Stay in the Loop; Hear it All

As part of the acoustic upgrades taking place during Town Hall’s renovation, we’re permanently installing the Hearing Loop system in all three of our performance spaces. To give us a better idea of how a Hearing Loop works—as well as how this critical system supports members of our community who experience hearing loss—we turn to Mike James, who serves on Town Hall’s Board of Directors. Mike spoke with Town Hall’s Alexander Eby about his history with hearing loss, and shared all the reasons why he passionately supports the Hearing Loop’s installation.

Town Hall’s platform is built on the idea that everyone deserves to be heard—and for audience members like Mike James, this philosophy has never been more literal. Mike has lived with hearing loss since his late 30’s. Though his hearing aids are sufficient for smaller events, he’s encountered difficulty fully engaging with the lectures and performances he loves when they’re held in larger halls. But Mike is still a frequent visitor to Town Hall’s events, and he’s been able to fully experience our programming thanks to our Hearing Loop system.

“I’m fortunate enough to live right across the street from Town Hall,” Mike explains. He regularly attends Town Hall’s programs, and the Hearing Loop has enabled him to participate on any given night in impassioned community conversations, civic discussions, and science lectures. “The beauty of the Hearing Loop system is that it just…happens. You can sit down in the audience along with everyone else, and the sound from the event is transmitted directly to your hearing aids.”

Hearing Loop systems wirelessly transmit sound through microphones on the stage, transforming hearing aids fitted with telecoil receivers—like the ones Mike wears—into in-the-ear loudspeakers. “It’s the quality of the sound that’s the most significant thing. You’re hearing the program with your hearing aids, so it’s adjusted specifically for your own levels of hearing loss. You can clearly hear what’s going on onstage, and at the same time you can be a part of the discussions going on around you.”

From his position on Town Hall’s Board of Directors, Mike has enthusiastically supported the permanent installation of the Hearing Loop system in Town Hall’s performance spaces. For other audience members experiencing hearing loss, this could make all the difference in the world. “A lot of people like me gave up on going to the theater or attending lectures because of the difficulty of hearing. That’s really overcome with the loop.”

To support audience members like Mike, we’re permanently outfitting our Great Hall, Downstairs, and the new West Room with their own Hearing Loop systems as part of Town Hall’s historic renovation. Accessibility is core to Town Hall’s design, and the Hearing Loop is a critical part of ensuring that members of our community who experience hearing loss will remain a part of the discussion.

“I was born in England, and I have relatives there. We’ve traveled together throughout Europe, and found that Hearing Loop systems over there are common. At museums, box offices—you name it, all of that is looped.” Town Hall is inspired by this broad accessibility, and we’re excited to be among the first organizations in our region to offer this technology to our community. “The great thing about Town Hall is that they’re one of the first institutions in Seattle to really pioneer this. It’s a tremendously positive change, and a real asset to Town Hall.”

To learn more about the Hearing Loop system, and about all the ways our new acoustic systems will transform Town Hall into a world-class performance hall, visit

Jazz on the Mountaintop—Summit in Seattle

On March 2, four jazz powerhouses gather for the Summit in Seattle—a first-ever performance together in this configuration, with no rehearsal or setlist! They come together, warm up, and then dive into an evening of collective improvisation, collaboration, and musical risk-taking. The event is the brainchild of Global Rhythms 2017-18 Co-Curator Daniel Atkinson, and represents a form of jazz he seldom sees represented in today’s musical landscape. Atkinson sat down for an interview with Town Hall’s copywriter, Alexander Eby, to discuss his vision.

AE: The Summit in Seattle is a pretty unusual event. What makes it so unique?

DA: The fact that it’s unusual is precisely why I put this event together. I envisioned the Summit as a way to get back to the true roots of jazz. The format goes back 100 years—a group of musicians at the top of their game with no setlist, listening to each other’s language and finding their own way to speak and respond to one another. It’s an arrangement that harkens back to the ritualistic traditions that define jazz as an art form.

AE: Can you tell me more about that?

