Listening Guide: In The Moment Ep. 37


In episode #37 of In The Moment, Chief Correspondent Steve Scher talked with Alva Noë (5:48) about the philosophy of baseball. Noë explores the benefits of a slow and easy game and how it provides time and room for reflection. He asserts that, in a way, we’re all playing the game by asking the same questions as the players do in the moment. The pair pays tribute to ex-Mariners player Ichiro Suzuki and the generational magic of watching a game with your kids, meeting the players, and catching a ball. 

Host Jini Palmer talked with Edward Wolcher and Megan Castillo (17:50), Town Hall’s Curator of Lectures and Community Engagement Manager, about our upcoming Homecoming festival in September. They tell us about the lineup of speakers, artists, and fun unique programs in store—what’s new, what to expect, and what to look out for. 


Still Curious?

-Hear a Big Think interview with Alva Noë discussing contemporary research on human consciousness.

-Join Edward Wolcher for a discussion on solving climate change in an August installment of Town Hall’s beloved Penny University series.

-Check out Town Hall’s Homecoming Festival lineup!

Listening Guide: In The Moment Ep. 36


In episode #36 of In The Moment, Correspondent Grace Madigan sits down with Ed Levine (3:33) to explore his journey and the inspirations that led him to create his food blog Serious Eats. Levine names some of his favorite foods and food memories, and delves into the ways his passion for food has always brought him joy.

Chief Correspondent Steve Scher talks with Charles Fishman (12:07) about the unsung heroes of NASA behind our trip to the moon. Although the astronauts got all the coverage at the time, Fishman talks about his fascination with the people involved behind the scenes. Fishman and Steve chat about how people love space—whether it’s the hardware, the equipment, or the museums. They close with a discussion of the ways in which the things we do on earth requires outreach and investment into space in the form of satellites and other infrastructure.

Host Jini Palmer highlights a segment from Lee McIntyre (21:49) in his June 3 program in defense of science. McIntyre contends that scientific evidence can’t be used to convince people who don’t believe in evidence. He tells us that in order to sway anti-evidence thinkers, we need to influence their reasoning and establishing trust. McIntyre outlines how people often believe speakers who they think they can trust rather than listening to facts, data, and science. With the rise of the information age, McIntyre asserts that people can go online and find multiple arguments—many of which are conspiratorial and unsupported—that support their views. He closes by arguing that this trend is creating what he calls a “culture of denial.”

Still Curious?

Charles Fishman appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air to discuss his upcoming book about the 1969 moon landing, One Giant Leap.

-Check out Ed Levine’s blog Serious Eats—just be prepared to get hungry!

In an interview with CBC Radio, Lee McIntyre expounds on the “culture of denial” facing modern science.

Listening Guide: In The Moment Ep. 34

Episode 34:

Bonus Content:

This listening guide is a two-parter! In episode #34 of In The Moment, Chief Correspondent Steve talks with Rachel Louise Snyder (5:25) about her research on domestic abuse and sexual intimate partner violence. Snyder upends many myths and misunderstandings about what is commonly called “domestic violence.” She outlines how even the language we use doesn’t fully capture its insidiousness. Snyder addresses domestic violence as a global epidemic and talks about how some people are trying to end it.

Host Jini Palmer covers a conversation between Executive Director Wier Harman and Town Hall founder David Brewster (15:51). Wier and David spoke at this year’s Director’s Dinner about Town Hall’s past, present and future. David gives us a glimpse into some of the problems he ran into when trying to get Town Hall off the ground, and they banter about the visions and plans for Town Hall that have stayed true since the beginning.

Then in a bonus episode, Correspondent Charles Cross talks with John Waters (1:08) about his transgressive movies, living with stars, and some shared moments in Seattle. Waters reflects on what he’s learned along the way and where he’s going now.


Still Curious?

-Rachel Louise Snyder has spoken in numerous segments on NPR’s “All Things Considered” as well as APM’s “Marketplace” and PRX’s “Global Guru” series.

-Interested in attending next year’s Director’s Dinner? Town Hall members get an invitation every year! To learn about other benefits of membership, visit our membership page.

-Check out this NPR spotlight featuring John Waters on the May 20, 2019 episode of Fresh Air.

