Town Hall Seattle Blog

Seattle, WA
February 6, 2023

  • Town Hall News
12/26/2022
Town Hall Seattle

Northwest Folklife 50th Anniversary LogoTown Hall Seattle is proud to partner with Northwest Folklife this winter and spring to curate a series of Saturday Family Concert events! Through music, dance, and visual art, the series showcases the diverse cultures here in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest and offers a special opportunity for young people and families to interact with culture,

  • Town Hall News
10/20/2022
Town Hall Seattle

After credible threats of disruption to Town Hall Seattle’s programs on Thursday, October 20, Reza Aslan’s event has been postponed. Our core mission is to be a collective resource for regional nonprofits and we cannot risk jeopardizing other events in our building. For the additional context of that decision, here’s the note that accompanied our notice of postponement.

  • Announcement
  • Town Hall News
08/29/2022
Town Hall Seattle

For as long I’ve been at Town Hall Seattle — almost 17 people years (or 119 dog years, but who’s counting?) — our organization has been defined by 1) a broad and curious program, brimming with ideas collectively-sourced from across our community and beyond; and 2) the belief that as many as possible should be able to enjoy it.

07/12/2022
Town Hall Seattle

Part One in an Occasional Series About How You “Do” Town Hall

Hi friends,

For the last 15 years, I’ve visited Munich annually with Barbara and the girls to see their grandparents. This rhythm means I miss a bunch of stuff at Town Hall every summer — and this time,

  • Announcement
  • Town Hall News
06/17/2022
Town Hall Seattle

The end of the season is always a time of reflection at Town Hall. It’s unsurprising that the 2021-22 season has had its challenges and uncertainties, but times like these can also feel inspiring — that’s the story of this year, too. We learned firsthand that Town Hall remains essential, especially to the members and volunteers who have eagerly returned each time we (re-)opened our doors.

  • Interview/Conversation
05/31/2022
Town Hall Seattle

Joshua Roman has been the Artistic Director of our beloved Town Music series for 15 creative, vibrant, transformational years. With bittersweet emotions, we’ll send him off with an epic Final Cello-bration in The Great Hall on June 7 at 7:30pm. We can’t wait to see what endeavors Joshua embarks on next — but before he does,

  • Town Hall News
05/19/2022
Town Hall Seattle

As many of you know, accessibility is one of Town Hall’s core tenets. We aim to provide a space that convenes community, hosts new ideas, and inspires connection for all — $5 tickets and free tickets for everyone 22 and under are just some of the ways we bring those values to life.

There are many more ways to continue to improve access for all at Town Hall,

  • Town Hall News
04/25/2022
Town Hall Seattle

As we jump into the energizing days of spring, we’re excited to unveil an important project that promises to make your Town Hall experience a whole lot breezier. From our historic building to the events themselves, we strive to inspire, excite, and fulfill curiosity — and our ticketing system is a critical part of the patron experience.

  • Interview/Conversation
  • Town Hall News
04/07/2022
Town Hall Seattle

On April 26th, authors John Wiswell and Ross Showalter will join our Writer-in-Residence, Sarah Salcedo, for an evening of short fiction and craft talk. Amongst other topics related to the craft of writing, John, Ross, and Sarah will specifically discuss how they approach the topic of disability within their work

Sarah Salcedo,

  • Town Hall News
02/09/2022
Town Hall Seattle

It’s Black History Month, and Town Hall invites you to deepen your knowledge of key historical figures like Fannie Lou Hamer, Phyllis Wheatley, Malcolm X, and more. The programs below are available to watch any time in Town Hall’s Audio and Video Library, a treasure trove of past events! 

  • Interview/Conversation
  • Town Hall News
01/31/2022
Town Hall Seattle

Take a peek into the mind of Cuban virtuoso Kiki Valera, who muses on his influences, his instrument of choice, and the art of making music. Be sure to join us later in February for a live concert with Kiki Valera y su son Cubano (2/25), part of Town Hall’s Global Rhythms series! 

  • Town Hall News
01/06/2022
Town Hall Seattle

As cellist Gretchen Yanover wraps up her time as Artist-in-Residence at Town Hall, she shares her final reflections about the beauty — and sometimes discomfort — of creation. We’re delighted to have shared this time with Gretchen, and hope you’ll join us for her final Findings Night: Cello in Connection performance on 1/21.

  • Announcement
  • Town Hall News

If you are a writer based in Seattle, or King County, we welcome you to apply.

