Nonprofits

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.

The transition from childhood to adulthood -- the adolescent and post-adolescent years, and all that go with them -- can be difficult, of course, for a host of reasons. Whether it's finding a job, finishing school, locating a place to live, discovering what one's goals really are, deciding on a career path, and so forth -- these can be trying experiences; relying on the aid of one's family and friends in such cases is paramount. But what if you're confronting these realities and you actually have no family? Or you have no "support network" of friends, mentors, and relatives?

On this installment of ST Medical Monday, we speak by phone with Kim Garrett, the executive director and founder of Palomar, the nonprofit Oklahoma City Family Justice Center, which opened its doors earlier this year and has already aided thousands of people. Drawing on the resources of hundreds of professionals and volunteers, Palomar helps OKC-area victims of violence -- that is, individuals from all walsk of life and their children -- by offering protection, hope, and healing in a single location; some 14 different organizations are all based on-site at Palomar.

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'

On this edition of ST, we listen back to a broadcast from late February. At that time, our guest was psychologist and author Kenneth E. Miller, who has been working with war-affected communities since 1991 as a researcher, clinician, organizational consultant, and filmmaker.

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.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we get to know Robin Steinberg, a New York City-based public defender who founded the nonprofit Bronx Defenders in the late 1990s. This organization is still known for its model of "holistic defense," in which clients are advocated for by an interdisciplinary team of professionals (legal and otherwise) who address the underlying causes as well as the collateral consequences of our criminal-justice system. As Steinberg tells us, in January of this year, the Bronx Defenders opened a smaller-scale satellite office in North Tulsa called Still She Rises.

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.

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 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 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 edition of ST Medical Monday, an interesting chat with Dr. James S. Gordon, a well-regarded expert on using mind-body medicine to heal depression, anxiety, and psychological trauma. Dr. Gordon is the Founder and Executive Director of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine; he's also a Clinical Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at Georgetown Medical School. He tells us about The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (or CMBM) on today's show.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Nathan Pritchett, executive director of Fab Lab Tulsa. This popular nonprofit, which opened in Tulsa (near 7th and Lewis) in 2011, offers, per its website, "community access to advanced manufacturing and digital fabrication tools for learning skills, developing inventions, creating businesses, and producing personalized products. Fab Lab Tulsa is one of over 700 MIT-chartered Fab Labs in more than 70 countries and the first in the southeastern region of the United States.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we are talking about Tulsa Global Alliance, which is, per its website, is "a non-profit volunteer organization that connects people, companies, families, organizations, and students from Tulsa and Oklahoma with the rest of the world." Our guests are Tom Hemphill, the President and CEO of TGA, and Ken Busby, a former head of the TGA Governing Board.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we speak with Corey Williams, the executive director of Sustainable Tulsa, a well-regarded local nonprofit that's been encouraging area businesses and individuals to embrace sustainability for nearly a decade. Williams tells us about her organization's "Triple Bottom Line ScoreCard," which has just completed its pilot (or developmental) phase...and which will begin its first full-year term as a Sustainable Tulsa program in the fall. The "triple bottom line," in this case, refers to People, Profit, and Planet.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we are pleased to welcome 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 noted at this 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.

On this installment of ST, we learn about a locally-rooted socio-economic and educational project called Growing Togther. It's a nonprofit that works to bring meaningful and lasting change to two different Tulsa neighborhoods marked by concentrated areas of poverty, Eugene Field and Kendall-Whittier. Our guest is Kirk Wester, executive director of Growing Together.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Chris Gates, who is CEO of the Tulsa-based Janada L. Batchelor Foundation for Children, or JBFC, a nonprofit that works to provide aid to, and combat extreme poverty in, East Africa. As noted on the JBFC website: "Janada Batchelor is JBFC Founder Chris Gates's grandmother. The organization carries her name because she is the woman who introduced Gates to Tanzania in 2002.

Last fall, about 40 local non-profit arts organizations joined Phil Lakin, CEO of the Tulsa Community Foundation, in launching Arts Alliance Tulsa (or AAT), a United Arts Fund that aims to provide funding for -- and audience-development support for -- the City of Tulsa's various cultural assets. (United Arts Funds, as noted at the AAT website, "seek to raise money to provide ongoing operating support to local arts institutions. Over the past 65 years, more than 100 communities across the country -- both large and small -- have established UAFs.

On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, we learn about a non-profit called WellOK, which was formed in 2014, and which bills itself as "the Northeastern Oklahoma Business Coalition on Health." It's a coalition of 17 locally based organizations, including businesses large and small that purchase healthcare as well as government and philanthropic organizations.

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....

On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, guest host John Schumann speaks with James Walker, who's been the executive director of Youth Services of Tulsa (or YST) for 14 years now. A nonprofit United Way agency dating back to 1969, YST is, per its website, "committed to fostering a community atmosphere that values youth as resources. We provide innovative services and activities designed to increase self-discovery and instill positive core values and decision-making skills that will keep youth safe and allow them to lead healthy and productive lives.

The State of Oklahoma has one of the highest incarceration rates in the nation. And now, as we set forth on a new school year throughout this community and, indeed, across this state, we pause to ask: What about the children of those incarcerated? Who's assisting the kids, in this moment of great transition, whose parents are behind bars?

On this edition of our program, we speak with Vanessa Finley, the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer at YWCA Tulsa. A Tulsa native, Booker T. Washington grad, and non-profit executive with 20+ years of experience, Finley has recently relocated to Tulsa from Kansas City; she began her tenure at YWCA Tulsa earlier this month.

On this edition of ST, we speak with a big-thinking, fast-talking, highly motivated, and fairly progressive entrepreneur who's made and lost several fortunes: Bill Bartmann is best known as the founder and CEO of Commercial Financial Services (or CFS), a debt-collection company that actually treated its debtors with respect and fairness. CFS was based in Tulsa, operated from 1986 to 1999, and was for a time amazingly successful as a business --- but the fast-growing company fell apart amid charges of illegal stock trades and bogus debt sales.

What if a bright young guy who had enough brains, training, and ambition to thrive on Wall Street suddenly decided --- in his mid-twenties, while watching an especially "passionate" pianist perform at a concert --- to give up on all the money and glory associated with his fledgling career...in order to start a small, independent nonprofit dedicated to building schools in the world's poorest regions? On this edition of ST, we meet just such a person.