April is National Volunteer Month

April is National Volunteer Month, and Town Hall would \like to say thank you to everyone who has volunteered with usl.  Volunteers make our events possible, introduce new people to Town Hall, and offer invaluable support in our offices. More than 120 of you dedicate your time and efforts to help our community–thank you!

We spoke with a few of our most steadfast volunteers about their experience with Town Hall:

I learned about Town Hall shortly before moving to Seattle in January 2014 and I just knew it would be a place I would feel at home.  I love being involved with such a vibrant, vital community organization. Town Hall always makes me feel valued as a member and a volunteer. It’s my happy place.” -Wendy

I like that I can volunteer for author talks, radio shows, spelling bees, children’s concerts . . .  I can also choose to stay for the event or not, and/or leave early to catch a bus. . . Both the staff and the volunteers are interesting people, and most times I learn something from them during the shift. For the most part, people who attend events appreciate that we are volunteers and are doing our best to make sure they have a good experience.” –Sarah Horrigan

“I started volunteering when I moved here. So far it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time. I look at Town Hall as my “food” for thought. So I have dinner there a lot.” -Lucy Bauer

Thank you! If you’re interested in volunteering with Town Hall, we’re currently looking for:

  • Photographers to capture our events. Enjoy free tickets and insider access to our events, and help us document this amazing year spent Inside/Out. Interested? Contact: marcom@townhallseattle.org
  • Volunteers to table at events, helping patrons become new members, answering questions, and sharing your love for Town Hall. Interested parties should contact: membership@townhallseattle.org

Volunteers to support our events at the box office, check-in, as well as ushering and assisting patrons. Interested parties should contact: production@townhallseattle.org

Distilled Tickets are on sale now!

Inside/Out has introduced us to new community members and given us the opportunity to confront and overcome new challenges—and we’ve felt the support of you, our Members, every step of the way. Your commitment and belief in Town Hall has made it possible for us to program an experimental season while diving wholeheartedly into the exciting, new, and unfamiliar. That’s why yours are the familiar faces we’re most excited to see at this year’s Distilled fundraiser on May 18!

Distilled is Town Hall’s annual fundraiser where we boil down the essence of our organization–the empathy of an organizer, curiosity of a scientist, creativity of the artist, voice of the people–into a night of celebration and support. We’ve programmed an evening that embraces the new while capturing the soul and substance of Town Hall—a dash of civics, a splash of art, a heap of fun! Your night begins with a cocktail party at Canvas’ sleek modern event space in SODO alongside fellow Town Hall supporters and a few Seattle luminaries. Together, we’ll enjoy signature drinks from Sound Spirits, delicious hors d’oeuvres, games, and great conversation. The festivities continue with live music, a program featuring friends of Town Hall, a classic address from Executive Director Wier Harman, and a chance to raise your paddle in support of Town Hall.

Town Hall is more than a building; it’s the act of coming together. Wherever the like-minded and curious minds of our city gather to support bold ideas becomes a laboratory for brewing change. Town Hall’s magic is found in the warmth of our community and the buzz of inspired ideas. So whether we’re mingling in the Great Hall or somewhere entirely new, it’s our community and our devoted Members that comprise Town Hall’s lifeblood.

Come together for a night of cocktails, conversation, and music, and the opportunity to raise-the-paddle in support of accessible and enriching programming for all. Add your love to the mixture and help us concoct the essential night out for Town Hall!

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Thank You for Your Civic Action

We want to extend a huge and heartfelt “THANK YOU!” to all our members, donors, and fans who supported the King County Access for All campaign this summer. While the measure didn’t quite garner enough votes, it was still encouraging to see so much passionate support and collaboration from our whole cultural community.

Below is a message from the Executive Director of Cultural Access Washington, which conveys our shared  gratitude and optimism.


Dear Supporter of Access for All,

On behalf of Cultural Access Washington, thank you again for your financial support of the Access for All campaign. As you have seen, the measure came within about 7,500 votes of passing out of more than 437,000 votes cast. It is a blow to lose, particularly by such a narrow margin.  Still, with your support, our campaign accomplished much.

Although the measure was defeated, the effort to broaden access to cultural activities is very much alive. The board of Cultural Access Washington is now at work with a task force to analyze election results and recommend a path forward which may include another run at the ballot for Access for All.

