Town Hall Digital Registration Tips & FAQs

As Town Hall continues to pivot and adjust with the ever-changing world, we want to keep you in the know about updates to our livestreaming programs. You made the leap with us, as we (somewhat gracefully) dove into livestreaming last spring. We tested and learned many things and now we are back with new systems in place! Here is what you need to know about livestreaming our content this fall:

After offering free livestream programming since the COVID crisis started, we will be returning to our model of paid registration for digital events. In keeping with Town Hall’s commitment to accessibility, we have several ticket options for our digital events: $5 Individual ticket and a $15 Household ticket. Though we will continue to offer free tickets to anyone 22 & Under, reintroducing ticket income will allow us to continue to produce at our fullest capability.

To buy a ticket:

  1. Click on the event you would like to stream. You will be redirected to Stranger Tickets to complete your purchase.
  2. Choose the appropriate price level: General – $5, Household (3+ people viewing)  – $15, 22 & under – Free
  3. Check out
  4. You will receive a confirmation email of your purchase from Stranger Tickets AND a separate email from Crowdcast with the link to the program.
  5. When you are ready to watch the event, just click on the Crowdcast link and enjoy!

If you would like to watch the event with live captions, join us on Youtube. A link to our Youtube event will be posted on our Crowdcast page in the chat feed.

Want to watch later?

No problem! You can click the Crowdcast link in your email and watch the event anytime you like. You can even rewatch as many times as you’d like. If you’re buying a ticket after the event occurred, you can purchase the replay for $5 through Crowdcast following the event.

Running late to an event?

On Crowdcast it’s easy to rewind an event if you are joining in late. Just hover your cursor over the video and drag it back to the beginning of the event.

Still having complications?

If you have any trouble logging in, or joining the livestream, please feel free to email patronservices@townhallseattle.org. Our friendly Patron Services team will be online before and during each event to assist with any event questions.

Thank you so much for your flexibility and willingness to try new things as we adapt our current systems to continue community conversation.

An End-Of-Season Message from Wier

Looking back, I don’t think anyone will remember Town Hall’s 2019-20 as easy, but it certainly started and ended in celebration. This eventful year featured our first (almost!) full season back in our beautifully renovated building, and a return to our nomadic, Inside/Out years with an (almost!) fully virtual program. I reflected a bit on the highlights of the year in the video below, and I hope you’ll take a look.

I’m in the building once-twice a week, and every time I experience a deep feeling of loss. I wonder when we’ll have a full audience in the Great Hall again; when the building will hum with the energy of multiple events, when we’ll gather for another party in the Reading Room or a pre/post-show drink in the Otto. We don’t know when it will be, but we’re already planning for the time that we can welcome you back, and envisioning how it might work. Here’s our commitment to you for the next season:

  • continued presentation of digitally-produced events
  • livestreaming events that happen once we’re back in the building, in addition to small live audiences when its permitted
  • sustaining our $5 ticket model

Since early March, we’ve offered our digitally-produced events completely free with an option to support us with a donation. Everything you’ve heard about the struggles of non-profits right now is true; and like other organizations, we’re facing decreased revenue and deep impact on our financial stability. Next year’s budget is 65% of our 19-20; to address this shortfall, we’re introducing a $5 charge for our digital events. Though we will continue to offer free tickets to anyone 22 & Under, reintroducing ticket income will allow us to continue to produce at our fullest capability.

Our programming will be dark—and our administrative offices will be closed—from July 3 – July 26. If there is a time-sensitive need while our office is closed, please send us an email at help@townhallseattle.org. We’ll be back in the office on Monday, July 27 returning phone calls and emails. Before we go away for July, be sure to join us for Pramila Jayapal sharing stories of her political and personal history with Naomi Ishisaka on Wednesday, July 1 and a special live episode of Life on The Margins, featuring Ijeoma Oluo, on July 2. We’ll pick up the thread again with a cool program with the Institute for Systems Biology on July 30.

And so here we are—celebrating the start of a new chapter with a new building, and celebrating the start of a new chapter with a new online stage. Wherever we find each other in the year to come, thank you for being essential to Town Hall’s commitment to the truth; to civil discourse; and to strengthening our community, through shared experiences of ideas and arts, at a time when we surely need it.

With gratitude,

Wier Harman
Executive Director

Town Hall Seattle Statement on the Deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd

Whether seen as individual lives tragically taken, or the latest examples of our nation’s 400 year history of systematic disregard for Black Americans, the heartbreaking deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd over just ten weeks have left our nation—and this community—convulsed with grief. As sad and shocking as these stories are we know that they are just the reported examples of an incomprehensible structural crisis, at once too big and too painful to comprehend.

