After Seattle Weekly founder David Brewster moved on from this paper in the late 90s, he wanted to continue his civic involvement with the city, which began well before the 1976 birth of SW. So he identified a little-used church just east of downtown, the Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist. It lay beyond the I-5 trench, at Eighth and Seneca, and it became Town Hall. In the last decade, the nonprofit meeting hall has featured a remarkable array of speakers, politicians, authors, musicians, and more. National and local voices are heard there almost every night of the week. Having made a success of the place, Brewster moved on to establish Crosscut.com in 2007. But under the capable direction of Wier Harman, Town Hall is celebrating its tenth birthday on Sunday.
Here's the full schedule of events. Highlights are to include "a debate between King County Executive candidates; a family concert by Caspar Babypants (Chris Ballew, of The Presidents of the United States of America); acclaimed violinist Quinton Morris and Friends, playing Mozart and William Grant Still; short stories of and by emigrants, read by Lesley Hazleton and Lyall Bush; science historian George Dyson, with his acclaimed consideration of the kayak; and a Global Rhythms concert featuring the thundering drums of Seattle Kokon Taiko." You can come and go as you please, show up for the events you like. Oh, and there's a new cafe, too. (Detailed schedule and full release after the jump.)
1 pm - Family Concert
1:30pm - Center for Civic Life
KING COUNTY EXECUTIVE CANDIDATE DEBATE
3 pm - Short Stories Live
EMIGRANT STORIES, featuring LESLEY HAZLETON and LYALL BUSH
4 pm - TownMusic
QUINTON MORRIS AND FRIENDS
5 pm - Seattle Science Lectures
GEORGE DYSON ON KAYAKS
6 pm - Global Rhythms
SEATTLE KOKON TAIKO
FREE FOR ALL:
CELEBRATING TEN YEARS OF TOWN HALL
SUNDAY, MAY 17 FROM 1-7 PM
Imagine an entire Town Hall season rolled into one rich, raucous day, and you're at our tenth anniversary Free for All. Every hour (more or less) on the hour, our two stages will host local musicians, writers, thinkers, and civic leaders in programs drawn from across the wide expanse of the Town Hall calendar. The day includes a debate between King County Executive candidates; a family concert by Caspar Babypants (Chris Ballew, of The Presidents of the United States of America); acclaimed violinist Quinton Morris and Friends, playing Mozart and William Grant Still; short stories of and by emigrants, read by Lesley Hazleton and Lyall Bush; science historian George Dyson, with his acclaimed consideration of the kayak; and a Global Rhythms concert featuring the thundering drums of Seattle Kokon Taiko. Light food and drinks will be available for purchase throughout the day in our new café space. Come for a taste, or stay the whole afternoon--and celebrate ten years of programs that reflect and inspire Seattle's highest aspirations: toward creativity, empathy, expansive thinking, and an ever-stronger community.
All events are free, but advance registration for each event is requested at www.brownpapertickets.com. Late seating not guaranteed.
Saturday Family Concerts: Caspar Babypants makes simple sing along music for baby brains and parent ears. Caspar Babypants is also known as Chris Ballew, lead singer of the rock and roll band The Presidents of the United States of America. As a parent of young children, Ballew knows that having children is a joyous and unforgettable experience. However, the home of new parents can also be a stressful sleepless nervous environment. He makes music that's a positive helping component in the home and car; music that new parents can sing to and with their child and provide real organic musical relief. Ballew specifically wants to make music for the very young because he admires their associative inventive imaginations, and tries to nurtures that same creativity in himself. His debut album, Here I Am is available at http://www.babypantsmusic.com.
Town Hall Center for Civic Life: Former King County Executive, Ron Sims, is expected to be confirmed as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is the first time since the office was created that the contest lacks an incumbent. It is also the first time the race is conducted as a nonpartisan event.
