About Town Hall Seattle

A vibrant gathering place in the heart of Seattle, Town Hall fosters an engaged community through civic, arts, and educational programs that reflect—and inspire—our region’s best impulses: creativity, empathy, and the belief that we all deserve a voice.

Waiting to enter by Michael Hanscom

Town Hall is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1998 to save a beloved historic building and create an affordable performance home for the region’s small to midsized arts and civic organizations. Today, Town Hall has matured into a nationally unique artistic and civic hub located in the heart of Seattle. We annually engage 110,000+ people at more than 425 events, host 90 community producers on our stages, present hundreds of artists and scholars, and collaborate with an additional 150 grassroots groups in our self-produced programs.

Far more than just a venue, Town Hall is a gathering place where ideas are planted and movements grow. It’s where we come together as a community to listen and be heard—to ask and answer the big questions facing our city and our world.

Our highly collaborative model and deep commitment to accessibility—for presenters and audiences—make us a new kind of cultural catalyst. Half of our calendar is built by community producers (about 90 every year). Through subsidized rental rates and hands-on production/marketing support for these homegrown organizations, Town Hall levels the cultural playing field and amplifies the voices of diverse communities.

The remaining 200+ programs—spanning the arts, civics, and sciences—are produced by Town Hall: our staff, series curators, 150 collaborating partners, and other thinkers and doers who push our creative frontiers.

The resulting calendar is an inclusive, present-tense reflection of life here in the Puget Sound. With wide open doors and radically affordable ticket prices, everyone can take part, be inspired, and use their voice to shape our future.

Town Hall opened in March 1999. It is housed in an historic Roman-revival-style building dating to 1922 on the corner of Eighth Avenue and Seneca Street. The building is one of the landmarks of First Hill, Seattle’s first suburb and still a neighborhood of distinguished and varied older buildings. Continuously used and well-maintained over the last 80 years, Town Hall was purchased in 1998 from the Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist, by a group of 16 civic-minded Seattle citizens for conversion into the community culture center it is today.

Our Historic Building

NOTE: Thanks to the amazing support over many years from our membership and community, the renovation of Town Hall has begun! During the renovation we will be producing events in venues through the city as part of our Inside/Out season.

The Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist, built this edifice in two stages, 1916-1922. It was built at the peak of the Christian Science movement, when the church could afford generous spaces and fine finishes. The congregation was the sole and continuous occupant of the building until it was sold to Town Hall in 1998.

Architect for the church was George Foote Dunham of Portland, whose one other building in Seattle is the Christian Science Church on Northeast 17th on Fraternity Row in the University District. Dunham used a popular style for Christian Science churches, namely Roman Revival.

Like most Christian Science Churches, this one is built to resemble a public building, with no religious symbolism inside or out. The building has a large portico with six two-story columns fronting on Eighth Avenue, a central dome with oculus, large art-glass windows, and elaborate window treatments with pilasters and a balcony on the Seneca side.

All four sides of the building are clad in terra cotta, a popular white glazed material that reflects light well in winter and glows after rain.

Town Hall has several remarkable features inside. A small stage is located in the ground floor. This was the original rostrum for the earliest services. In the Lobby, the art-glass, Tiffany-style lighting fixtures are still working. Curved wooden pews with fitted backs grace the Great Hall, formerly the sanctuary.

The vaulted ceiling and the central dome, together with the thick masonry walls and the dispersion of sound from all the ornamentation, produce warm, full, “live” musical acoustics of the type rarely created today.

Please note our venue is undergoing renovation from August 2017 through early 2019. The info below will be updated to reflect the post-renovation features of the space at that time.
For information about renting Town Hall in the future, click here.

The Great Hall, once a place of worship, now hosts civic panels, community programs, authors, and a variety of concerts throughout our season.


credit Nate Watters

The historic landmark Great Hall — accessed through the main lobby Eighth Avenue entrance — features magnificent stained-glass windows, vaulted ceilings, and a central dome. The rows of original 98 year old wooden pews overlooking the main stage honor the first inhabitants of the building and provide a uniquely communal event experience.

The Downstairs at Town Hall is home to community programming, author readings, panels, and other family events.


credit Joshua Trujillo

A versatile, carpeted, open space with natural lighting and a small stage, the Downstairs is a perfect intimate and complimentary venue to our Great Hall upstairs. This 5,000-square-foot space also connects to the rest of the building via staircase and elevator. Note that the downstairs venue will be significantly remodeled during our renovation, including the addition of a large, west-facing entrance!

Town Hall Seattle is committed to presenting compelling performances and programs while operating in a fiscally responsible and transparent manner. Below are Town Hall Association’s (dba Town Hall Seattle) Audited Financial Statements and 990 Tax Filings.

IRS Form 990 FY 2016 Audited Financial Statements FY 2016

Contact

Administrative Office:
720 Seneca St.
Suite A
Seattle, WA 98101

Venue:
Currently under renovation
1119 8th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

Reach us:
(206) 652-4255
info@townhallseattle.org

Staff

Wier Harman Executive Director

Mary Cutler  General Manager

Ashley Toia  Director of Programming

Missy Miller  Interim Communications Director

Kimberly Buchan  Development Director

Dana Feder  Production Director

Shirley Bossier  Rental & Booking Director

Leah Gray  Finance Director

Matthew Renton  Creative Director

Alexander Eby  Copywriter

Michael Breeden  Capital Campaign Manager

Kate Nagle-Caraluzzo  Membership Manager

Haley Fenton Development Associate

Jini Palmer  Digital Media Producer

Edward Wolcher  Curator of Lectures

Jonathan Shipley  Marketing Manager

Zac Eckstein  Website and Ticketing Manager

Megan Castillo  Community Engagement Manager

Amanda Winterhalter  Event Manager

Renate Child  Bookkeeper

Laurel Taylor  Database Administrator

Joshua Roman  Artistic Director, Town Music

Jon Kertzer  Co-Curator, Global Rhythms

Daniel Atkinson  Co-curator, Saturday Family Concerts and Global Rhythms

Susie Tennant  Co-curator, Saturday Family Concerts

 

Board of Directors

Thatcher Bailey, President

Moya Vazquez, Chair

Bill Rives, Treasurer

Deborah Person, Secretary

Sheena Aebig

Mark Anderson

Linda Breneman

Kate Brostoff

Katherine de Bruyn

Mike James

Anjali Kaur

Elisa Mandell Keller

Leticia Lopez

Joseph Massaquoi

Yazmin Mehdi

Anita Mires

Clint Pehrson

Tyler Petri

Sheri Renner

Tom Robertson

Neil Roseman

Meena Selvakumar

Chuck Sitkin

Susan Trapnell

Tramale Turner

Caroline VanHarmelen

Melinda Williams

 

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