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

(Note: This interview first aired last fall.) How long has atheism been a part of human experience? Most people today regard the sustained, intellectually rigorous adherence to non-religion as an invention of the European Enlightenment -- or, more recently, of modernity. But as our guest argues on this edition of ST, atheism is actually -- like so many other aspects of Western life and culture -- a phenomenon with origins in the societies of the ancient Mediterranean.

(Note: This show originally aired in December of last year.) On this presentation of ST on Health, an interesting chat with Theresa Brown, a clinical nurse who also writes regularly about nursing for The New York Times, CNN.com, and other national media. Brown's new memoir is "The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives," and Publishers Weekly (in a starred review) called it a "meticulous, absorbing shift-in-the-life account of one nurse's day on a cancer ward [which] stands out for its honesty, clarity, and heart.

On Thursday of last week, the State Legislature arrived at a deadline for moving legislation forward -- and thus many bills advanced in the Oklahoma Legislature from one chamber into the other, while many other bills were, in effect, killed. On this edition of ST, we discuss several of the bills now moving forward while also offering a review of several of the troubling issues facing state lawmakers more generally (such as the state budget gap, of course). Our guest is Gene Perry, the Policy Director at the non-profit, non-partisan Oklahoma Policy Institute.

(Please note: This interview originally aired last fall.) Our guest on today's StudioTulsa is the Oregon-based author Craig Ryan, who tells us about his book, "Sonic Wind: The Story of John Paul Stapp and How a Renegade Doctor Became the Fastest Man on Earth." This engrossing biography offers readers, per a starred review in Kirkus, the "remarkable, almost-forgotten story of an aerospace pioneer....

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Benjamin Zander, the noted conductor, music educator, public speaker, and author of "The Art of Possibility." Maestro Zander is here in town to give a sold-out address to the Tulsa Town Hall tomorrow morning, Friday the 11th, and also to conduct the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra on Saturday night (the 12th; beginning at 7:30pm) in a performance of Mahler's magnificent Resurrection Symphony (a/k/a Symphony No. 2).

On this edition of ST, we offer a discussion of the life and work of Thomas Nast (1840-1902), who is commonly thought of as "the father of American political cartooning." Highly influential in his time and still admired by artists, columnists, writers, and cartoonists today, Nast might be best known for his work -- done before, during, and after the Civil War -- for Harper's Weekly. He also, quite famously, created the modern illustrated version of Santa Claus...as well as the elephant as a symbol for the G.O.P. Our guest is Dr.

This evening -- Tuesday the 8th -- beginning at 6pm, Oklahoma Watch, a statewide nonprofit dedicated to both in-depth reporting and investigative journalism vis a vis public-policy issues, will host a free-to-the-public forum on the future of mass transit in the greater Tulsa area. The event will take place at the Central Center, near 6th and Peoria.

Last week on our program, we spoke with two members of the Tulsa City Council about the Vision program, which was recently approved by the Tulsa City Council in unanimous vote and is likewise supported by Mayor Bartlett.

You might call it "adding insult to injury," as the old saying goes. Yesterday's announcement that the State of Oklahoma has authorized an additional 4% cut to state expenditures will hurt all agencies statewide, but perhaps especially school districts, since their school year is now almost 3/4 complete. This cut comes at a time of extreme uncertainty for public school leadership all across Oklahoma regarding the shape of next year's appropriation, given the $1.3 billion shortfall in the state budget.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we get to know Laura Fry, who began her tenure as Curator of Art at the Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa back in December. Fry previously worked at the Tacoma Art Museum in Tacoma, Washington, where she was the inaugural Haub Curator of Western American Art. Prior to that post, she served at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming -- first as an education and curatorial assistant, then as a Frederic Remington research assistant.

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