This effort started more than a decade ago. It is obviously challenging, but the benefits of passing a measure—especially one that incorporates all that has been learned through these past months—is a goal very much worth pursuing.

We will continue to keep you posted on next steps. Thank you for your strong and inspiring support. We are confident that together we will pass a program that will serve all members of this region for many years to come.

Best Regards,

James A. Kraft

Executive Director

Cultural Access Washington

Make a difference in King County–Advocate for Access for All!

Ten years in the making, Access for All is a King County ballot initiative to increase funding for arts, science, and heritage organizations throughout King County. Access for All is a county-wide continuation of the multi-year, state-wide campaign called Cultural Access Washington, or CAWA. Last summer, CAWA advocates were successful in advocating for the passage of new legislation that would allow counties in Washington State to vote on a sales tax levy of 0.01% (one penny per $10) for art and culture funding in their county—just $2 per month for the average taxpayer.

Now, Access for All is building on that success by leading a campaign to put an arts funding measure on the August 2017 ballot for King County. This moment is critical for the future of arts, science, and heritage education in King County and we need your help! The King County Council is deliberating right now on whether to send this issue to a public vote. Your voice can have tremendous impact at this moment!

1) Write and call your King County Council members this weekend,
and tell them you support Access for All! You can look up your county district councilmember here, and write them directly through Access for All’s website.

2) Write a letter to the editor of your local news outlet about why arts, science and heritage education is important for our community. (It’s important to talk about all three disciplines, not just one!)

3) Use your own social media! Talk to your personal networks about arts, science and heritage education and why Access for All matters.

Time is of the essence: April 17 is a key deadline. That’s when the Council will be meeting to vote on whether this measure will be included on the August 2017 ballot. If we’re voted down, we’d have to try again for the next ballot cycle and risk losing critical support and momentum while we waited.

Nonprofit arts, heritage, and scientific organizations of every size throughout the county would receive significant support to increase their public benefits, access, equity and education activities. At a time when arts and humanities funding is threatened across our nation, Access for All represents a critical opportunity to stand up for cultural expression, to advance our county’s arts and culture ecosystem, and to close the opportunity gaps for marginalized students and families all across King County.

Town Hall stands strongly in support of Access for All. In addition to strengthening partnerships with organizations throughout King County, this initiative would provide Town Hall reliable, sustainable, and significant support to expand access to our programs and fund more youth and in-school education.

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 (www.lovethistown.townhallseattle.org) 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!

What is your personal platform?

Claim this coming Inauguration Day as your own. What is your personal platform? What fundamental values support it? What is the most pressing challenge facing your family, or your neighborhood, or city, or state, or planet, over the next four years? What will you advocate, and what will you defend? And most important, what are you going to do?

On Friday Jan. 20, Town Hall will open its doors at 8 a.m. to witness the induction of a new U.S. President. Then, in partnership with The Stranger, from 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. a selected group of citizens from across our region will be invited to declare their own platforms in a two-minute (350 word) inaugural address from the Great Hall stage, captured on video.

We will record your address in a simple, one-take video to be published to both the Town Hall and The Stranger websites. To submit your platform for consideration, send an email to info@townhallseattle.org with the subject line “Inauguration.” Include your name, phone number, one to three issues you will address in your platform. Please disclose professional or volunteer affiliations in the areas you plan to address. (This will not disqualify you. We just want to be aware.)

If you are selected, we will be in touch with more details. Your inauguration platform submission is due Tuesday Jan. 17, 9 a.m.

A platform is not a lament for things in the past, it’s the act of declaring a vision of the future. Begin by asking yourself: What are the greatest challenges we will face over the next four years? What are my personal and civic priorities? What, specifically, am I going to do?

Town Hall does not endorse any political position or cause—we endorse people finding their power through information and community. We are a place to deepen your knowledge, or to learn something new. To explore your passions, and to find new things to be passionate about. To connect to existing activism, and to organize new efforts. To press your case, and to respectfully consider someone else’s.

We are here to help you ask and answer the question “What am I going to do?”

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, Crosscut.com, 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.

[button link=”https://townhallseattle.org/event/town-hall-past-and-future/” bg_color=”#ff0808″]RESERVE YOUR TICKETS TODAY[/button]

*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.

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