Remembering Wier Harman

Dec 15, 2023 | Town Hall News

We are deeply saddened to share that Town Hall Seattle’s former Executive Director, Wier Harman, passed away on Monday, December 11.

As many of you know, Wier stepped away from Town Hall one year ago, after 17 years of leadership. He spent the past year soaking up life, traveling to Hawaii and Europe with his family, attending concerts and shows (including Death Cab for Cutie/The Postal Service and Peter Gabriel in the same weekend in October), and connecting with as many people as possible in his beautiful and supportive circle of friends.

Taking the helm of Town Hall in 2005 from founder David Brewster, Wier played a central role in growing Town Hall from a burgeoning idea to an organization on the national map. Town Hall would not be what it is today without Wier’s dedication to building a place for all ideas, community, and appreciation for discourse. From an ambitious $35.5 million renovation of our historic building to the nearly two seasons spent Inside/Out (which were beautifully symbolic of what Wier does best: connecting people across the city to incredible art and life-changing ideas), to solidifying Town Hall’s commitment to affordable tickets and rental rates, Wier is Town Hall’s spirit. And that enormous, visionary spirit radiates right through the oculus — the very crown of our building — and out into the city, drawing people in. Any time we sit side-by-side in the Great Hall pews, share laughs and knowing smiles, or get lost in waves of music and song, it’s because Wier’s singular magnetic vision drew us together to share that one glorious moment. Indeed, Wier was a curator not only of ideas but of people.

When Wier announced his departure at the end of the 2022 season, he said, “I trust that this place will continue to be the vessel for the experience of community that we all need so much right now. Our role is simple and profound: to remind us that some things must be experienced together, and that ‘coming together’ is often its own reward.” Upon his departure, the Wier Harman Vestibule (main entrance at 8th and Seneca) was named to recognize his years of service. But Wier himself represents a truly boundless ecosystem of cultural life in Seattle, reminding us that we are all connected by the music, art, words, and ideas that color our shared human experience.

The next time you walk through the front doors of Town Hall, look up and feel his presence; a space where he connected new friends and old to a place he loved so deeply.

Wier is survived by wife, Barbara, and their children, Stella and Ruby. We send our love and appreciation to them for sharing Wier with all of us.

Wier’s family requests that any gifts in memoriam be directed to Town Hall.


Press

Seattle arts leader Wier Harman dies at age 57 (KUOW, 12/12/2023)

Wier Harman, former Town Hall Seattle director, dies at 57 (Seattle Times, 12/14/2023)

ArtSEA: Remember Town Hall Seattle director Wier Harman (Crosscut, 12/14/2023)

Wier Harman, Former Executive Director of Town Hall, Has Died (The Stranger, 12/14/2023)

Remembering Wier Harman, Town Hall’s Unstoppable Dynamo (Post Alley, 12/18/2023)

Beyond ticket sales, arts professionals create community (Seattle Times, 12/19/2023)

People we lost in 2023: Odes to local luminaries in Seattle’s Arts, culture and lifestyle scene (Seattle Times, 12/26/2023)

At year’s end, remembering some of the people Seattle lost in 2023 (KUOW, 12/26/2023)

This week’s passages (Seattle Times, 12/29/2023)

Passages: Influential people who died in 2023 (Seattle Times, 12/31/2023)

Upcoming Events

Renee DiResta

How Public Opinion Forms in a Digital Age