StudioTulsa on 89.5-1

Weekdays 11:30am and 7:30pm
  • Hosted by Rich Fisher

StudioTulsa features down-to-earth interviews that make sense of complex issues and offer new perspectives on topics we might take for granted. It's an award-winning program covering the arts, sciences, news events, books, politics, culture, economics, history, social trends, the media, the humanities, and so forth --- and it's been a popular show here at Public Radio Tulsa ever since it began in August of 1992.

Medical Mondays with Dr. John Schumann are heard each Monday.

The program is hosted by Rich Fisher and produced/edited by Scott Gregory.

Visit the StudioTulsa Archives.

The Arena District in downtown Tulsa can seem, at times, like the heart of the city -- like when there's a big show at the BOK Center, or a large convention at the Cox Convention Center. At other times...it's pretty quiet. So, one key question is how best to turn a limited-use area into a thriving year-round destination. This matter is now being explored by the City of Tulsa's Master Planning Process; it's a process that's being underway for months now.

The 2018 Session of the Oklahoma State Legislature recently adjourned, and what a session it was. For the first time since State Question 640 passed in 1992, the Legislature was able to raise revenues by green-lighting an increase in the Gross Production Tax rate as well as increases in fuel and cigarette taxes (with all of these increases passing the 75% threshold, as required by the State Constitution).

On this edition of StudioTulsa Medical Monday, a discussion about fighting opioid addiction at the individual, societal, and legal levels. Our guest is the successful OKC-based trial lawyer, Reggie Whitten. He'll be a co-lead counsel for the State of Oklahoma in an upcoming lawsuit against four different Big Pharma firms; that trial is set to begin in May of next year. Whitten's stake in the lawsuit is also quite personal; in 2002, he lost his son, Brandon, to a car accident triggered by Brandon's addiction to prescription drugs.

On this edition of ST, with the long-running,multifaceted, and decidedly unorthodox "Museum Confidential" exhibit about to close (on Sunday the 6th) at Philbrook Museum of Art, we present another installment in the Museum Confidential Podcast series. Co-created by Jeff Martin of Philbrook and our own Scott Gregory, this podcast has been posting twice-monthly since the exhibition opened at the museum back in October.

We speak with the British novelist, Matt Killeen, whose first novel is just out now. "Orphan Monster Spy" is a YA novel that offers a "powerful, bleak, and penetrating portrait of an isolated young woman excelling in unimaginable danger" (Kirkus Reviews). It's the exciting tale of a young woman named Sarah -- a blonde, blue-eyed, and Jewish 15-year-old living in 1939 Germany...who (thanks in part to her "non-Jewish" looks) becomes part of the secret resistance against the Third Reich.

On this edition of ST, we offer a chat with Pam Muñoz Ryan, the prolific American writer for children and young adults who often produces books with multicultural and/or progressive themes. Ryan is the winner of the 2018 Anne V. Zarrow Award, which is given annually by the Tulsa Library Trust. Her 40 or so books include "Riding Freedom" (1998), "Esperanza Rising" (2000), "The Dreamer" (2010), and "Echo" (2015). She will appear here in Tulsa at a free-to-the-public event on Friday the 4th at the Hardesty Regional Library (which begins at 7pm).

Tulsa Ballet will soon offer, on May 3rd through the 6th, its season-ending Signature Series production, a gathering of three distinct yet thought-provoking works on themes cultural, social, and political. Alongside ballets by Nacho Duato and Ma Cong, the 1932 anti-war piece "The Green Table" will be staged. Our guests on ST are two internationally respected dancers who are both in town to handle the staging of "The Green Table" -- Jeanette Vondersaar and Claudio Schellino.

(Note: This show originally aired back in October.) Our guest on this installment of ST Medical Monday is Dr. Victoria Sweet, an associate clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, who's also a prize-winning historian and a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient. She joins us to discuss her book, "Slow Medicine: The Way to Healing." This work, part candid memoir and part well-informed critique, argues for an across-the-board "slowing down" of the practice of medicine in America.

