City of Tulsa

On this edition of ST, we offer another installment in our ongoing series of interviews with organizations vying to be included in the Vision 2025 sales tax extension for the City of Tulsa. This extension is expected to go before voters in the spring of 2016, and over the past couple of months, many area organizations (from Gilcrease Museum to the Tulsa Zoo; from Tulsa Transit to Langston University) have been presenting proposals in this regard to the Tulsa City Council. We at StudioTulsa are speaking with certain of those groups whose ideas seem especially interesting and/or feasible.

Iron Gate, a nonprofit soup kitchen and food pantry at Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Tulsa, began operations nearly forty years ago. It's still based at Trinity, but it's a separate facility -- make that a separate and vitally important facility -- that has drastically outgrown its workspace. Iron Gate, actually located in the crowded basement of Trinity, has an on-site dining area meant to seat 127 people, yet the facility serves food to 500 or 600 hungry Tulsans every day of the year.

Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett and City Councilors are seeking public input regarding how best to use a proposed renewal of the Vision 2025 sales tax for economic development here in our community. Several ideas have recently been put forth -- from funding for the Tulsa Zoo to enhancements to the Pearl District, from the purchase of the downtown Tulsa Club Building to refurbishment of the Gilcrease Museum and its buildings and grounds (to name but a few) -- and on this edition of StudioTulsa, we learn another such proposal.

Our guest on this edition of ST is the locally based filmmaker Sterlin Harjo, who tells us about his latest feature, "Mekko." Most of this movie was shot in Tulsa, and it profiles a Native American ex-con (the film's title character) as he tries to rebuild his life after 19 years behind bars. Mekko has no home, no immediate family, and little cash -- so he soon ends up on the streets, where he's eventually taken in by Tulsa's homeless Native community.

The folks who bring you StudioTulsa have been on summer holiday for the first half of August.

Here's a guide to the programs that we aired on ST on July 31st as well as August 3rd through the 7th, along with audio links (in case you'd like to hear any of these programs as a free, on-demand mp3 stream).

Friday, July 31st -- We spoke with Terrie Correll, CEO of the Tulsa Zoo; you can hear that conversation here:

We also featured a commentary during our 7-31-15 show by Janet Pearson; it concerned Oklahoma travel and tourism and can be heard here:

On this installment of ST, we speak with James Pepper Henry, who began his tenure as the executive director of the Gilcrease Museum about four months ago. As was recently reported by KWGS, Pepper Henry has requested $75 million out of  a proposed Vision 2025 sales-tax renewal.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we learn about a newly created feature-length documentary film, "Boomtown: An American Journey," which depicts the history of the City of Tulsa. Our guests are Russ Kirkpatrick, the producer and executive producer of this film, and Michelle Place, the executive director of The Tulsa Historical Society and Museum, which originally commissioned it.

On this edition of ST, we learn about the "summer slide." This phrase is what educational researchers use to refer to the approximately two months of grade-level learning that school kids lose without summertime academic enrichment. Our guests are Kathy Taylor, the CEO of ImpactTulsa and a former Mayor of Tulsa, and Anthony Grant, a recent Teach for America alum who is based in Tulsa (and who will soon be the Vice-Principal at Anderson Elementary School); both are working to combat "summer slide" amid Tulsa-area schoolchildren.

On today's StudioTulsa, we learn about a new documentary film called "Misfits," which was screened last week at a special event at the Circle Cinema. This film, which was directed by the Danish filmmaker Jannik Splidsboel, and which debuted at the Berlin International Film Festival in February, is (per its listing at the IMDB website) about "three American teenagers from conservative Tulsa [who] are struggling with isolation and instability....

Our guest today on ST is Bill Leighty, executive director of the Smart Growth Tulsa Coalition, which was founded in 2014 as an organization "committed to creating healthy communities that work for everyone with strong schools, shops, and local businesses, improved mobility options, and jobs that pay well." A longtime Tulsa-based realtor and businessman who's been consistently active in community and professional development, and who has served on the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission as well as the city's Transpor

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