City of Tulsa

Our guest on this edition of ST is Sophia Pappas, who formerly led the pioneering initiative to bring "universal pre-K" to the New York City Public Schools. Pappas now resides in Tulsa, as she was recently hired by the Tulsa-based George Kaiser Family Foundation, the nonprofit social-justice and civic-enhancement organization funded by local billionaire and philanthropist George Kaiser. Pappas will now be in charge of introducing and implementing the GKFF's Birth through Eight Strategy, which was ten years in the making (and planning).

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak once again with Scott Stulen, the President and Director of the Philbrook Museum of Art. At a press conference earlier today, Stulen announced a number of exciting changes in store for Philbrook, which will take effect very soon.

On this edition of ST, we welcome the Tulsa-based author Jennifer Latham back to our show. Her recently published YA novel, "Dreamland Burning," is a suspenseful narrative about the Tulsa Race Riot. As was noted of this book in an appreciative review from School Library Journal: "Latham follows up 'Scarlett Undercover' with a rich work that links past and present in a tale that explores racial prejudice. After the remains of a skeleton are found in her Tulsa, OK, backyard, 17-year-old Rowan Chase becomes consumed with finding out the story behind the death.

On this edition of ST, after the tornado activity we saw here in Tulsa earlier this month, we're talking about what local small businesses can do to protect themselves from damage caused by flooding, storms, tornadoes, and other natural disasters. Our guest is Dave Hall, Chair of the Disaster Resistant Business Council, which is a part of the Disaster Resilience Network (formerly known as Tulsa Partners).

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we learn about the forthcoming Mother Road Market. As was reported last week by KWGS News, when the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation announced that it would fund this market (to be housed in a empty warehouse at 11th and Lewis in Tulsa): "The Mother Road Market will be a community food destination, allowing Tulsans and tourists alike to eat, sip, shop, and enjoy Tulsa's favorite neighborhood restaurants and brand new food concepts -- all under one roof.

Tulsa Police

On this edition of ST, we learn about the Tulsa Police Department's ongoing efforts to implement recommendations submitted earlier this year by the Tulsa Commission on Community Policing. In particular, we focus on the Department's implementation of a Community Response Team (or CRT) program; this is an initiative still in its "pilot" stage. As we learn today from our guest, Tulsa Police Deputy Chief Jonathan Brooks, the three-person CRT team includes an officer from the Police Department, a paramedic from the Tulsa Fire Department, and a mental health professional.

Living Arts of Tulsa -- a vital part of the arts scene here in town, and a long-running locally-based nonprofit that seems to be increasingly popular -- now has, for the first time in decades, a new artistic director. Our guest on ST is that individual: Jessica Borusky, who's been on the job for only two or three weeks at this point.

On this edition of ST, an interesting chat with Tulsa Transit Interim General Manager Debbie Ruggles. In a joint appearance, City of Tulsa and Tulsa Transit officials recently announced a new bus rapid transit line for our community, which will run mainly along Peoria Avenue. It will be known as the Aero system. Service on the Aero -- which will run in rotation from Peoria and 36th Street North to 81st and Lewis -- is expected to start in Spring 2019.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Corey Williams, the executive director of the nonprofit Sustainable Tulsa, which is driven by (as noted at its website) these core principles: "A thriving society, responsible economic growth, and environmental stewardship...[which] are the mutually reinforcing pillars of sustainability." Ms. Williams tells us about Sustainable Tulsa's next First Thursday presentation, which is a free event happening tomorrow (the 6th) at the TCC Center for Creativity (near 10th and Boston in downtown Tulsa).

Our guest is Todd Cunningham, the Executive Director of Arts Alliance Tulsa, which is, per its website, "a United Arts Fund that strengthens and supports the arts for a greater Tulsa through fundraising, support services, audience development, and responsible investment and allocation of resources." Comprised of dozens of outstanding nonprofit arts groups from throughout the Tulsa area, Arts Alliance Tulsa has only been around for a couple of years now -- but its very presence highlights the important role that the arts play in our community'

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?

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we learn about the nonprofit Family Safety Center, which is located in the basement of the downtown Tulsa Police Station.

Our guest on ST today is Eileen Bradshaw, Executive Director of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. The Food Bank, as it's commonly known, is the largest private hunger-relief organization in eastern Oklahoma; it's been around since 1981. As is noted at this special nonprofit's website: "Our vision is food security, with dignity, for all eastern Oklahomans.... With locations in Tulsa and McAlester, we provide food and other donated goods to 450 Partner Programs in 24 counties of eastern Oklahoma.

How "walkable" is downtown Tulsa? And how could it be made more so? Our guest is Tom Baker, the executive director of Tulsa's Downtown Coordinating Council (or DCC). The DCC is an advisory board made up of downtown property owners, government officials, and business owners, and last month -- in cooperation with various local businesses, organizations, and individuals -- it welcomed the noted urbanist and walkability expert Jeff Speck for a presentation of his recently-completed Walkable Tulsa Study.