As individuals and as an institution, Town Hall Seattle shares the pain felt by so many. We are in solidarity with our Black and Brown colleagues and community members in the fight for justice against police brutality and the institutionalized racism that enables it.

Town Hall is committed to becoming an anti-racist organization. We have made specific commitments around our present and future operations, with the goal of modeling the society we want to live in. We have a very long way to go toward this goal; more information about that process and our commitments is here.

Left On Red: The Month of Red May, Seattle’s Vacation From Capitalism

Seattle is a city that demands we think outside the box, and few series exemplify this idea quite like Red May. For the month of May, speakers gather to interrogate contemporary issues through the lens of Marxism, political economy, feminism, race, and philosophy. 

During a typical season, May at Town Hall would find fascinating conversations about capitalism and society making their way to our stages. We typically partner with our friends at Red May as part of their eponymous festival of radical art and thought, featuring local and national speakers helping Seattle turn red for a month. As they say, maybe we can’t move beyond capitalism by next week—but we can sure as hell take a vacation from it.

This year, while we won’t be able to keep up the tradition of bringing Red May speakers to our space, you can still take your vacation from capitalism—Red May is broadcasting their full calendar of events! Take a look at some of the highlights from this upcoming month of alternatives to capitalism:

The Antifada podcast (5/7) is a one-stop destination for “Ultra-Left-Post-Posadist-Nihilist-Anarcho-Communist-comedy and politics.” In this episode, our hosts delve into the effects of the coronavirus on our workforce and examine the future of work at a rare moment when almost nobody is working.

Negative solidarity: an aggressively enraged sense of injustice—the belief that “Because I endure lousy working conditions (wage freezes, no benefits, increasing precarity) everyone else must too.” Will this viewpoint expand in scope and intensity after the quarantine? Sit in with Jason Read, Jeremy Gilbert, Jo Isaacson, Steven Shaviro, and moderator Bruno George for a panel discussion on The Future of Negative Solidarity (5/9).

The Dig (5/15) is an acclaimed podcast from Jacobin magazine, featuring journalist and host Dan Denvir. He sits down with Holly Jean Buck from the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability for a discussion on global warming, technology, and the work ahead of us for repairing our relationship with our planet.

The Behind The News podcast (5/21) brings together Asad Haider, Jodi Dean, Leo Panitch and moderator Doug Henwood for a wide-ranging panorama of the current moment: how will the coronavirus affect our country, and what strategies should the Left follow to derail the next push for more austerity?

Dissent magazine has been called one of America’s leading intellectual journals and a mainstay of the democratic left, with a mission to cultivate the next generation of labor journalists, cultural critics, and political polemicists. They bring us an episode of their Belabored podcast (5/24), delivering punchy labor journalism from Cal Winslow and Emily Cunningham with Michel Chen and Sarah Jaffe.

In her book Capital is Dead McKenzie Wark poses a provocative thought experiment: what if we are not in capitalism anymore—but something worse? Political theorist Jodi Dean sits down with Wark with a forward-looking conversation on Communism or Neo-Feudalism (5/25).

Coronavirus has shone a harsh light on the US carceral state. Just like with nursing homes and elder care facilities, the overcrowded and unsanitary conditions at jails, prisons, and penitentiaries are ideal conditions for the incubation and spread of the virus. Red May convenes a panel of local experts for a discussion on The Covid Crisis and the Carceral State (5/30).

Still curious about Red May? You can take a look at their full festival calendar on their website—or dig into previous Red May events at Town Hall with a look into our archives.

Town Hall Livestream Tips & FAQs

With the recent switch from in person to livestreamed events, we’ve received a few questions about where and how to watch events on our digital platform. We understand that livestreaming is a brave new world for some folks, so we thought we’d include a few tips and tricks to make your event viewing just a little easier.

How to watch an upcoming livestream event in Crowdcast 

  1. Visit our Event Listings page.
  2. Choose the event you would like to watch.
  3. Enter a contribution. All events are pay what you will, so any amount from $0-$100 or beyond(!) is welcome.
  4. Next you will be prompted to enter your email address or social media login. 
  5. An email will be sent to confirm your registration, along with the option to add the event to your calendar.* 
  6. Click on the link in the confirmation email to join the event. 
  7. Enjoy!