The Tulsa Zoo's popular Conservation On Tap event will happen soon. It's a sold-out gathering, a fundraiser from which all profits will go toward saving chinchillas in the wild. We learn about these important, furry, and quite threatened creatures -- their habitat, habits, history, etc. -- on today's StudioTulsa.

Our guest is Bernard Uzan, a witty and insightful 50-year veteran of the performing arts industry, who has worked with several different opera and theatrical companies over the years in a range of positions (including a bit of directorial work with Tulsa Opera back in the 1980s). He'll be the stage director for Puccini's "Turandot," to be presented on April 27th and 29th at the Tulsa PAC. (More info on that production is posted here.)

On this edition of ST, we speak with Ambassador Husain Haqqani, who served as Pakistan's ambassador to the United States from 2008 to 2011. Now working as a Hudson Institute Senior Fellow, where he is also the Director for South and Central Asia, Haqqani is widely credited with managing a difficult American-Pakistani partnership during a critical phase in the global war on terrorism. He has, moreover, served as an advisor to four different Pakistani Prime Ministers; he is also co-editor of the journal Current Trends in Islamist Ideology.

Photo by Don Thompson

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we chat with the noted photographer Don Thompson, who's been documenting the people and places of north Tulsa for more than 40 years now. His photos have been shown at local galleries, are on permanent display at OSU-Tulsa, and were recently added to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we speak with Dr. Daniela Lamas, author of "You Can Stop Humming Now: A Doctor’s Stories of Life, Death, and In Between." As was noted of this book by Publishers Weekly: "In this ruminative account of treating patients, Lamas, a pulmonary and critical care doctor at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, analyzes how the critically ill manage life during and after treatment. She meets people who are neither bitter nor sorrowful about their conditions, but are constantly aware of their precarious states....

On this edition of ST, we present another installment in the bi-weekly Museum Confidential podcast series, which is co-created by Jeff Martin of Philbrook Museum of Art and our own Scott Gregory. This particular podcast explores the Rothko Chapel, established in 1971 in Houston, Texas. It's both a sacred space and a modern art mainstay. Dedicated to non-denominational prayer and private contemplation -- and also to international peace and fellowship -- the building routinely hosts lectures, concerts, interfaith gatherings, and similar events.

In the ongoing search for better treatment of mental health issues and illnesses, one crucial consideration is the trade-off between the effectiveness of a given treatment versus any unpleasant or damaging side-effects it might have. On this edition of ST, we are talking about one such treatment -- it's one that's actually been around for decades, but that is now being done in a much different (and far more nuanced) manner: electrical stimulation of the brain. Our guest is Dr. Hamed Ekhtiari, an associate investigator at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research (or LIBR) here in Tulsa.

On this edition of ST, we learn about the first-ever Tulsa Lit.Fest, an impressive array of free-to-the-public events that will happen here in our community from tomorrow (the 19th) through Sunday (the 22nd).

(Please note: This show first aired back in December.) Artificial "machine" intelligence is, of course, a part of our lives now -- we have cruise control in our cars, automatic checkout services at the supermarket, and (most importantly?) those smartphones in our pockets. But what will life be like when artificial "sentient" intelligence becomes the norm? And when will that happen?

On this edition of StudioTulsa Medical Monday, our guest is the writer, cancer survivor, entrepreneur, and former Tulsa resident, Paige Davis, who is also the author of a new memoir: "Here We Grow: Mindfulness Through Cancer and Beyond." Davis will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming symposium known as Celebrating the Art of Healing 2018: "The Future is Now." This all-day symposium will happen Saturday, April 28th, at the Town & Country School in Tulsa (at 8906 E. 34th Street).

