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The Science series presents cutting-edge research about biology, physics, chemistry, ecology, geology, astronomy, and more. These events appeal to many different levels of expertise, from grade school students to career scientists. With a range of relevant applications, including medicine, the environment, and technology, this series expands our thinking and our possibilities.
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The Arts & Culture series enriches our community with imagination and creativity. Whether reinventing the classics for a new audience or presenting an innovative new art form, these events are aimed at expanding horizons. From poetry to music to storytelling, this series leaves our audiences inspired, encouraged, and seeing the world with new eyes.
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The Civics series at Town Hall shines a light on the shifting issues, movements, and policies, that affect our society, both locally and globally. These events pose questions and ideas, big and small, that have the power to inform and impact our lives. Whether it be constitutional research from a scholar, a new take on history, or the birth of a movement, it's all about educating and empowering.
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Looking back through history, it is obvious that the presence of music has had a profound impact on the daily lives of humans, our cultural rituals, and the evolution of civilization as a whole. Yet in public discourse, we still tend to separate conversations about music from those about civics or politics. We frame music as a product for entertain…
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As we head into another presidential election year, few issues feel as pressing as the spread of political misinformation. How can political campaigns fight back against the barrage of lies and disinformation? As time, tension, and technology all progress in our world, we’re not always prepared for the acceleration and its impact on the political c…
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Disinformation has been used throughout history as a tool to intentionally deceive or manipulate the enemy. In our present age of information, where fabricated news stories, photos, or posts of any kind can be spread in an instant, we find ourselves especially vulnerable to the potentially devasting effects of weaponized disinformation. Lee McIntyr…
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What do we learn when an anthropologist and a historian talk about food? Across endless eras, landscapes, and civilizations, humanity’s relationship with food has played the part of one of the landmark features of culture and community. We feel this on both the micro and macro scale — from learning a recipe passed down through generations of one’s …
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The Village Voice aimed to show readers something that mainstream publications wouldn’t: live theater productions climbing through the scaffolding of off-Broadway venues; moments in music from hip-hop to jazz to punk; New York City civil issues, like corrupt landlords; and global issues, like the AIDS crisis. Through decades of independent reportin…
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What does it mean to be a proudly queer Indigenous woman in the United States today? Sasha LaPointe, winner of the 2023 Pacific Northwest Book Award for her memoir, Red Paint, shares a new collection of essays that navigate the complexities of indigenous identity, challenge stereotypes, and address cultural displacement and environmental concerns. …
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Anyone who has fallen off the conveyor belt of mainstream health care and into the shadowy corners of illness knows what a dark place it is to land. Where is the infrastructure, the information, the guidance? What should you do next? In her new book, Rebel Health, Susannah Fox draws on twenty years of tracking the expert networks of patients, survi…
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If you’re a part of the Seattle arts scene, chances are you’ve come across Tessa Hulls. She has a hand in many local creative communities, including Seattle Arts & Lectures (where you might have spotted her illustrations on the 2021 Summer Book Bingo Card!), the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, and the Henry Art Museum. She’s also the lead artis…
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Have you ever made coins float in water? Or created a geode from an egg? If not, Emmy-nominated science TV host Emily Calandrelli can show you how. Calandrelli, MIT-trained engineer turned internet STEAM star, demonstrates science experiments you can do at home with common household products as the host of Netflix’s Emily’s Wonder Lab and through h…
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Ever wondered how a leader orchestrates large-scale change on a global scale? In his new book, Big Bets: How Large-Scale Change Really Happens, Rajiv J. Shah, President of the Rockefeller Foundation and former administrator of USAID unveils his model for driving large-scale change. Drawing on his experiences, from vaccinating 900 million children w…
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Have you ever lost something or someone dear to you? Though it ranges in severity and impact, loss is a shared human experience – an inevitable, inescapable part of life. Praised for her humor and sharp wit, essayist and novelist Sloane Crosley delivers her first memoir Grief is for People, exploring how loss can take many forms. After the pain and…
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The subject of disinformation is a well-known part of political rhetoric, but it has implications even outside of the sphere of democracy. From the electoral system to schools; from the workplace to hospitals, the consequences of it are far-reaching and dire. A legal analyst at MSNBC and former U.S. Attorney, Barbara McQuade’s decades of experience…
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Have you ever wondered how impeachment really works? As a witness and consultant in the impeachment trials of Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, legal scholar Michael J. Gerhardt has collected a lifetime of scholarly research and firsthand experience. But despite his proximity to such high-profile cases, Gerhardt doesn’t advocate for or against the imp…
