce, a freelance journalist whose writing has appeared in The Nation, Mother Jones, The Atlantic, Ms., Slate, Salon, Newsweek, The Daily Beast, The American Prospect, and other publications. Ms.

The crisis in primary care medicine is becoming more evident every day. Long wait times for an appointment, practices closed to new patients, and long waiting room times remind us that primary care physicians are being stretched. Despite record enrollments in American medical schools, however, fewer doctors are choosing primary care as their focus. On this edition of StudioTulsa, Boston General Internist Dr.

In July, Mexican voters will elect a new president. Although it's not getting much coverage here in the States --- where we, of course, have our own upcoming nationwide election to fixate upon --- the electoral race now happening in Mexico is a fiercely contested one. And one key issue in that race is whether the government should continue President Calderon's so-called "war on drugs" --- an issue that could have profound consequences for the U.S. On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Dr. Richard L.

On this edition of ST, guest host Scott Gregory speaks with the widely acclaimed American poet, John Brehm, who grew up in Nebraska, lived for many years in New York City (and then Colorado), and is now based in Portland, Oregon. Brehm has just published his second book of poems, "Help Is On the Way," which won the 2012 Four Lakes Prize in Poetry; his first poetry collection, "Sea of Faith," won the 2004 Brittingham Prize in Poetry.

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