01/05/2022
Town Hall Seattle

Town Hall Seattle is seeking to work with one Artist in Residence (AiR) from March to May 2022. For our next AiR, we’re seeking a writer. Some of our past writers in residence have included Elise Chavez and Jordan Alam. We invite applications from both published and unpublished writers working in genres that may include poetry,

  • Town Hall News
01/01/2022
Town Hall Seattle

Earlier this winter, Town Hall’s Artist-in-Residence, cellist Gretchen Yanover, reflected on the midpoint of her residency and shared some thoughts about finding inspiration at Town Hall. In an excerpt from her blog at gretchenyanover.com, she writes: 

“Since last year, I’ve been feeling this almost desperate desire to do more with my (musical?) voice,

  • Announcement
  • Town Hall News

This season of Town Music will be Joshua's Final

11/08/2021
Town Hall Seattle
After 15 years of serving as Artistic Director of Town Music at Town Hall Seattle, 2021-22 will be my final season. I have been blessed to bring amazing musicians and music to the stage to share with you.
  • Interview/Conversation
10/07/2021
Town Hall Seattle

Town Hall Seattle is pleased to introduce our Fall 2021 Podcast Artist-in-Residence, Samantha Allen. Samantha is the author of Patricia Wants to Cuddle and the Lambda Literary Award finalist Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States. She’s also a GLAAD Award-winning journalist,

  • Announcement
  • Town Hall News
08/10/2021
Town Hall Seattle
Shin Yu Pai is no stranger to Town Hall Seattle. She began her relationship with us back in 2018 as an Inside/Out Artist in Residence for the Phinney/Greenwood neighborhood, curating programs that brought new local voices like author Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma, Kathleen Alcalá, Rex Hohlbein of Facing Homelessness, and artist Susan Robb to the Town Hall Stage. In 2020, she wrote the vital blog piece, Town Hall Land Acknowledgement: Beyond Gestures, and pitched the concept to produce what would eventually become Lyric World, her podcast series centering on poets and poetry by BIPOC writers, with an emphasis on AAPI authors. Over the years, Shin Yu’s presence at Town Hall has brought intention and community focus to our programming; it only seems natural that she became our Program Director earlier this year. Town Hall is thrilled to have Shin Yu onboard— read on to learn about what she looks forward to the most this season.
  • Announcement
  • Town Hall News

A Letter From Executive Director Wier Harman

06/29/2021
Town Hall Seattle

“To tell a story of Seattle.” “A looooong discussion about the kind of city we want to share.” These phrases don’t appear in Town Hall’s mission statement but they’ve become a shorthand for the goal of our perpetual, expansive calendar. It’s inevitable and appropriate that Town Hall should ultimately be described by what we do,

  • Town Hall News

An End-Of-Season Update from ED Wier Harman

06/25/2021
Town Hall Seattle

In a typical year, June marks the end of our season. Same thing in 2021— but truly nothing else about the past year+ has been typical. Since last March we’ve produced over 250 events, only a -handful in our actual home; over 100,000 viewers tuned in to our digital stage, from Ballard and Boston,

04/26/2021
Town Hall Seattle
This spring, Town Hall is thrilled to welcome performance and visual artist Timothy White Eagle as our Artist-in-Residence. He has worked extensively over the past two decades exploring Native American, Pagan, and other earth-based spiritual practices. This will be a continued focus during his residency, as he interrogates the differences between early Indigenous peoples’ handling of death and the Christian colonizer approach to death, a topic that has been heavy on his mind in the time of COVID.
03/25/2021
Town Hall Seattle
Our brains are mysterious. There are as many neurons in the brain as there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy. That’s a lot of neurons. There’s much we don’t know about what goes on inside our noggins.

Brian Greene: theoretical physicist, mathematician, string theorist

03/18/2021
Town Hall Seattle
It’s not every man that can explain String Theory to Everyman. No, most people can’t put into simple terms what a Calabi-Yau manifold is. Nor what Ricci flatness is. Most folks can’t make much sense of the multiverse, even if they did watch Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Luckily, there are some talented people out there who can take huge mind-blowing questions and concepts and make them understandable to people like, well, us here at Town Hall. Enter Brian Greene.

by Masao Yamada

02/12/2021
Town Hall Seattle

January 23, 2021. This date was marked on my calendar for a couple of reasons, one being the kick off to Town Hall Seattle’s Global Rhythms Series. It wasn’t just that I was excited to see local musicians who carry the musical traditions of their homelands—but because it was my culture and homeland that was being represented.

Black History Is American History

02/01/2021
Town Hall Seattle

Today is February 1, which marks the beginning of Black History Month. Black History Month was established in 1976, and what you may not know is that there is a theme every year. The theme is decided by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History,

  • Video
12/16/2020
Town Hall Seattle
Joshua's residency has technically ended, but Joshua's not done by a long shot! Here, Joshua thanks all of our Town Music supporters and opens a surprise gift (spoiler: it's a beautiful poster).
  • Video
12/11/2020
Town Hall Seattle
In this subscriber-only video Joshua performs (both cello and voice) and intimate rendition of Hallelujah.

