Every year, Town Hall selects exceptional local artists and scholars for paid residencies where they engage with Town Hall programs and collaborate with our programming team to develop original events for the community. For our Spring 2023 residency, we’re lucky enough to have both a Scholar- and an Artist-in-Residence. This Scratch Night will showcase their work in progress.
Artist in Residence: Shaina Shepherd
Known for her pervasive style as a soul-grunge frontwoman turned piano songstress, Shaina Shepherd’s notable vocal stylings have brought her into interdisciplinary creative spaces — from collaborating with Duff McKagan, members Soundgarden, and Heart’s own Nancy Wilson to sharing stages with rock stars like Modest Mouse. She’s even been a soloist with classical ensembles around the country. Inspired by the parallels between gospel and garbage metal, Shepherd is embarking on a national tour equipped with storytelling chops and a penchant for rock and roll glamour. Living in the city where both Pearl Jam and Quincy Jones cut their teeth, Shaina lends her soulful voice to projects of all genres. Her heart songs are steeped in American folk and redefine the Outlaw genre with an infusion of Tina Turner, Betty Davis, and Nina Simone. She was recently featured in Nordstrom’s holiday campaign with her release of “Never Be Another You,” played a KEXP in-studio session, and toured nationally both behind a piano and in front of a rock band.
Focus while in Residence: In the words of Shaina, “‘Dauphine’ is a collection of art songs I’ve written over the past 8 years all surrounding a character struggling with being a femme minority living in mostly white communities. The project is based solely on a songbook I have journaled in as a place of relief for this particular feeling of ennui correlated directly with the black diaspora. I will bring these songs to life for the first time with an audience, and a live band of experienced jammers and studio musicians commissioned to solidify an 8-10 track body of work. ‘Scratch Night’ would be a concert experience of a core group of musicians and vocalists hearing and contributing their ideas for the work, also selecting the songs for the record.”
Scholar in Residence: Sally James
Sally James is a writer whose curiosity about people has taken her from jails to hospitals to schools to research labs. Once a staff member of daily newspapers, she has been an independent writer on medicine and science for many years. Most recently, she’s reported stories for the South Seattle Emerald, Parentmap, Seattle and Seattle Business magazines, and other outlets. She is the mother of three adult children and lives in Seattle with her husband and a noisy cat. She is a former president of the Northwest Science Writer’s Association, a nonprofit supporting science communication.
Focus while in Residence: In the words of Sally, “The Year 12 project is asking about a pivotal time in a young person’s growth when what’s swirling around us in news, music, or culture may leave a permanent imprint on our identities.
You can participate in Sally’s Year 12 project here: Share your Year 12 Stories!
Presented by Town Hall Seattle.