Your Brand New Town Hall Dashboard

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Several years ago we embarked upon a long-term project to significantly overhaul our ticketing system. After a strong partnership with our friends at Bold Type Tickets, we knew there was frustration and difficulty in navigating away from our site to purchase tickets, needing to have your member number handy to get access to pre-sales, not being able to renew memberships at the same time as making ticket purchases, issues with password resets, and a multitude of others. Plus, as we’ve been focusing on our digital stage programming, we’ve heard concerns about having to log into another platform to watch events. Much like the building remodel and Homecoming, it’s been quite a journey, with some definite growing pains and unexpected delays, but it’s here! We’ve just introduced my.townhallseattle.org, affectionately known to our team as my.THS, to simplify the process of purchasing, donating and viewing online. 

We want to extend a special note of gratitude to you as a member. Town Hall members have always been core to our mission and community, and they are more essential than ever in supporting our work in this challenging time to continue to foster conversations and community. This support has been instrumental in the creation of My.THS, from providing feedback to help us shape what our needs were, to the financial support to get us started on this project. We are finding joy in celebrating this project milestone, and you are a huge part of that. So thank you, and we hope to see you in my.THS soon!

There are a seemingly endless list of reasons that we’re excited about my.THS,—and new discoveries still to excite us—but we’re going to share just ten of them with you here.

  1. Do you have vouchers associated with your membership? If you are logged in to your account, you will see the vouchers you still have left to redeem and be able to apply them to any tickets you choose when you’re checking out. This also means you don’t have to try to keep track of how many vouchers you have left to use—just log in to my.THS and it will be visible with your member information! As a special bonus, all vouchers totals have been reset with the launch, so you’ll have a full set of those to use.
  2. Trying to access member pricing for an event that has a member discount ticket? In addition to having vouchers readily available, member pricing for tickets is automatically available when you are logged in to your account.
  3. Member status and renewal date can now be checked in my.THS. On the very first screen when you are logged in, you will see your membership information. You can upgrade to a higher membership level, you can add secondary member information, and you can see when you’re getting close to renewal time!
  4. Your email address is only shared with Town Hall. No more third party ticketing or broadcast sites! One of the things we hear often is that our community doesn’t always feel secure with sharing their information to Bold Type Tickets or Crowdcast. my.THS solves that problem.
  5. Less staff time spent working with different systems, which means more time to help out patrons! Our previous ticketing system required quite a bit of time from our patron services team to set up and maintain. Rather than wrestling with systems that don’t work for us, my.THS allows us to cut out the middle men, and allows our team to spend more of their time being available for patron needs.
  6. Coupon codes are easier than ever to use in the new system. From working with our members to rental clients and community partners, having our own system allows us to create coupon codes to serve any purpose, and be 100% controlled by our team. The next time you get a renewal membership letter you might even see a special deal!
  7. Town Hall has more control over the ticket buying process and the information that is included in confirmation emails. Another bummer about using third-party sites is that we didn’t have much control over the communications it would send out for events. Our customization for communications has increased by a magnitude, so we can tell you all the things you might need to know—and omit anything you don’t. It also means that our patron services team is going to be better able to respond to technical problems, because it’ll be our system.
  8. Ticket fees have gone down and now directly support Town Hall. Bold Type Tickets/Stranger Tickets added a flat rate as well as a percentage to calculate their fee, usually working out to about $1.36 for a typical $5 ticket but adding up to $2.54 for a $25 concert ticket. Our fee is $1 per ticket, and rather than supporting a third-party company, now your fee will directly support the creation and maintenance of my.THS, as well as the general operation of the platform.
  9. One log in to rule them all! No more having to remember a bunch of different logins and passwords for ticketing and donations and watching events. You log in to my.THS and you’re all set.
  10. Which brings us to perhaps the best feature: everything is all in one place! Once you’ve registered and logged in, you can buy tickets, watch and rewatch events, renew or upgrade memberships, and donate from one convenient dashboard. You can even buy a ticket for a friend and then email it to them!
We hope you will do some exploring. You can find more information, some video walkthroughs, and screenshots of answers to common questions at our brand new patron services page. This system should make life easier, so as always, please reach out to membership@townhallseattle.org if you have any issues with your membership or patronservices@townhallseattle.org if you have any issues with accessing our events.

A Reflection from Masao Yamada on Global Rhythm’s Mako and Munjuru

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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.

While Mako and Munjuru performed traditional Okinawan music, dance, and storytelling that helps deepen our understanding of their community and culture, I had the very distinct pleasure to have a running commentary from my mom who provided an additional perspective on the traditions of the Okinawan culture. Breaking down the instruments, the different styles of Okinawan music, and the differences between Ryusou Fashion and how it differs from the traditional attire of the main Japanese island. This led us to what we call the “Okinawan Room” at my parents house. Here you can see a beautiful Hanagasa (traditional Okinawan Hat) hanging from the wall and a sanshin on display – just don’t ask any of us to play it.