Listening Guide: In The Moment Ep. 33

 

In episode #33 of In The Moment, Chief Correspondent Steve Scher talks with Sandro Galea (3:55) about reforming America’s way of thinking about health. Galea invites us to think beyond just insurance and access to doctors or medicine, instead widening our scope to talk about larger systemic issues: how diseases that are biological, environmental, are also inextricably related to stress, opportunity, and security. He asserts that we need to think about health economically and socially, as an issue related to larger political decisions. Galea says that experiences, opportunities, health are a product of our entire life—much of which we have no direct control over. According to him, it’s incorrect and unfair to assume that people have full autonomy over their health; we have to recognize that our collective well-being is a collective responsibility.

Correspondent Minh Nguyen talks with Nancy Fraser and Bhaskar Sunkara (14:02) about how America has been in a political state of neoliberalism roughly 30 years, and how this system is now being widely challenged and questioned. Fraser says that, by coupled terms like “feminism” and “anti-racism” with the progressive neoliberal agenda, neoliberalism led to the election of Donald Trump. She asserts that neoliberalism has contributed to union-breaking, financialisation, and policies that have hollowed the living standards of all working class Americans. Nancy underscores her hope that the public at large can gain a larger understanding that we live in a classist society—one which she hopes we can transform into democratic socialism. Sunkara outlines the idea of what democratic socialism means to them, emphasizing the need for the redistribution of wealth and power. He expresses the importance of the idea that things can change, entreating politicians to lay out clear agendas for reform rooted in real needs.

And host Jini Palmer shares her discussions with Ray Williams (25:08) of Black Farmers’ Collective, as well as other volunteers at our Town Green Day of Service. Jini talks with Ray about the Collective’s plans for creating a model for sustainable urban farming. Their current project is in its beginning stages, and Ray outlines plans for the farm to expand and include a gathering space, an ADA accessible path from the street, and a trench for collecting rainwater. He discusses his hopes for the involvement of local chefs, the gathering of compost and building supplies, and the increased support of local businesses and the community as a whole.


Still Curious?

-Sandro Galea expounds on his collective approach to health in an interview with WBUR.

-Town Hall’s event with Nancy Fraser and Bhaskar Sunkara is part of Red May, Seattle’s month-long festival of radical art and thought. We’re hosting two more of the festival’s events, one on May 17 and one on May 23.

-Want to get to know the work of the Black Farmers’ Collective? Check out their website!

Listening Guide: In The Moment Episode 31


In episode #31 of In The Moment, Chief Correspondent Steve Scher talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith (3:45) about the incredible groundswell of community movements that took place around the time of the 2018 election. Smith comments on the remarkable strides made in just one year, with states adopting gerrymandering reform to combat election rigging, restoring voting rights for felons, and securing public funding for campaigns. Smith shares the hope he felt from these election results and real moments of democratic change—and the broader movements they inspired.

Then, correspondent Reagan Jackson talks with renowned Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (17:36) about his proudest memory. Thiong’o responds with a story of his mother, who put him through school and instilled in him the value of always doing his best, even though she couldn’t read or write. Thiong’o also discusses the time he spent in exile and the reason he was incarcerated by the Kenyan regime for over a year after the release of his landmark play Ngaahika Ndeenda. Thiong’o and Jackson talk about the current political climate, Thiong’o’s hopes for the future of his own legacy, and the importance of authors writing in their native tongue to preserve the philosophy and culture each language contributes to the world.

And host Jini Palmer shares recordings from the Town Hall community, who provided questions for therapy columnist Lori Gottlieb (25:22) in preparation for her arrival on Town Hall’s stage on April 10, 2019. Jini presents Gottlieb’s insightful responses to each of these intriguing and personal questions.


Still Curious?

-Hedrick Smith appears in numerous video discussions of democracy, including this video exploration of the material in his book Who Stole The American Dream?

In this video interview, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o shares his thoughts on memories and how they make us who we are.

Lori Gottlieb writes the column Dear Therapist for The Atlantic, where she addresses many of the same kinds of questions that the Town Hall community asked.

-Town Hall’s Jonathan Shipley interviewed Lori Gottlieb for our blog. Check out their conversation on the Town Crier!