DA: At its core, jazz is about musical risk-taking. Success is defined not by playing what’s written, but by taking those risks—by almost failing and then not. An artist becomes a conduit for the culture rather than a destination. They push themselves and their instrumental skills by understanding their relationship to the other artists. That’s why there’s no setlist. Jazz lives in the moment. Mistakes become opportunities to work out potentially new ideas. I want to give these guys a chance to express themselves and navigate that process together and ultimately have fun!

AE: Why put on a performance like this in Seattle?

DA: People in the Seattle jazz community want to promote equity. The Summit is my way of doing exactly that. I wanted to give these four master musicians of color a chance to collaborate with no restrictions and celebrate an art form with roots in West African and Afro-American music traditions.

AE: Is that what makes this concert a great fit for the Global Rhythms series?

DA: Exactly. The musical forms that define jazz, like syncopation and the blues scale, were introduced and popularized by Black artists in the early 1900’s. The context of jazz has changed over time to become more convenient for conspicuous consumption, but jazz began as a space for Black musical expression. It’s a style that (for a very short time) created spaces where a Black performer could be respected for the merit of their musical skill, not judged for their skin color.

AE: Could you give me an example of one of these spaces?

DA: Jam sessions are a prime example. In 1930’s New York, the jam session was an environment that tested a musician’s mettle. A Black musician could demonstrate his/her prowess, and if a White musician couldn’t answer the call, they would have to sit down and make way for someone who possibly could. Value was placed on the merit of musicianship—and bred a learning process. If you couldn’t match or surpass another musician’s skill one night, you went to the woodshed and came back when you felt ready to try again.

AE: And with four masters onstage at the Summit, improvising and adapting to one another is the name of the game.

DA: That’s right. There are two MacArthur Fellows in this group; they’re at the top of their game.

AE: These musicians come from a variety of backgrounds: jazz, hip-hop, R&B, soul. Do you think they’ll have trouble adapting to each other’s styles?

DA: You know, a lot of people have forgotten that those genres actually take their roots from the same place. Back in the early Jim Crow era, what we know as jazz was called “race music.” Eventually it was changed to “rhythm and blues” to make the music easier for White audiences to conspicuously consume, and finally became known as “rock and roll” when White artists took it over completely.

Jazz, gospel, blues, R&B, and hip-hop, are genres that retained certain elements of that progenitor—of “race music”—which were not transposed to rock and roll. The syncopation, the improvisation, the focus on self-expression and adapting to your fellow musicians instead of cutting and pasting ideas together in the spirit of improvisation to an audience that remains benevolently ignorant. This style has gone through so many identity changes that it’s no longer a Black art form, but ultimately the masters playing at the Summit do share a musical lineage—which begins first as a recognition of where it comes from and its uniquely Afro-American, cultural cache. That’s why it’s so important to me that Black musicians be given a space to express their mastery in an art form that is, at its roots, Black.

AE: Do you have any thoughts to prepare audiences for this show?

DA: This performance will be what it will be. Improvisation, risk—this is jazz at its core. As an audience member, you’re witnessing a space for four masters to collaborate and negotiate their process together in real time. It’s probably one of the only times you’re going to see anything like this—it’s an arrangement that just doesn’t happen very often anymore, as much as I wish it did. But I couldn’t bring the mountain down, so to speak, so I put together the Summit to bring the audience to the mountaintop.

Join us March 2 for this exciting collaboration!

Jonathan Talks to Jonathan

Jonathan Kauffman, a James Beard Award-winning writer, is returning to Seattle. The former restaurant critic at Seattle Weekly, he will be at West Seattle’s Westside School to discuss his new book, Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat on Tuesday, February 27th at 7:30 pm.

Jonathan recently sat down with Jonathan Shipley, Town Hall’s Marketing Manager, to discuss lentil casseroles, vegetarian cults, and the horror of carob.

JS: You lived in Seattle and now live in San Francisco. What’s different between each city’s food cultures?