Watching the performance also led us to some deeper conversations and stories that I had never known: from my mom being taught to hide in the sugar cane fields whenever she saw US military soldiers to using caves for shelter as air strikes were happening to the villages. As my mom told these stories, there was something about having Mako and Munjuru’s style of koten music playing in the background that provided a perfect score to my mom’s life.

I want to thank Town Hall Seattle for providing me the opportunity to openly connect with my culture through their Global Rhythm Series, and more importantly for igniting conversations with my (Okasan) mother about her truths and history of Okinawa. We are planning a trip to the homeland once we feel it is safe to travel again.

Masao Yamada is a community leader who has founded youth programs/organizations with a focus on career development, arts equity, civic engagement, social justice and more. Yamada has recently developed and guided youth in co-founding a youth-led/operated radio station, Ground Zero Radio, and is part of a city-wide Creative Advantage initiative to establish equitable access to arts education for every student in Seattle Public Schools. Yamada currently sits on the Board of Directors for WheelLab and the Intiman Theatre, and is an Board Member for the Melodic Caring Project and One Love Foundation. In summer 202, Yamada became an organizer for the Seattle Children’s March and is an adult advisor to the Youth Advocates for System Change Council. To learn more about Yamada, you can follow him on Instagram @y_masao .


If you missed Mako and Munjuru’s performance, you can still purchase a subscription to the series until March 10, which will grant you exclusive access to a replay of this impactful program.

Black History Month at Town Hall

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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, and the 2021 theme is “Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity,” exploring the African diaspora, and the spread of Black families across the United States. We have put together a calendar of programs that support this theme, and we’ll also be taking a look back in our Media Library at past events that are worth revisiting this month.

Upcoming

Conversations on our In The Moment podcast will feature Black authors and poets throughout the month. (As a reminder, these episodes are released at 1 PM on Mondays, and available anytime after that.) Historian Thomas C. Holt (2/1) will be talking with correspondent and local journalist Mike Davis, contending with how the civil rights movement has been misrepresented and misunderstood. The next week, Shin Yu Pai welcomes poet Gary Copeland Lilley (2/8) to the February Lyric World episode for a dialogue about the creative and intellectual influences that have shaped his work. And finally, poet and novelist Véronique Tadjo (2/22) discusses her new book, a timely fable drawing on real accounts of the Ebola outbreak, with correspondent Kevin Kibet.

Most of us grew up with images of African women that were purely anthropological-bright displays of exotica where the deeper personhood seemed tucked away. Or were chronicles of war and “poverty porn.” But curator Catherine E. McKinley (2/10) says these images tell a different story of African women: how deeply cosmopolitan and modern they are in their style, how they were able to reclaim the tools of the colonial oppression that threatened their selfhood and livelihoods. She’ll be in conversation with fellow curator and designer Erika Dalya Massaquoi to discuss her takeaways while collecting images in her new book The African Lookbook: A Visual History of 100 Years of African Women.

Black contribution to musical history is undeniable. Renowned bass player, five-time Grammy winner, and author Victor L. Wooten (2/13) invites us to stretch our imaginations and our awareness of our interaction with music in a wholly unique presentation that provides a poignant reminder of the healing power—and humanity—in music.

A tiny, fastidiously-dressed man emerged from Black Philadelphia around the turn of the century to become the mentor to a generation of young artists, including Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Jacob Lawrence. He coined the term “New Negro” for this generation, a reference to the creative African Americans whose art, literature, music, and drama would inspire Black people to greatness. Have you heard of Alain Locke? Professor Jeffrey Stewart (2/18) brings Locke’s story to the forefront, exploring his legacy and impact in promoting the cultural heritage of Black people with LaNesha DeBardelaben of the Northwest African American Museum for this co-presented program.

Dr. Ronald A Crutcher (2/20), a national leader in higher education and a distinguished classical musician and Professor of Music, joins us to share lessons captured in his memoir I Had No Idea You Were Black: Navigating Race on the Road to Leadership. He relates how he found success as a Black intellectual steering through highly charged social issues, to become President at the University of Richmond.

Have you wondered how educators can help destroy entrenched inequalities and enact values of Black Lives Matter in their classrooms, schools, and communities? Educators and members of the Black Lives Matter at School movement Jesse Hagopian and Denisha Jones (2/24) have gathered essential essays, interviews, poems, resolutions, and more from educators, students, and activists. They join us to lay bare the institutional racism inherent in our educational system, and present a critical call to radically reshape learning environments.