*Note you may have to download the Crowdcast app if you are watching the event on an Iphone. 

How to watch an upcoming livestream event on Youtube

  1. Visit Town Hall’s YouTube Page.
  2. Click on the event you would like to watch.
  3. Enjoy!*

*If the event is in the future, set a reminder for yourself with the date and time to be sure you don’t miss it!

Want to watch an event after it occurred?

We have a wide range of videos in our archive and most events can be watched after the livestream has occurred. Visit our Media Library archive to enjoy our previous events.

Running late to an event?

On Crowdcast or Youtube, it’s easy to rewind an event if you are joining in late.

Just hover your cursor over the video and drag it back to the beginning of the event.

Still having complications?

If you have any trouble logging in, or joining the livestream please feel free to email patronservices@townhallseattle.org. Our friendly Patron Services team will be online before and after each event to assist with any event questions. 

Thank you so much for being patient and willing to try new things as we develop systems to continue community conversation in the new world!

Stay safe and be well,

– Your friends at Town Hall

Updates: Town Hall and the Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Friends,

On March 23, Governor Inslee issued a shelter-in-place order for all individuals, with the exception of essential workforce. That description of essential workforce includes allowances for “artists and musicians providing services through streaming,” provided guidelines around safe assembly are also followed. No more than 10 artists and technicians can be present at these events, and social distancing and enhanced hygienic measures must be employed.

That means Town Hall is able to continue to offer its program of livestreams—many in collaboration with partners like Earshot Jazz, CityClub, and Citizen University—for the foreseeable future. If you squint, maybe it’ll feel like we brought Town Hall over to your house, without the squeezing past people to find your seat.

How long is “foreseeable”? Well THAT’s anyone’s guess—but know that we are committed to playing our part in the heavy worldwide lift to blunt the impact of Covid-19, AND doing what we can to support and sustain Town Hall’s close-in community of artists and presenters, organizations and audiences.

It’s a community that has been tended and nourished by trust and good will for nearly 21 years—and coming off the achievement of our capital work together, that bond feels especially strong right now. We work to keep open lines of communication—always and forever—so please let me know if you have any ideas, questions or concerns.

Wier Harman
Executive Director


March 11, 2020

Hello friends,

In light of Governor Inslee’s declaration this morning restricting public gatherings, Town Hall has suspended in-person attendance at programming throughout our building—including our smaller performance spaces unaffected by his announcement—until March 31. The period of closure may ultimately prove to be longer, but for now please check our website for information on the status of individual programs in April and beyond. We will share more general updates as soon as we have them, and feel free to reach out to info@townhallseattle.org with specific questions.

While our building will not be open to the public, we are presently exploring prospects for digital delivery/livestreams of some currently-announced and soon-to-be-announced programs. More information will follow later this week.

If you have purchased tickets to one or more events during this time and would like a refund, please contact us at patronservices@townhallseattle.org. We also hope you will consider supporting Town Hall during this financially challenging time by not requesting a refund and treating the price of the ticket as a contribution.

We at Town Hall are awed by the sense of collective responsibility and sacrifice emerging across our community—the realization that our only chance to bend the curve of infection is through coordinated action.

This time asks for maximum patience and understanding, even as it asks us to make choices we’d thought impossible even days ago. It will not be easy, but let’s try to find a sense of our own power now, by imagining what we can accomplish together.

Wier Harman
Executive Director

__________________________________________________________________________

March 6, 2020

Hello friends,

Town Hall exists to inspire a healthy, sustainable community that supports and cares for one another. Now, as people across our region and around the world grow more concerned about the spread of COVID-19, ideas of “health” and “community” have taken on a more direct meaning.

Our leadership team meets daily to share news and coordinate response regarding the coronavirus, so we are able to adjust our approach based on the most current information available. And so, like other organizations lighting up your inbox today, we want to take a moment to address our approach to the coordinated regional response, and what it means for upcoming programs. Here are some things to know:

–We are taking our advice and direction from Public Health—Seattle & King County, along with other sources. The latest general statement from the agency can be found here: https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/news/2020/March/5-slowing-the-impact.aspx

–At this time, we have determined that we will remain open and continue presenting events for the foreseeable future.

However, a look at our calendar will show that a number of programs are being cancelled or postponed at the request of presenters or institutional partners. In these cases, we are working quickly to notify ticket buyers directly about cancellations and to share new dates for postponements. Information about requesting refunds and automatic rescheduling of tickets for postponed events is included in these specific event-by-event communications.