JK: They’re really similar. There’s more money in San Francisco and so there are more high-end restaurants. The Chinese population is greater here, so there are better and more Chinese restaurants in San Francisco. Seattle’s got better seafood and, since it’s not as expensive as San Francisco, there’s more willingness to experiment in Seattle. They can try new things.

JS: What do you miss about Seattle?

JK: My family and my friends.

JS: What don’t you miss about Seattle?

JK: I like sunlight. I like that I don’t have to take Vitamin D supplements anymore.

JS: What inspired this new book of yours?

JK: I was having a meal in Seattle at The Sunlight Café on Roosevelt. I was being served steamed vegetable with tahini dressing, and whole wheat pastries, and veggie burgers and I was hit with a sudden sense of nostalgia. I grew up in the middle of Indiana. How did I grow up eating this food? How did lentil casseroles and stir fried vegetables with tofu and South African stews get there?

JS: What hippie food is your favorite?

JK: My reset meal is a big wok full of stir fried vegetables and tofu over brown rice.

JS: What hippie food do you detest?

JK: Carob is horrifying.

JS: Who was the most interesting interview subject in your book?

JK: Former members of the Source Family. They were members of a vegetarian cult in the 1960s and 70s under Father Yod. They dressed in white, lived in a mansion, were in a rock band (Ya Ho Wha 13), and earned their money off an organic vegetarian restaurant in Los Angeles. They are pretty lovely people and are very positive about their time.

JS: What fact did you uncover in the book that most delights you?

JK: Tempeh [an Indonesian dish made by deep-frying fermented soybeans] was introduced by The Farm, at one time the biggest commune in America. The Farm, still in operation in Tennessee, have made three lasting contributions to the world: tempeh, home births, and radiation detection. I totally love them.

Whether you’re into granola or sprouts, co-ops or quinoa, Town Hall looks forward to hosting Kauffman at the Westside School. Join us!

Town Hall is Recruiting Neighborhood Steering Committee Members!

Poised on the edge of our highly-anticipated capital renovation, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to undertake a citywide initiative—the most ambitious, collaborative endeavor Town Hall has ever undertaken in its 18 years of ambitious, collaborative endeavors. And we can’t do it without you.

While our building is being renovated, we’ll turn Town Hall “Inside/Out.” We’re taking the programs you love from our historic stages and pouring them into neighborhoods across Seattle. With your help, our programming will be more community-led, more relevant, and more timely than ever.

We’re inviting 12-15 people from each of our Inside/Out neighborhoods to serve on Neighborhood Steering Committees, volunteering as formal advisers, ambassadors, and co-curators. Do you work or live in Phinney Ridge/Greenwood, University/Ravenna, Capitol Hill/Central District, or Columbia/Hillman City? Teach us about your neighborhood and work with us to develop hyper-local programs!

  • What topics and issues are most important to your community?
  • What can Town Hall add to the landscape?
  • What should the rest of Seattle know about your neighborhood?

If you are interested in collaborating with other community-minded folks, please click here to tell us more about yourself.

Questions, or want more details on the Neighborhood Steering Committees? Email our Community Programs Curator

Special Offer: Says You! on June 24 and 25

The wildly popular and entertaining live-radio quiz show Says You! returns to Town Hall on June 24 and 25! The show’s producers, Pipit and Finch, and local radio station KUOW have been longstanding partners here at Town Hall, and we’re excited to celebrate their 10th Seattle show with an exclusive Town Hall member discount.

Click here and use promo code STHmember to receive 10% off reserved seating (100 discounted tickets are available for each show date).

AND, you have the first opportunity to join the Says You! cast in a very special after-party—the next 50 members to make a donation of $250 or more to The Campaign for Town Hall will receive two complimentary tickets to the 1:30 pm matinee show on June 25 and two invitations to the private after-party. This is only available by making a new donation online ( or by phone at 206) 652.4255 x36. Help us renovate Town Hall and close our 20th century doors in style!

The Says You! live-taping kicks off a full week of celebrations (June 25 – 30) as we celebrate everything Town Hall has become and break ground on everything it will be. Keep an eye on your email for more information about the revelries!