Our guest on ST is Chuck Marohn, an engineer based in Minnesota and member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He's also the founder and president of Strong Towns, a nationwide media nonprofit that, per its website, supports "a model of development that allows America's cities, towns, and neighborhoods to become financially strong and resilient. For the United States to be a prosperous country, it must have strong cities, towns, and neighborhoods.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we welcome Steve Liggett back to our program. A well-known figure on the local arts scene, Liggett is an art teacher and sculptor who's also the director of the nonprofit Living Arts of Tulsa, which was established in the 1960s by Virginia Myers and others as a haven for the creation and display of contemporary art right here in T-Town.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we speak with Laura Fry, the Senior Curator and Curator of Art at the Gilcrease Museum. She tells us about two special exhibitions now on view at the museum: "Looking West: The Rumley Family Collection" (which will close on the 19th, this coming Sunday) and "Creating the Modern Southwest" (which will close at the end of this year).

On this edition of ST, we offer a wide-ranging chat with Bill Leighty, the executive director of Smart Growth Tulsa, which was founded in April of 2014 and incorporated as a nonprofit just recently. This organization, per its website, is "committed to policies, not politics. We seek to create healthy communities that work for everyone, with strong schools and local businesses, improved mobility options and jobs that pay well....

On this edition of ST, we're talking about the nonprofit collective known as ImpactTulsa, which began in 2014, and which (per its website) aims to "improve education for every child. Our partnership includes [several dozens of] leaders from education, business, philanthropic, nonprofit, civic, and faith communities who all believe education is the key to the prosperity of our community." Our guest is Kathy Seibold, the executive director of ImpactTulsa, who tells us about her organzation's recently released Community Impact Report for 2016.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we welcome Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum back to our studios. He was sworn in as Tulsa's newest mayor in December, having previously served as a member of the Tulsa City Council since 2008. (Mayor Bynum's great-great grandfather [1899-1900] and maternal grandfather [1970-1978] also served as mayors of Tulsa.) The Mayor joins us to talk about what he's accomplished in his mayoral tenure thus far as well as what he has planned for the immediate future.

Our guest today is Ken Busby, the CEO and executive director of the non-profit Route 66 Alliance, which is based here in Tulsa, and which is, per its website, "dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and enhancement of historic Route 66 -- past, present, and future." Formerly the director of the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa, Busby was asked to lead the "Mother Road"-focused organization in 2014; today, he brings us up to speed on the Route 66 Experience Museum, a large-scale development for which funds are still being raised and plans

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Kim Johnson, who became chief executive officer of the Tulsa City-County Library on January 1st. After more than 15 years as an employee of the TCCL, Johnson seems like a perfect fit for this leadership post. She's very committed, of course, to books and learning and literacy -- and to the vital purpose of libraries within society today -- and she's the first African American to lead the 24-branch system that is the TCCL.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we discuss a systematic, wide-ranging, and newly released effort to improve the health of the people of Tulsa County (where more than 60 percent of the population is overweight or obese). Our guest is Bruce Dart, executive director of the Tulsa Health Department, who tells us about his organization's multi-faceted Community Health Improvement Plan (or CHIP).

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we offer a chat with Douglas Miller, the principal behind Müllerhaus Legacy, a Tulsa-based firm that creates books and other publications on-demand for private organizations and special occasions. A graphic artist and book designer by trade, Miller is also, in fact, a writer, since a book for which he's the lead author has just recently appeared.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we speak with James Wagner, the Chief of Performance Strategy and Innovation in Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum's newly formed administration. Mr. Wagner was previously the principal transportation planner for the Indian Nations Council of Governments (or INCOG), and he appeared on this program several times in that capacity.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we speak with two representatives from the Tulsa Housing Authority (or THA): Matt Letzig is the organization's Interim CEO and Terri Cole is its VP for Assisted Housing. THA, as noted at its website, "provides publicly assisted housing comprised of traditional public housing, mixed finance sites, and Section 8. Currently, THA provides assistance to more than 20,000 individuals, or 7,200 families....

On this edition of ST, we welcome back to our show Steve Grantham, the executive director of Up With Trees, which is a popular nonprofit that's been active in Tulsa since 1976. As noted at the Up With Trees website: "In the last four decades, we have planted over 30,000 trees at more than 500 sites throughout Tulsa.

On this installment of ST, we learn about the Tulsa-based, volunteer-run, non-profit Horton Records, which began about five years ago, and which aims to -- as noted on its website -- "provide support and tools for band management, promotion, booking, merchandising, and distribution in order to help local and regional musicians fulfill their artistic goals and further promote local and regional music on a broader scale.

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 but are also loyal friends.

On this installment of ST, we welcome Scott Stulen, the newly arrived Director of the Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa. Formerly, Stulen was the Curator of Audience Experiences and Performance at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA); he officially joined the staff at Philbrook earlier this week.

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