Panoramic photo of the Wyncote rental space

Get on Your Soapbox for Town Hall!

Our annual benefit takes place in person on April 12, 2024, with a theme of “Get on Your Soapbox.” As we celebrate Town Hall Seattle’s 25th season — our silver anniversary — we invite the community to step up to the “Silver Soapbox” and celebrate with us!

Can’t attend? Make a gift in support of our Gala here.

A portion of your ticket purchase supports Town Hall and its programming and is considered a charitable contribution. Acknowledgements and tax-receipts will be issued after the gala in early April. If you have any questions, please reach out to


Ticket sales have ended. Email Kate at if you would like to attend the gala

Our Cause

The Gala is Town Hall’s key fundraising event of the year, with proceeds directly supporting our sliding scale ticket model and year-round programming. A successful Gala ensures our commitment to affordable tickets, including our policy of free tickets for everyone 22 & Under. Our goal this year is to raise $400,000, and we hope you’ll consider helping us reach our target by showing up and/or raising your paddle.

A portion of your ticket supports Town Hall and its programming, and is considered a charitable contribution. Your entire Raise the Paddle gift is considered a charitable contribution.


The Evening

Dress Code: Festive Attire

Cocktail Party, Lobby Level

Dinner & Program, The Wyncote NW Forum

Dessert, Lobby Level
Shaina Shepherd performs in The Great Hall

Dinner & Chef

Dinner will be prepared by returning Town Hall Gala chef and James Beard Award-winner John Sundstrom, owner of Lark, Slab Sandwiches, and Cora – Pizza and Plates.

Learn more about Chef Sundstrom here. 

Cocktail Hour 
Sesame seaweed chip, spicy tuna tartare, tobiko
Dungeness crab potstickers
Duck confit rillettes, red wine quince preserve
Comte gougères

Winter greens, pear, hazelnuts, blue cheese crostini, sherry vinaigrette
Parker House dinner roll, salted butter

Main Course Options 
Alaskan halibut, miso braised celery root, honshimeiji mushrooms, truffle dashi vinaigrette or
Burrata ravioli, creamy tomato sauce, basil, black olive bread crumbs, Parmigiano Reggiano

Dessert Buffet

Lemon vanilla cake, lemon curd, kumquat preserve, blood orange

Butterscotch budino

Brown butter hazelnut financiers

JM’s chocolate chip cookies

Program and Luminaries

Tomorrow Will Be Better If…

A Moment to Reimagine Our World 

Our featured program, Tomorrow Will Be Better If, brings together people from across our community to consider how we share our future; a consideration of what we can be now, together. The concept for this program was originally visioned by Wier Harman during our 2020-2021 season. Though a pandemic prevented it from coming to fruition at that time, it’s a program that stuck with us over the years that followed. For our 25th Anniversary, we’re proud to honor Wier’s legacy with Town Hall by curating a program that makes us remember his deep love for community and his meaningful hope for shared connection.  

This year, we’ll hear from acclaimed local musician Shaina Shepherd, Washington State Representative Julia Reed, King County Creative Economy Director Kate Becker, journalist and founder of the South Seattle Emerald, Marcus Harrison Green, and mixed media artist Timothy Firth.

Shaina Shepherd

Shaina Shepherd

Shaina Shepherd is a versatile vocalist with a unique style inspired by gospel and garage metal. She infuses rock-and-roll glamour into her performances and has collaborated with renowned artists from Duff McKagan to members of Soundgarden and Heart. She showcases her soulful voice across various genres, redefining the Outlaw genre with influences from Tina Turner, Betty Davis, and Nina Simone. Recent highlights include features in Nordstrom’s holiday campaign and KEXP sessions, alongside national tours both solo and with a band. She was Town Hall Seattle’s Artist-in-Residence in Spring of 2023.    

Julia Reed

Julia Reed

Julia Reed is a Washington State Representative for the 36th Legislative District. With experience in the Obama administration and a senior policy advisor to the mayor of Seattle, she now consults on racial equity, workforce development, and economic issues, with a focus on uplifting underrepresented communities and supporting youth pathways. She is a strong supporter of the arts and an advocate for local maritime industries. Born in Seattle and raised by educators, she holds degrees from Smith College and Princeton University. She resides in the Lower Queen Anne/Uptown neighborhood and can usually be seen exploring the city on her electric bike 

Julia Reed

Kate Becker

Kate Becker is the Creative Economy Director in King County Executive Dow Constantine’s Office. Building sustainable creative communities has been at the core of Kate’s career. Kate currently spends her days (and nights!) working to build King County’s creative economy, keenly focused on the film, music, and events industries. Prior to joining Executive Constantine’s Office, Kate served as the Director of the City of Seattle Office of Film + Music and served in leadership roles at Seattle Theatre Group, Art Share LA in Los Angeles, and The New Art Center in Boston, MA. She is also the co-founder of legendary Northwest all-ages venues The Vera Project and the Old Fire House.

Marcus Harrison Green

Marcus Harrison Green

Marcus Harrison Green is the publisher of Hinton Publishing, the founder of the South Seattle Emerald, and a columnist with the Seattle Times. Growing up in South Seattle, he experienced first-hand the impact of one-dimensional stories on marginalized communities, which taught him the value of authentic narratives. After a stint in the investment world, Marcus returned to his community with a newfound purpose of telling stories with nuance, complexity, and multidimensionality with the hope of advancing social change. This led him to become a writer and found the South Seattle Emerald. An award-winning journalist, he was awarded the Seattle Human Rights Commission’s Individual Human Rights Leader Award for 2020, and named the inaugural James Baldwin Fellow by the Northwest African American Museum in 2022.

Timothy Firth

Timothy Firth

Timothy Firth serves as the Executive Director of Common Area Maintenance, channeling his creative passion into developing robust systems that empower fellow artists through resource and knowledge sharing. With an interdisciplinary approach, Firth delves into the dynamic interplay between sound and object, showcasing a profound interest in their relationship. Presently, he is engrossed in crafting experimental instruments and interactive sound collaborations, epitomizing his commitment to pushing artistic boundaries and fostering participatory innovation.  

Meet the Emcee!

Fred Northup, Jr. is a nationally-recognized fundraising auctioneer, emcee, musician, and comedy improviser. For 10 years, Fred performed as a company member of Seattle’s famed TheatreSports comedy improv group. He has entertained thousands at major events for Starbucks, Microsoft, Boeing, BECU, Expedia, and more. For three years, Fred was the percussionist for the Grammy-nominated kids’ band Caspar Babypants, which even saw him perform at Town Hall!

In addition to his work on stage and on camera, Fred is the co-inventor of RainGlobes, the globe that rains. When not entertaining the masses, Fred can be found in West Seattle entertaining his wife, Ashley, and their two children. Visit him online at and @FredNorthupJr.

Thank You to Our Gala Sponsors