Our guest is Rob McKeown, a former food writer and food-magazine editor who's also done research and concept-development for renowned chefs and notable hotels and restaurants worldwide. He is the curator for "Botanical!" -- i.e., a series of fundraising events happening this weekend at Tulsa Botanic Garden.

Our guest on ST is Ren Barger, the founder and CEO of Tulsa Hub, which is, as noted at its website, "a syndicate of volunteers on a mission to change lives through cycling. It is the only nonprofit in Oklahoma providing certified bicycling-for-transportation education, refurbished bicycles, safety gear, and follow-up support to people in poverty, people with physical and mental disabilities, and people who are otherwise disenfranchised in our community.

Our guest is the Tulsa-based author Joe Johnston, who's originally from Missouri, and who's written many books over the years on various topics. He joins us to talk about his newest publication, a folksy, far-ranging, and conversational history of Southern cooking -- from sun tea and fruitcake and vegetables to "the Colonel's chicken" and BBQ and beyond.

Our guest is Marc Perrusquia, a journalist with the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, where he's worked for the past three decades. Perrusquia has a new book out, a very compelling work of history called "A Spy in Canaan: How the FBI Used a Famous Photographer to Infiltrate the Civil Rights Movement." As was noted of this book by Kirkus Reviews: "The story of an African-American photographer who spent 18 years feeding information to the FBI.... Over a 60-year career, Ernest Withers (1922-2007) produced more than 1 million photographs chronicling black life in the South.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in January.) On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we offer an interview that stems from three rather alarming facts. One: About 10 percent of Americans are implanted with medical devices (such as pacemakers, artificial hips, cardiac stents, and so on). Two: The overwhelming majority of high-risk implanted devices in the U.S. have never undergone a single clinical trial. And three: Medical interventions have become the third leading cause of death in America. What in the world, you might ask, is going on here?

The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, which is part of the National Park Service, will soon host a three-day symposium here in Tulsa regarding the preservation of roadside architecture and attractions. It happens April 10th through the 12th, and it will include 20+ invited as well as solicited papers, an evening neon-sign tour, and a half-day field session exploring local roadside attractions and issues related to their preservation.

On this edition of ST, we learn about the remarkable ongoing work of one Father Patrick Desbois, a Catholic priest and Vatican consultant who's also the founder and president of Yahad-In Unum, an international organization that has thus far interviewed more than 5,300 eyewitnesses of Jewish and Roma executions by Nazi mobile units at more than 2,100 sites across Eastern Europe.

The Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa will now be known as AHHA Tulsa. As per the AHHA website: "The organization's Board of Directors voted recently to change the name to something modern that encompasses the organization's mission to cultivate creativity in Tulsa, while also honoring its decades-long history.

Our guest is Bruce D. Haynes, a professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Davis. He's the co-author of a new memoir, "Down the Up Staircase: Three Generations of a Harlem Family," which interestingly blends personal narrative, African-American social history, and the literary and academic cultures of Harlem and New York City.

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Dr. Barbara Lipska, Director of the Human Brain Collection Core at the National Institute of Mental Health, where she studies mental illness and human brain development. She joins us to discuss her engaging and disturbing new memoir, "The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: My Tale of Madness and Recovery." As noted of this book by Kirkus Reviews: "A vibrant mental health expert's bout with brain cancer and the revolutionary treatments that saved her life....

Public Radio Tulsa is being honored again this year by the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters. Later this month, the OAB will present KWGS with two of its “Outstanding Achievement in Broadcasting Awards”.

On today's edition of StudioTulsa, we are listening to another installment in the Museum Confidential podcast series, which is co-created by Jeff Martin (with Philbrook Museum of Art) and Scott Gregory (with Public Radio Tulsa). In this episode, writer and Philbrook staffer Mark Brown speaks about his in-depth profile of Eugene Kingman (1909-1975) -- the first-ever Director of Philbrook, who was also a versatile painter and cartographer -- which appeared in that museum's newsletter in 2016.

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