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.
Who We Are
Each year, 110,000+ people come together at Town Hall for 425+ events spanning civics, the arts, and sciences. But we’re far more than just a venue. Town Hall Seattle is a nonprofit organization that maintains a landmark historic building—as well as marketing and production infrastructure—for shared community use.
There’s nowhere else like Town Hall Seattle, anywhere. The midsize scale of our performance spaces, our highly collaborative model, wide breadth of programming presented, and deep commitment to accessibility all make us a new kind of cultural convener. With wide open doors and radically affordable tickets and stages, everyone can take part, be inspired, and use their voice to shape our future.
What We Believe
We believe that everyone deserves access to fresh ideas and artistic expression. That’s why everything from our building’s design and renovation features to our operating models, ticket prices, and approach to digital distribution are built to maximize accessibility. Please see our Accessibility Statement to learn more.
We believe in an equitable Town Hall that belongs to all of us. Town Hall Seattle strives to be an inviting place where everyone feels welcomed and represented regardless of their race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, religion, disability, or class. At the same time, we recognize that structural racism is entrenched throughout U.S. culture and institutions, including our own. Town Hall Seattle has historically been—and is presently—a predominantly white-led organization, and we experience the same outcomes of institutional racism. Therefore, we’ve chosen to address equity through an explicitly (though not exclusively) racial lens. Please read our Racial Equity Statement to learn more.
We believe that, together, we can model the kind of society we want to share. Therefore, we ask ourselves to embrace curiosity, engage thoughtfully with complicated conversations, maintain space for differing points of view, remain open to continual learning, and—above all—to treat one another with respect and kindness. Please see our Community Code of Conduct to learn more.
Our Programming Model
Town Hall was founded as a 501(c)3 in 1998, saving a beloved historic building and creating an affordable shared performance home for the region’s small to midsized arts and civic organizations. Today, we’ve matured into a nationally unique artistic and civic hub located in the heart of Seattle.
Half of our calendar is built by rental partners (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 collaboratively by Town Hall: our staff, series curators, community 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 region.
Our Historic Building
Town Hall’s historic building was originally the Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist, constructed in two stages from 1916 through 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 George Foote Dunham of Portland designed the space, employing the distinctive Roman Revival style (popular among many Christian Science churches at the time) that lends Town Hall its characteristic high front portico with six two-story pillars and the high arched ceiling of the Great Hall. Dunham also designed one other building in Seattle—the Christian Science Church on Northeast 17th on Fraternity Row in the University District.
Like most Christian Science Churches, this one is built to resemble a public building, with no religious symbolism inside or out. The building sports a unique central dome complete with a decorative oculus to match the large art-glass windows in the Great Hall. These windows have been restored by Seattle Stained Glass as part of the building’s renovation—along with the four terra cotta clad exterior walls that give the building its characteristic gleam.
Town Hall has several remarkable features inside as well. The small interior stage on the downstairs floor (the original rostrum for the earliest services) has been transformed as part of our renovation. The space is now the Forum, a fully modular 300-seat performance space. The lobby level features restored art-glass Tiffany-style lighting fixtures, as well as a decorative balcony and elaborate window treatments with pilasters. 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 acoustics rarely created today in a building of this design.
Admin Staff & Curators
Board of Directors
Deborah Person, President
Caroline VanHarmelen, President-Elect
Anita Mires, Vice President
Bill Rives, Treasurer
Katherine de Bruyn, Secretary
Elisa Mandell Keller