Listening Guide: In The Moment Ep. 30


In episode #30 of In The Moment, correspondent and Grist editor Matt Craft sat down with journalist Dahr Jamail (2:17) to discuss his experience exploring different parts of the world to witness climate change firsthand. Jamail explains that he believes that one of the major causes of climate disruption comes from people growing disconnected with nature—they just adjust a thermostat and don’t see the impact on the environment around them. Craft and Jamail discuss dealing with the heaviness of the topic, and how Jamail sees climate change scientists looking at their research as soldiers on a battlefield. He nods to the bleakness of our environmental future, and entreats us to act and preserve the land before it’s too late.

Chief Correspondent Steve Scher interviews Siri Hustvedt (12:28) about whether we can trust our own memories to be accurate or if we use memories to construct fictions for ourselves. Hustvedt recalls reading Emily Dickinson at a young age, musing on the idea that her younger self could never have understood what those poems were about. Still, they inspired her to write back then, but what her older self remembers and what the younger self wrote about are different. Hustvedt reconciles the differences between past and present, delving into the ways her writing has evolved and the ways we’re all constantly changing.

And host Jini Palmer highlights a  theatrical radio performance from the Mahogany Project for the 13th annual Urban Poverty Forum (24:16). The Mahogany Project shines a light on the facts and repercussions of the U.S. worldwide military presence, our military aid in eradicating terrorist groups, and delves into the consequences of our massive national military spending. They share details on the disproportionately low pay offered to U.S. troops despite the large federal military budget, and the blowback of this spending on taxpayers in the form of reduced resources for housing, healthcare, food, and education.

Still Curious?

-Dahr Jamail has written many articles for online publications such as Truthout.org, including this video discussion of climate change.

-Siri Hustvedt discusses the striking similarities between physicists and poets in this video interview.

-Town Hall presented the 12th annual Urban Poverty Forum last year. You can listen to a recording of the full event in our podcast archive.

-Want more details about U.S. military spending? The Department of Defense website offers an overview of the 2019 military budget, as well as archived overviews from previous years.

Listening Guide: In The Moment Ep. 29




In episode #29 of In The Moment, correspondent Katy Sewall talks with John Lanchester (3:58) about his book The Wall. They delve into Lanchester’s inspiration for the book—a recurring dream. Lanchester recounts the prescient nature of his dream, which took place before discussions of Brexit and Trump’s border wall. The dream took place in the future of our world impacted by global climate change and a rising sea level, and followed a lone figure standing on a dark, cold wall. Scher and Lanchester explore the notion that walls such, though typically made for security and safety, often create exclusion and othering for those on the opposite side. Lanchester says that those who participate in othering must make constantly make excuses and seek justifications, and must train themselves to see the others as people wholly unlike themselves. In order to change how people see the world, says Lanchester, we need imaginative works of fiction.

Chief Correspondent Steve Scher interviews renowned biologist Frans de Waal (12:20) about our assumptions about animals. They discuss the common perception that animals only have instincts or minimal associative learning. De Waal recalls how in the 1990s his contemporaries laughed off his proposed theories of animal empathy and sympathy—yet he continued his research undaunted, inspired by the close relationships and knowledge he had developed about the primates he worked with. He discusses the process of measuring the physiological effects of emotions in animals, as opposed to feelings which are individual experiences. De Waal also reports that he’s just as happy to work with animals while relying solely on observations.

And host Jini Palmer sits down with Town Hall’s Marketing Manager Jonathan Shipley (21:44) to discuss the Town Crier blog and his interview with translator Michael Straus. Shipley discusses how he learned that the process of translation is not verbatim, but a more complex consideration of finding the “spirit” of the text. Jini and Jonathan delve into the importance of the translator as a part of the finished work, and of the ways which audiences interpret or receive that work.

Still Curious?

-Frans da Waal gave an enlightening TED talk on the moral behavior of animals.

-NPR offers a fascinating recorded interview with John Lanchester about one of his previous books How To Speak Money.

-You can read Jonathan’s interview with Michael Straus on the Town Crier.

In the Moment Bonus Episode (Construction and Reopening)

In this bonus episode of In The Moment  host Jini Palmer talks with Wier Harman while touring the Town Hall construction site. 