Town Hall Past and Future

We’re just six months away from the beginning of Town Hall’s highly-anticipated renovation. As we prepare to revitalize our 100-year-old building, we are inviting our members to join us on February 26 at 2 p.m. for a celebration of this beautiful, unique space and its role in Seattle’s history. David Brewster (Town Hall’s founder), will be joined by Lawrence Kreisman (Historic Seattle), and Clint Pehrson (Town Hall Board of Directors), to tell the story of this place—formerly Seattle Fourth Church of Christian Science—and its transformation from an expression of 20th century religious community into a 21st century home for civic, intellectual, and cultural life.

David Brewster founded Town Hall Seattle, Seattle Weekly,, and Folio: The Seattle Antheneaum. He will share the story of how this building became Town Hall’s home and the need he saw for a mid-sized, multi-disciplinary arts and civic center in Seattle.

Lawrence Kreisman has spoken eloquently about Town Hall’s Greek Revival building with its fluted column entrance and terra-cotta sheathing, and he has a particular interest in the showpiece of the sanctuary: the stained and leaded glass windows and dome, created by the Povery Brothers of Portland, Oregon. He will discuss these signature features and place the Povery Brothers’ work in context.

Clint Pehrson has practiced architecture in Seattle since 1980, specializing in facilities for cultural institutions—libraries, churches, civic, and arts organizations. In addition to being a current Town Hall Board member, he was one of the original investors who made it possible to purchase the building and create the Town Hall Seattle we know today.

After the program, you are invited for a behind-the-scenes tour of Town Hall.* In a century-old building, there are many interesting places to explore that you don’t normally see—from the organ loft, to backstage green rooms, and so much more. It is wonderful way to imagine what the renovation will mean for the future of the space and your future experience at Town Hall.


*Tours on February 26th will be limited. After you reserve your ticket, look for your invitation (sent via email) two weeks before the event to secure your building tour space. We will be pleased to help you RSVP for one of our twice-monthly building tours if space does not allow you to participate in this one.

A Successful Talk of the Town!

Many thanks to everyone who came out on March 6 to support Town Hall at our 10th annual fundraising gala, Talk of the Town! We raised more than $115,000 to support the arts, education, humanities and civic programs we present all year long.

The evening began with a buzzy conversation in the Town Hall lobby, and then migrated to the Great Hall, where Executive Director Wier Harman, former Scholar-in-Residence and UW Professor David Montgomery, and writer/performer Hollis Wong-Wear kicked off the conversation with thoughtful examinations of “The Question” that kept guests talking throughout the evening:

Is there a physical place in your life which has greatly informed the kind of person you’ve become?  A place that helped you understand how you wanted to live your life, or whose values and character have become your own?”

After enthusiastically raising their paddles to support Town Hall, half of our guests departed for 12 simultaneous dinner parties in exclusive homes throughout the city, with each dinner featuring a pair of celebrity Seattleites (including former Governor Chris Gregoire, KING 5 News anchor Lori Matsukawa, sci-fi author Neal Stephenson, author Maria Semple, and Native American artist Louie Gong, and nearly two dozen others) and dinner prepared by an award-winning chef (Ethan Stowell of Tavolàta, Brandin Myett and Alex Dimitrijevic of La Bête, Holly Smith of Café Juanita, Kurt Timmermeister of Kurtwood Farms, and many others).

The rest of the party descended the staircase to “Talk of the Town Underground”—where our Downstairs space was transformed into the “13th home” for the evening.  Local luminaries including food writer/restaurateur Molly Wizenberg, artist/lyricist Geo, and Washington Bus Executive Director Toby Crittenden mingled while guests enjoyed custom cocktails from Oola Distillery, Sound Spirits, and Sun Liquor, food truck selections from Skillet, Marination Station, and Street Treats, and plenty of dancing!

Town Hall is deeply grateful to our event chair, board member Tom Robertson, and everyone who came and supported the event, including our generous corporate sponsors, The Boeing Company, Brighton Jones LLC, Casey Family Programs, and The Commerce Bank of Washington.