–In light of this, we recommend that you check your email, our website, and/or our social media channels for the latest information about an event you are planning to attend.

–For events which are taking place, know that we are implementing additional disinfection measures across all areas of our building, with special focus on high-traffic areas and objects that are regularly touched (including door knobs, counters/tables, elevator keypads, etc). We are also working to create greater distance between seats, when it is feasible.

–Meanwhile, audience members can take a variety of precautions. First, evaluate whether you should be considered a “person at higher risk,” advised to stay home and away from large groups and gatherings where there will be close contact with others—like Town Hall. People at higher risk include:

    • People 60 and older
    • People with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
    • People who have weakened immune systems
    • People who are pregnant

For all other attendees:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Practice excellent personal hygiene habits, including washing your hands with soap and water frequently, coughing into a tissue or your elbow, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Stay away from people who are ill, especially if you are at higher risk for coronavirus.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects within your home (like doorknobs and light switches). Regular household cleaners are effective.
  • Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy foods, and manage your stress to keep your immunity strong

–Know that many Town Hall programs are made available as audio and video recordings. And while we are presently in the middle of transition in our livestreaming capability in the renovated building, we hope to have this resolved soon, and to encourage it as a viable option for staying in touch with our programs in real time.

Finally, we encourage everyone to read these recommendations from the King County Public Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control for reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection for ourselves and others. 

Stay healthy, and we look forward to seeing you this spring! 

Wier Harman
Executive Director

Town Hall’s Statement Concerning the Ongoing Coronavirus Outbreak

Town Hall Seattle is committed to the health and safety of everyone who attends our events. With this in mind we are closely monitoring both the global and local status of the coronavirus outbreak, as well as insights and recommendations from health organizations including Public Health Seattle and King County, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and others.

We want to reassure the total Town Hall community—partners, presenters, and audiences—that we’re both recommitting to our standard practices and introducing new precautions, such as extra cleanings of high traffic areas and objects that are regularly touched (including door knobs, handles, elevator keypads, etc).

You can assist in preventing the spread of coronavirus and other contagions by thoroughly and carefully washing your hands regularly; staying home if you have a fever, cough, or other serious symptoms (especially since Town Hall’s events are often audio-recorded and/or filmed. Check here for the latest); and monitoring local news for advice about keeping yourself and loved ones safe in case of an outbreak.

If authorities issue advice to stay home or avoid non-essential activities, and/or suggest the organization should cancel events, we will prioritize the health and safety of our audiences and our employees. We will alert the entire Town Hall community through various channels immediately should a cancellation(s) arise.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

We Did It!

Our General Manager, Mary Cutler, floated into the office this morning, arms swaying and voice sing-song: “Today is a normal day. Let’s all pretend it’s a normal day.” It is, decidedly, not a normal day. But we echoed her feigned calm and did our best to think about anything other than what was happening across the street. Our final inspection was underway. If given the thumbs up, the building—after nearly two full seasons of renovation—would officially be ours again.

That calm pretense was traded for cheers as Mary shared the good news: we passed. As of 11:46 am today, May 16, Town Hall Seattle is no longer a construction site.

The staff raced over and (without hard hats!) entered through the freshly painted 8th Ave doors, explored stairwells, and marveled at the Reading Room’s bare but beautiful form. We gathered on the Great Hall stage to pop a bottle of champagne, toast one another and the community that made this possible—and also to really feel what’s on the horizon. Wier’s toast hit home: “Twenty years of Town Hall. And now, right now, we get to start it all again.”

Whether you’ve been with us since 1999, met us during Inside/Out, or are stumbling across this post because a friend happened to share a link: we are so incredibly glad you’re here. The future and possibilities of Town Hall have never been quite so bright, and each of us are necessary to manifesting its potential.

We mean that in the grand sense, and also in the practical. This summer is our soft launch; there’s still a lot of fine tuning ahead of us and we need your help–your presence and participation–to get it right. Please lend us your patience (and opinions!) as we grow into the new building, and we hope you’ll enjoy new details coming into place every time you visit this spring and summer (from smaller items like wayfinding signage to big things like bar service and commissioned artwork). With your help, the building will be the best version of itself in time for our big Homecoming festival this September!

Our very first event in the Great Hall is just days away (Tuesday, May 21), and we can’t imagine a more fitting debut for the room. Joshua Roman, our longtime friend and Town Music Artistic Director, will lend us his virtuosic talents in a solo cello concert. There are still a few tickets remaining, and we hope you’ll join us to help mark the moment.