On an exclusive tour of the building with Town Hall’s executive director, Wier Harman, they discuss the construction delays. Town Hall will open soon after they get their certificate of occupancy. They are planning on having events in the new space by June.

In the meantime, Town Hall will present compelling events taking place in venues throughout the city this spring. Coming events include Amber Tamblyn, the Okee Dokee Brothers, Frances de Waal, and more. Wier gives Jini his picks for ‘not to be missed’ events.

Wier also chats about Town Hall’s Take the Stage campaign, where you can purchase a plank with your name on it that will be a permanent part of Town Hall’s Great Hall stage.

Finally, Wier shares with Jini about what will transpire in September: Town Hall’s Grand Re-opening Festival.

Learn about this exciting moment in Town Hall’s history as they excitedly look forward to the coming year! 

Listening Guide: In The Moment Bonus Episode (Global Rhythms)



In this bonus episode of In The Moment, get an inside look at the past and present of our Global Rhythms series! Host Jini Palmer talks with Spider Kedelsky, the founder of the Global Rhythms series. He recalls how the music series came to be and shares his experience working with different groups and musicians over the years. In the 1990’s Spider explored different cultural groups and communities throughout Seattle to bring a diversity of music and traditions to Town Hall’s stages, before broadening the reach of the series to include sounds and traditional arts from around the globe. Then Jini sits down with Jon Kertzer, current curator of our Global Rhythms series, to find out how he got involved with Global Rhythms and learn about his experience in radio and his interest in world music.

He explores this season’s Breaking Borders theme, highlighting the ways which the music of numerous immigrant cultures form the foundation of American music—making it all the more crucial that we celebrate them. Kertzer discusses Mamak Khadem (22:34), who performed the season’s inaugural concert in December, and highlights her established roots in the Iranian community. Kertzer discusses the Pedrito Martinez Group (23:27), a fun high-energy Cuban percussion band featuring members from several parts of Latin America. Next he discusses Lorraine Klaasen (25:03), a South-African jazz singer based in Montreal whose Town Hall show will be her first performance in Seattle. The back-to-back performances of Mokoomba and Chimurenga Renaissance (27:18) break the mold a bit according to Kertzer, since Mokoomba is coming from South Africa and Chimurenga are first generation Americans. These two groups have always wanted to play together, and this will be the first time they’re sharing the stage. To wrap up the series Kertzer discusses Kinan Azmeh (30:30), an amazing Syrian musician classically trained at Juilliard whose techniques merge Western classical music with Middle Eastern Folk traditions.

Learn about the history of our Global Rhythms series—and about the unforgettable lineup that’s approaching this season!

Listening Guide: In The Moment Bonus Episode (Town Music)


In this music-oriented bonus episode of In The Moment, host Jini Palmer sits down with with Joshua Roman, curator of our Town Music series, for a conversation on all things chamber music. They explore the theatrical aspects of live performance, and Joshua gives us a window into the mind of a curator, offering us snapshots of his process for choosing musicians and arranging lineups each season.

After that, Jini and Joshua discuss stand-out elements of each of the concerts in our 2018-19 Town Music season. For the first performance, Sideshow by Talea Ensemble (15:50), Roman highlights the theatrical spin that the piece brings to chamber music—utilizing props, facial expressions and tightly controlled body movements to evoke the dark surreal nature of 20th-century Coney Island freak shows. Then he takes a look at Third Coast Percussion (18:20), the Grammy-winning Chicago quartet who will be presenting an avant garde percussion quartet commissioned by Philip Glass—his first-ever for percussion! Jini and Joshua also touch on Piano Ki Avaaz (22:00), the piano trio commissioned by rising star composer Reena Esmail. The piece is her first-ever piano trio composition, and it utilizes her signature techniques of incorporating Indian classical music into western classical style. And finally, Jini and Joshua explore Bach to Bates (25:12)—a concert juxtaposing classical works by Bach alongside cutting-edge commissions from Grammy-nominated composer Mason Bates, who employs a unique integration of electronic sounds and styles into his symphonic compositions.

Get inside the mind of a curator in this special episode, and learn about all the ways you can experience the cutting edge of chamber music and enjoy classical repertoire in new ways.

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