Check back soon as we announce the date of next year’s Talk of the Town, and we hope you’ll join us for an evening of sparkling conversation with some of Seattle’s most interesting personalities!

Town Music in Schools

Thousands of chamber music fans attend Town Hall’s popular Town Music series each season, but few people know that the series has another large, enthusiastic audience…whose bedtime falls around the same time as curtain rises. Series curator Joshua Roman had a dream to share his passion for music with student audiences, so he created the Town Music in Schools program in 2011 so that young music fans can take part in the live music experience, even if they can’t stay up late. Since the program began, more than 1,100 K-12 students have had the chance to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most talented classical musicians.

The most recent Town Music in Schools excursion brought New York’s Enso String Quartet to southeast Seattle’s Graham Hill Elementary School. Nearly 400 K-5 students packed into the auditorium, whispering with excited anticipation as they waited for the musicians to take the stage.

During their evening performance at Town Hall, the Grammy-winning Enso String Quartet performed rarely heard pieces by opera masters Puccini, Verdi, and Strauss—but for their performance at Graham Hill, the group prepared an accessible, educational program tailored especially for young ears. Much to the delight of the students, they kicked off with the theme song from The Simpsons, which sparked a gleeful murmur of recognition throughout the crowd. Cellist Richard Belcher explained that the iconic Danny Elfman piece was a good example of how music creates a mood—in this case, playful, fun and even funny!

In addition to lighthearted, recognizable tunes like “Happy Birthday,” Enso wove in pieces by Mozart, Haydn, Bartok, and Ljova to illustrate the three essential ingredients of music: rhythm, harmony, and melody. (They also snuck in lessons about more complex concepts like dynamics and syncopation.) The students responded enthusiastically, as one boy played “air cello” while another conducted from the front row.

The mother of a third-grade student remarked, “I thought it was incredible. My daughter was enthralled…the kids learned a lot, but [Enso] kept them entertained.”

The goals of the Town Music in Schools program include “demystifying” classical music, inspiring and informing young people about the dedication it takes to excel in music and other life endeavors. Graham Hill’s students are dedicated—the fourth and fifth grade music students won a district-wide prize for the most time spent practicing their instruments—but they got a real sense for the discipline required of a professional musician. Graham Hill staff member Yedit Bereket said, “I know they left inspired, like, ‘Hey, I want to do that!’”

After the visit, Graham Hill’s Music Specialist, Cherrie Adams, said, “I can teach the students about music and play recordings for them, but nothing can take the place of a live concert.  We really appreciate Town Hall partnering with us to give our students an inspirational and educational experience.”

The next Town Music in Schools visit with Joshua Roman and Andrius Zlabys will take place at Washington Middle School on Monday, April 21. Roman and Zlabys perform at Town Hall on Tuesday, April 22 at 7:30pm

Talk of the Town Underground

For the 10th Anniversary of our annual fundraising gala Talk of the Town, we’re adding a twist and taking the event “underground.” To mix it up, Town Hall becomes this year’s 13th home for a fun, festive evening of drinks, food truck selections, and local DJs. Start the evening by joining all Talk of the Town guests in Town Hall’s lobby for a cocktail hour with wine and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a 6 pm program in the Great Hall. Once upstairs, you’ll enjoy mini Ignite!-style talks — short and sweet like their namesake, they’re sure to be enlightening.

At 7 p.m., Underground guests move to the Downstairs space at Town Hall to enjoy beats by local DJs, mingle with local Seattle luminaries, and enjoy a delectable selection of small plates from some of Seattle’s best food trucks. Skillet, Marination Station, Street Treats, Sound Spirits, OOLA Distillery, and Sun Liquor will be at this year’s Underground. Notable personalities include Molly Wizenberg, Lindy West, Geo, Kate Lebo, Toby Crittenden, Hollis Wong-Wear,  Michelle Quisenberry, John Richards, Marco Collins, DJ Daps1, DJ Bret Law, and more. You won’t want to miss this event, a distillation of all the great ideas from the Great Hall, brought downstairs for a deeper dive.