Even as we celebrate the end of our own renovation, we should note: more than just Town Hall has been under construction. Our full block is in the midst of being developed. While the plaza and Ovation towers are being built, the Forum is accessible via our new at-grade West Entrance, reachable from the loading zone on Seneca street.

An Important Update About Our Renovation

Dear friends,

Although our calendar has been a little quieter over these last weeks the work behind the scenes at Town Hall has never been more intense. Our staff is excitedly planning for the opportunities of a transformed building as both our renovation and the capital campaign approach their finale. However, amid all our energy and optimism, I’m writing with disappointing news regarding construction setbacks.

Our general contractor, Rafn, has encountered new and significant issues with plaster in the Great Hall and on the second floor that will affect the timeline of our reopening. Complications like these are unusual so close to completion, and we’re working with Rafn to understand the problem and its implications for our schedule. While they have yet to propose a new timeline, as of today they’re anticipating a 60-day delay. This team was selected especially for its experience with historic renovations, so we’re relying on their expertise to choose doing the work “right” over doing it “fast.”

All of which means we won’t be able to move back in time for our planned Homecoming festival. So much heart and hustle has gone into booking an outstanding lineup of Town Hall and partner-produced programs—it isn’t possible to simply slide the whole thing over by a month or two. So we’ve decided to move the festival to September, in order to present a lineup that’s as exciting and vibrant as the one we had planned. 

But don’t worry—we won’t be “dark” this whole time. In March we’ll return to hosting events in venues throughout the city. And the project truly is in its homestretch, as any tour of the building will attest. We will reopen in just a few months—we just don’t have an exact date yet—and we’ll start producing programs back home as soon as we have our certificate of occupancy (likely well before the official festival). We’ll ask for your goodwill as we start living into our building’s new spaces, systems, and capacities as we discover the place all over again together. And we’ll ask for your honest feedback to help us fine-tune the new (and familiar) Town Hall experience.

Over nearly 20 years Town Hall has come to mean so many things to this city—to some it’s a nonstop calendar of ideas, creativity, and activism; to others it’s a tool of expression and organization, or even a “feeling” of community, or a link to “old Seattle.” And to our staff, board, and volunteers, it’s an act of hospitality—an invitation to a more informed, engaged and connected life in this city. The building is a monument to (and an instrument of) all this, and more.

Together we’re not just restoring a landmark building—we’re securing Town Hall’s unique role as a people’s hall, for our generation and those to follow. It is only possible with you and through you. It really is your Town Hall—stay close now and you’ll feel it as we all come home together.

– Wier

P.S. As always, we want to hear from you. Please reach out to Missy Miller (Communications Director) if you have any questions or concerns.

Welcome to the Town Crier

“A city’s streets to me are like the wrinkles on an old face,” wrote Margaret Bundy, the editor of Seattle’s Town Crier from 1930 to 1934. “They depict the comedy and tragedy of the life that has passed there; in short, they reflect character.” Town Hall has reflected the character of Seattle for 20 years. As a shared stage for Seattle’s cultural producers and civic groups, Town Hall is where Seattle comes together—to express our creativity, to listen and be heard, and to consider what sort of future we want to create together. And housed in a 102-year-old landmark building, we feel a deeply rooted connection to our town’s history.

That said, welcome to our new blog, the Town Crier, harkening back to our past while propelling us forward.

The original Town Crier was a weekly magazine, published between 1910 and 1938. It focused on Seattle’s news, arts, and culture. It represented a diversity of local voices, featuring artists, musicians, photographers, actors, and more, alongside reviews of local performances and discussions of local, national, and international events. The parallels to our own bustling, broad calendar are undeniable, and as we revitalize our century-old building (its set to reopen in March 2019!)—giving new life to an old name feels especially appropriate.

Town Hall strives to capture today’s voices, just as The Town Crier did a century ago, in fresh and illuminating ways. Through our blog, we’ll profile Town Hall’s speakers past and present—visionaries and thought leaders in the arts, sciences, and civics. We’ll interview Seattle’s policy makers and culture shifters. We’ll invite our community to contribute their own words and experiences. We’ll have a little fun. We’ll ask questions, and by doing so, hopefully we’ll all learn something new. Because Town Hall is a place to reflect—and inspire—our best impulses: creativity, empathy, and the belief that we all deserve a voice.

We look forward to sharing this all with you in Town Hall’s official blog, the Town Crier.

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