From the Library

1/19/2021: Tyler Stovall with ChrisTiana ObeySumner about the intertwined histories of racism and freedom, specifically using America and France as reference points

12/14/2020: On this episode of In The Moment, sociologist Matthew Clair discussed how race and class matter in criminal court with correspondent Marcus Harrison Green

12/10/2020: The Seattle Human Rights Commission and UW Center for Human Rights hosted a panel about the Black experience in Seattle

12/8/2020: Michael Eric Dyson talked with Robin DiAngelo about reckoning with race on America

11/15/2020: Tamara Payne—along with her mother and brother—talked about the National Book Award-winning biography of Malcolm X, written over decades by her father, which she completed after his unexpected death

11/9/2020: Daudi Abe talked with Geo Quibuyen about the history of hip hop in Seattle

10/21/2020: A panel hosted by Town Hall, Seattle Disabilities Commission, and Seattle LGBTQ+ Commission discussed the unique wisdom of intersectional identities

10/2/2020: On this episode of In The Moment, professor Dr. Eddie Cole was in conversation with correspondent Shaun Scott about the role of campus activism in the fight for social equality

9/22/2020: Mychal Denzel Smith discussed how he believes there are shortcomings in the stories we tell ourselves about our American identity, in conversation with author R. O. Kwon

9/14/2020: This episode of In The Moment featured acclaimed writer Calvin Baker about his book arguing that the only meaningful remedy to our civil rights efforts is true integration, with correspondent Shaun Scott

9/6/2020: The Deep End Friends podcast talked about Black healing, exploring liberation, healing, hope, joy, and wholeness

And more. Visit our Media Library to see past events.


Black history and Black accomplishments have been minimized and erased, and it is wonderful to be take this time to celebrate Black people’s many contributions, to all industries and communities. But most importantly, Black history is American history—this month and every month—and we look forward to continuing to celebrate Black voices year-round.

Fermata Update | Joshua Talks the Latest TM Concert and the End of His Fermata Residency

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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).

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Fermata Subscriber Exclusive | A Very Personal Performance Of Hallelujah from Joshua Roman

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In this subscriber-only video Joshua performs (both cello and voice) and intimate rendition of Hallelujah.

The Symbiosis Between Town Hall and Bushwick Book Club Seattle

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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, and in some cases have become stronger and more apparent.

The importance of community and relationships also makes complete sense as we struggle through this challenging time. When there’s struggle, it’s always important to reach out a hand to offer help and partnership. Supporting the spectrum of arts, civics  and cultural groups of the city will bring this community to a stronger place. And I hope to continue with partnerships like the one between Town Hall Seattle and Bushwick Seattle.

Town Hall Seattle has always been an organization that reaches out. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from Town Hall is the importance of strong partnerships in the community. Let the roots grow deep with those who share your vision.

I’ve been working at Town Hall in various capacities for many of the past 15 years. I could never bring myself to fully step away from the Town Hall team that has been so supportive and educational for me and my work with Bushwick. I’m still happy to work and stay connected with the event and office staff while I learn more about production and connection. I look forward to supporting Town Hall again in person when we can all be welcomed back into performance spaces.

Over the 10 years of partnership between Town Hall and Bushwick we have seen music inspired by The Bible, Winnie the Pooh, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Humpty Dumpty, Michael Pollen, Cheryl Strayed, and Shel Silverstein—and that’s just to name a few of the wonderful events we’ve shared together on the Town Hall stages. There have been singer-songwriters, authors, poets, full orchestras, bands, choirs, actors, food and most importantly: community.

In 2010, I remember Town Hall’s Executive Director Wier Harman walking into Bushwick’s very first event down at the Can Can Cabaret, ready to support local art and to provide a future stage. I remember Shirley, Ginny, and Mary excitedly bidding on live auction items in our fundraisers! I remember former Town Hall staffer Anthony Detrano offering our education program, STYLE, our very first Seattle Public School contract. I remember Ashley Toia trusting Bushwick to fill in at the last second for a Saturday Family Concert event.

Since Bushwick’s start back in 2010, Town Hall has treated us like a part of the family. encouraging our work and, more importantly, those who are creating the work. Our artwork is hanging on the office walls. Town Hall staff have become Bushwick performers, and Bushwick performers have become Town Hall staff members. We have multiple Town Hall alum sitting on our Board of Directors as we look into the future.

We are proud to call Town Hall Seattle a partner in bringing music, words and education to the Seattle community, and look forward to many more years ahead.

Fermata Teaser | The Impermanence of Time

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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.

Fermata Update | Joshua is DRIVING to San Francisco!

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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.

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Fermata Digital Short | Key of Connection with Aaron Grad

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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.

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Fermata | Bear Creek Recording Session Behind the Scenes

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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.

This cross-disciplinary experience is something I can’t wait to share – we had a unique opportunity to learn from each other because of how the project was set up. Like much of the work I’m doing right now, it required a radical shift in expectations: let go of the results-driven process and instead, be present, generous, and ready to work with the resources you have. Of course we knew we would end up with a recording and a video, but along the way we were able to go so much deeper and come out with something special because we didn’t hold ourselves to a predetermined outcome. Our combined skills, perspectives, equipment, and the magic of time and a beautiful space took us to a place of connection you do not often find when control is the focus rather than trust.

We will update you when this film is completed and can be shared. In the meantime, I hope that the idea of being present and aware inspires you to find gratitude and inspiration from that which is already a blessing in your life.

Peace, Love, and Cello
jR

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