Presented by: Town Hall, Washington Bus and Ignite! Seattle. Sponsored by Uber, Dry Soda, and Hilliard’s Beer.
Tickets: $50-$60; ticket price includes all food, non-alcoholic beverages and one signature cocktail; additional alcoholic beverages are only $5. A portion of the ticket price is a charitable donation to benefit Town Hall.


Talk of the Town 10

If you have any questions about Talk of the Town, please contact Mary Ann Midori Goto at



Kathy Best is the new Editor of The Seattle Times. David Montgomery, a 2008 MacArthur Fellow and Professor of Earth & Space Sciences at the University of Washington, was a 2013 Town Hall Scholar-in-Residence.

Attorneys (and Cotlioure Cellars owners) Mark Maghie and Julie Barbo host in the contemporary Washington Park home of Charles and Linda Barbo.

Award-winning chef Holly Smith of Kirkland’s Café Juanita has been featured on Iron Chef America and was a 2012 James Beard nominee for Outstanding Chef in the U.S.


A winner of five Northwest Regional Emmy Awards, Enrique Cerna is KCTS Executive Producer and host of KCTS 9 Connects Carl Spence is Artistic Director of the Seattle International Film Festival, which moved into its permanent home at Seattle Center in 2007.Longtime Town Hall Board member Clint Pehrson (an architect) and his wife Maggie (an actor, and the Executive Producer of Showtunes Theatre Company) welcome you to their Queen Anne home, designed by Clint and featuring sweeping views of downtown Seattle and Elliott Bay.

Donna Moodie, Marjorie Restaurant’s charismatic owner/hostess, and chef Dustin Calery will offer their uniquely soulful take on farm-to-table dining.


Tim Keck is the publisher of The Stranger, and a co-founder of The Onion. Tayloe Washburn is the Founding Dean of Northeastern University Seattle Campus and former chair of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

Mark Busto is a labor and employment lawyer; Maureen Lee is a trustee of Seattle University, and a board member of Recovery Café and Copper Canyon Press.  They host in their penthouse condominium (designed by Rhoady Lee Architects) in the ArtStable, a Tom Kundig-designed building in South Lake Union.

Westward is North Lake Union’s new waterside dining destination; chefs Zoi Antonitsas and Josh Henderson (also founder and chef of Skillet) will present the restaurant’s inventive Northwest fare.


Marilyn Strickland has been Tacoma’s mayor since 2009; architect Ed Weinstein is the principal of Weinstein A|U and lead architect on Town Hall’s upcoming building restoration.

Entrepreneur Robert Wahbe and his wife Lisa, formerly a line chef at the French Laundry, welcome guests to their modern Washington Park home designed by Lisa Latini-Kirkendall and featuring a contemporary art collection.

Brian McCracken and Dana Tough are the dynamic team behind some of Seattle’s most experimental and acclaimed restaurants: Spur Gastropub, The Coterie Room, Tavern Law, and The Old Sage.


Gabe Newell is the co-founder and CEO of video game development and online distribution company Valve Corporation. Neal Stephenson is a game designer and science fiction author (The Baroque Cycle, 2011’s Reamde, and Snow Crash).

Town Hall Board President Yazmin Mehdi and attorney Liam Lavery welcome you to their Queen Anne home with stunning views of downtown and the Olympics.

Enjoy a meal prepared by chef-scientist Chris Young, co-author of The Modernist Cuisine and co-founder of ChefSteps, and chef Grant Lee Crilly, former Modernist Cuisine development chef and co-founder of ChefSteps.


Seattle Public School Superintendent José Banda has overseen the development and implementation of a new five-year strategic plan called “Every Student. Every Classroom. Every Day.” Holly Houser is the Executive Director of Puget Sound Bike Share, and has a passion for urban design, sustainable development, social justice, and the arts.

Spectacular views of Lake Washington and the Cascades are part of the show at the Washington Park home of Mark (Rainier Investment Management) and Christina Dawson, board member of OneWorld Now, a global leadership program for high school students.