A Reflection from Geoff Larson, Executive Director of Bushwick Seattle

12/10/2020
Town Hall Seattle

Community and relationships have never been as important as they are right now. It does seem weird to say since I have not been able to shake someone’s hand in over 9 months, unless you count my new office mate Gus (he’s a dog—he’s not a good assistant, but he is a good boy). Our connections have shifted,

  • Video
12/09/2020
Town Hall Seattle
From “Quartet for the End of Time” to pieces written this year in response to the pandemic, and stops in between, four local chamber musicians and Joshua himself consider the feeling of time being stretched or displaced, an occurrence that is all too familiar these days. Join us for an affecting evening of chamber music from phenomenal local musicians that will leave a lasting impact. Watch the teaser below and click here for more info and tickets.
  • Video
12/04/2020
Town Hall Seattle
Joshua has left Seattle for a trip to San Francisco to take care of some project deadlines. But the Fermata residency continues and Joshua gives a small preview of the final culmination feature event on 12/11.
  • Video
12/02/2020
Town Hall Seattle
In this experimental interview, Joshua talks with long-time Town Music collaborator Aaron Grad. They use musical improvisation to deepen connection and inspire openness, and discuss what it means to 'be present' and how difficult it is to accept help from others. Note: This interview was filmed before the current gathering restrictions were in place in WA state. Use your subscriber password to access! (Email patronservices@townhallseattle.org for support or questions). Not a subscriber yet? Purchase now for access to this and more exclusive content.
  • Video
11/20/2020
Town Hall Seattle
My friend Hayley Young was moved by a piece I wrote recently - one of the more hopeful works from the Musical Journal I was commissioned to create in response to the pandemic. It's a piece that came to me during a big road trip through the Western United States, and I immediately felt compelled to send this music to people that I thought might need a moment of hope. That's a little unusual for me; I'm often self-conscious about what I write and hesitant to share. In this instance, though, I felt that the music that I created was something I very much needed to not only write, but to hear - and that others might have that same need.

Hayley immediately called me after listening to it with the idea to bring producer Ryan Hadlock on board, go to his Recording Studio and not only record the piece, but document the process for a special project she's working on. She brought Alex Crook to run cameras and along with Ryan's engineer Taylor Carroll we spent three days setting up, recording, and mixing the track, capturing everything on video along the way.

  • Video
11/16/2020
Town Hall Seattle
The idea for a Widespread Orchestra began as a poem by Mighty Mike McGee. It begins "Today, I dance knowing / someone somewhere dances with me" and San Jose-based composer Noah Luna was inspired to write a piece where people could come together, despite their physical isolation. He began work on a composition for chorus and cello and partnered with Joshua Roman as part of his Fermata residency, here at Town Hall to produce the project. In October, dozens of singers sent us their voices (and some even sent videos) to bring to life Noah's vision, alongside Town Hall's very own Joshua Roman on the cello. Watch the final product below!
11/13/2020
Town Hall Seattle

Hi friends,

On Election Night I wrote to tell you how much we missed you, and missed the chance to share the night’s energy and anticipation with you. I mentioned the power we feel when we’re with people who share our curiosities, our passions, and especially our optimism.

“Optimism” is so often called out as essential to America’s national character.

  • Video
11/13/2020
Town Hall Seattle
Joshua talks about a project he's been working on called The Musical Journal and how he felt compelled to do something in response to the moment instead of something planned far in advance.
11/03/2020
Town Hall Seattle

Hi friends, 

From 2008-2016, hundreds of folks from the Town Hall community spent presidential and midterm election nights together in our Forum space 

That streak was broken in 2018 during our building renovation—and while itabsolutely among the least significant losses of this time

  • Video
10/30/2020
Town Hall Seattle
Wed 10/28 was the first Feature Release of Joshua's Fermata residency and Joshua takes time to thank the team and artists who made it possible! He also gives a glimpse of what's to come.

by Shin Yu Pai

10/30/2020
Town Hall Seattle

As a practice of recognition, land acknowledgment has the capacity to create broader public awareness of the histories that have led to this moment. On its own, acknowledgment is a small gesture. But when combined with efforts towards cultivating authentic, equitable relationships and informed action that benefits native people, reconciliation and accompliceship become possible.

  • Video
10/28/2020
Town Hall Seattle
Joshua talks about the weekend recording session with this week's featured chamber musicians and gives advice on the best place to get your cello bow repaired!
  • Video
10/23/2020
Town Hall Seattle
Joshua is back in the building after quarantining after his trip to Florida! He shares how excited he is to be back and also gives us a peek at the progress of construction on the building next door.
  • Video
10/22/2020
Town Hall Seattle
Joshua talks about his collaboration with Noah Luna and Mighty Mike McGee on the Widespread Orchestra project and expresses his gratitude for being able to commission and work with living composers in this "Fermata" setting.