Under the latest rules, the top two vote-getters in the primary advance to the general election, so the August winnowing of the field will be hard-fought. The five candidates are: Metropolitan King County Council members Dow Constantine and Larry Phillips, both from Seattle; state Rep. Ross Hunter of Medina and state Sen. Fred Jarrett of Mercer Island, and former KIRO-TV anchor Susan Hutchison of Seattle. Constantine, Hunter, Jarrett, and Phillips are confirmed; Hutchison is invited. Moderated by Seattle Channel's C.R. Douglas.
Short Stories Live: British born Lesley Hazleton and Canadian Lyall Bush present Emigrant Stories. Hazleton is a journalist most known for her coverage of the intersection of religion, gender and history in the Middle East. She reported from Israel for Time Magazine, and has written on Middle Eastern politics for the New York Times, Esquire, Vanity Fair, The Nation, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, and many other publications.
Bush is the Executive Director of the Northwest Film Forum. Bush comes from a nonprofit background and has worked in the area of film for over a decade. He organized film festivals when he worked for Humanities Washington and as written about film for a wide variety of publications. Bush's involvement at Northwest Film Forum began several years ago when he was vice-president of the board; over the years he has also moderated panel discussions and given talks on filmmakers at the Film Forum.
Town Music: Quinton Morris and Friends perform Mozart's Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, K 478 and music by William Grant Still, an African-American classical composer who wrote more than 150 compositions. Still was the first African-American to conduct a major American symphony orchestra, the first to have a symphony of his own (his first symphony) performed by a leading orchestra, the first to have an opera performed by a major opera company, and the first to have an opera performed on national television. He is often referred to as "the dean" of African-American composers.
Morris enjoys a multifaceted career as a concert violinist, chamber musician, teacher, conductor, artistic/executive director and founder of The Young Eight. Originally from Seattle, Washington, Morris has performed solo concerto and recitals and chamber music performances in the United States, the Middle East, France, Spain and Africa. He is the recipient of numerous competition awards including The Boston Conservatory Chamber Music Honors Competition, the Louisiana Junior Philharmonic Orchestra Young Artist's Concerto Competition, and the Seattle Philharmonic Concerto Competition. Morris has served on the artist roster and faculties for the Austin Chamber Music Center, Longhorn Music Camp, Huston-Tillotson University, and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Mr. Morris is a fellowship student at The University of Texas at Austin as a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree studying violin with Miró String Quartet member, Daniel Ching. He earned a Master of Music degree from The Boston Conservatory and a Bachelor of Music from the North Carolina School of the Arts. He is currently the Director of Chamber and Instrumental Music and Assistant Professor at Seattle University.
Seattle Science Lectures: George Dyson on Kayaks. Dyson is a scientific historian, the son of Freeman Dyson, brother of Esther Dyson, and the grandson of Sir George Dyson. When he was sixteen he went to live in British Columbia in Canada to pursue his interest in kayaking and escape his father's shadow. While there he lived in a treehouse at a height of 30 metres. He is the author of Project Orion: The Atomic Spaceship 1957-1965 and Darwin Among the Machines, where he suggested coherently that the internet is a living, sentient being. He is the subject of Kenneth Brower's book The Starship and the Canoe. Dyson was the founder of Dyson, Baidarka & Company, a designer of Aleut-style skin kayaks, and he is credited with the revival of the baidarka style of kayak.
Global Rhythms: Seattle Kokon Taiko is a performing group based in the local Japanese American community. SKT traces its roots to the Seattle Taiko Group, which formed in April 1980 following a dynamic performance by Ondekoza at the Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival. In 1987, three members left STG to form Kokon Taiko Ensemble and focus on smaller, more musical performance pieces. In 1992, these two groups merged to form Seattle Kokon Taiko.
Taiko is a dynamic synthesis of rhythm, movement and spirit originating in Japan and evolving as a folk art over the last several hundred years. Seattle Kokon Taiko combines the ancient with the modern; presenting a repertoire that is a mix of traditional pieces and contemporary compositions. Through taiko, SKT hope to contribute to the development of a uniquely Japanese American art form --Japanese in origin, American in expression--that weaves threads of continuity between generations and builds bridges of understanding among people of all nationalities and walks of life.