Brandin Myett and Alex Dimitrijevic cook the “food they like to eat” at La Bête, called “sexy” and “delicious” by the The Seattle Times—a seasonal and unpretentious showcase for the bounty of the Pacific Northwest.


Immunologist Dr. Alan Aderem is President of Seattle Biomedical Research Institute; Lori Matsukawa has worked for KING 5 News since 1983, and currently co-anchors KING 5 Evening News.

Jane Hedreen, creator of children’s clothing line Flora and Henri, and developer David Thyer, President of R.C. Hedreen Co., host in their grand Italianate 1910 Capitol Hill home.

Chef Scott Staples is the culinary force behind Capitol Hill’s Restaurant Zoë and Quinn’s, as well as Fremont’s Uneeda Burger.


Seattle’s new mayor Ed Murray and husband Michael Shiosaki (Seattle Department of Parks & Recreation) will join Conrad Lee, a Bellevue city councilmember and formerly that city’s mayor.  Artist and activist Louie Gong was raised in the Nooksack tribal community and is known for his highly sought after, hand-drawn custom shoes.

Entrepreneurs Wassef and Racha Haroun are the visionaries behind Capitol Hill’s popular Middle Eastern restaurant, Mamnoon. Join the Harouns in their stunning Leschi contemporary home for a Mediterranean-influenced dinner presented by Mamnoon’s chef, Garrett Melkonian.


Four-term Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata’s portfolio on the council has variously included Parks, Public Safety, Human Services, Housing, and Arts and Culture. Jennifer Barry is the new Executive Director of Shunpike, which provides strategic support and training for more than 300 regional arts organizations.

Cynthia Huffman is President of Intiman Theatre’s Board of Trustees and a board member of Seattle Children’s. Her husband, Ray Heacox, is President & General Manager of KING Broadcasting and President of ArtsFund. They welcome you to their home on the 25th floor of the elegant Escala Condominiums in downtown Seattle.

Dinner will be prepared by Jim Drohman, who offers pitch perfect French fare at the cozy Le Pichet (Evening Magazine’s Best French Restaurant 2013) and her brash Capitol Hill cousin, Café Presse.


Sung Yang is the Chief of Staff to King County Executive Dow Constantine. Dancer/choreographer Zoe Scofield is the founder of modern dance troupe Zoe|Juniper, and a 2013 Stranger Genius Award winner.

Writer and Richard Hugo House founder Linda Breneman is the managing editor of, a website for families of gamers, and she welcomes you to her beautiful Washington Park home.

Ethan Stowell, a James Beard Nominee for Best Chef Northwest, has transformed neighborhood dining in Seattle through an extraordinary collection of restaurants, including Staple & Fancy, How to Cook a Wolf, Tavolata, Anchovies & Olives, Rione XIII, Bar Cotto, Mkt., and soon-to-open Noyer and Red Cow.


A Taconic Fellow at Center for Community Change and the founder of One America, Pramila Jayapal is currently Co-Chair of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee conducting the search for Seattle’s new police chief. Rosanna Sharpe is the newly appointed Executive Director of the Northwest African American Museum, housed in the former Colman School.

Seattle author and philanthropist Judy Pigott hosts in her beautiful craftsman home in West Seattle’s Admiral District. Author and local food advocate Kurt Timmermeister—of the late, lamented Café Septieme, and now Kurtwood Farms on Vashon Island—prepares a classic farm-to-table experience.


Author Maria Semple (Where’d You Go, Bernadette?) and her partner, producer and writer George Meyer (Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons) will be joined by James Keblas, Director of Seattle’s Office of Film & Music and a co-founder of The Vera Project.

Dinner will be served in the beautiful Washington Park home of Jonathan Roberts—founder and partner of Ignition Partners—and Elizabeth Roberts, a fashion designer who is actively engaged with a number of local charities.

Cormac Mahoney was named one of Food and Wine’s “Best Chefs in the Country” in 2012 for his work at the “classy, sophisticated” Madison Park Conservatory.


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