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You’d be hard-pressed to find a person whose life went unchanged in 2020, arguably one of the most consequential years in human history. It marked an unprecedented time, left indelible memories in our minds, and set off ripple effects we still feel even today. Disruption of normal life was nearly universal; however, the ways in which we experienced…
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We all get frustrated with our inability to remember people’s names, find our keys, or recover a lost computer password. Fortunately, these experiences are not reflections of our broken brains, but the fact that the brain didn’t evolve the complex mechanisms of memory so that we could remember that guy we met at that thing. In fact, human memory is…
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Is it possible to reshape immigration practices to align with the values of inclusivity, justice, and the historical promise of the United States as a welcoming haven for all? Law professor and immigration lawyer César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández presents a powerful case for divorcing immigration law from criminal law in his book, Welcome the Wretc…
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Three expert guests discuss the implications of AI and the fine arts in a conversation moderated by Steve Scher. Scientist and founder of the Artists and Machine Intelligence program at Google, Blaise Agüera y Arcas, will offer his “news from the front” about the latest developments in AI capabilities, and what he foresees ahead. Alex Alben, techno…
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Commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Boldt Decision, a pivotal moment in civil rights history and tribal sovereignty. Centered around Charles Wilkinson’s posthumously acclaimed work, Treaty Justice, a panel will discuss the significance of the Boldt Decision and its enduring impact on the tribal sovereignty movement in the Pacific Northwest and …
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Join Judy Kinney, Executive Director of GenPride, and members of the LGBTQ+ community for a lively discussion about how to stay proud and engaged as they age. GenPride advocates for Seattle/King County older LGBTQIA+ adults’ unique needs through programs and services that cultivate well-being and belonging. Judy Kinney (she/they) is an experienced …
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Hip-hop education is more than just music; it’s a dynamic tool for fostering student success and intellectual growth. James Miles, known as the Fresh Professor, is renowned for his engaging teaching style. By infusing lessons with content that’s inspirational, intellectually engaging, and relevant to students’ lives, Miles demonstrates how teachers…
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Ijeoma Oluo’s #1 New York Times bestseller So You Want To Talk About Race (book tour event at Town Hall in 2019), offered a vital guide for how to talk about important issues of race and racism in society. In Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America, she discussed how white male supremacy has had an impact on our systems, our culture, a…
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Discover the unexpected diversity, beauty, and strangeness of life in ancient lakes — some millions of years old — and the remarkable insights they yield about the causes of biodiversity. Most lakes are less than 10,000 years old and short-lived, but there is a much smaller number of ancient lakes, tectonic in origin and often millions of years old…
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Many of us talk to our pets daily, but what would you do if your pet could talk back? What do you think they would say? When Bunny, a fluffy, black-and-white sheepadoodle, was eight weeks old, her guardian Alexis presented her with an odd gift: a button programmed to say “outside” when pressed. Within a few weeks, Bunny was using it all the time, a…
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Delve into the urgent and critical issue of cervical cancer prevention with Dr. Linda Eckert. Cervical cancer claims the lives of almost 350,000 women each year, a staggering toll that is compounded by the fact that the disease is nearly 100% preventable. Dr. Linda Eckert, a leading expert in cervical cancer prevention, brings her wealth of experie…
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In 1990, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Les Payne embarked on a nearly thirty-year-long quest to interview anyone he could find who had actually known Malcolm X. His goal was ambitious: to transform what would become over a hundred hours of interviews into an unprecedented portrait of Malcolm X, one that would separate fact from fi…
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Join Rebecca Crichton in conversation with Andrea Cohen, a long-time facilitator of Compassionate Listening practices. Andrea will share personal stories of how these practices have transformed conflicts – with families, friends, and within challenged communities – into relationships based on greater understanding, caring, and connection. Andrea Co…
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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Seattle’s theatre community demonstrated resilience and adaptability, navigating through challenging times to envision a new era for the performing arts. Arts journalist and educator Misha Berson will moderate an open discussion about Seattle’s current theatrical landscape with the respected artistic directors …
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Journalist Tim Schwab is no stranger to investigative journalism that scrutinizes power structures and questions how private interests intersect with public policy. With funding from a 2019 Alicia Patterson Fellowship, Schwab pursued an investigative series specific to Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation, and his work was published by The Nation in…
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Delve into the insightful world of reproductive health with Dr. Jen Gunter. In her latest book, Blood, Dr. Gunter dispells myths and misinformation about menstruation with a foundation of scientific facts and medical expertise. Known for her evidence-based approach, Dr. Gunter addresses questions you may have never thought to ask about menstrual bl…
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It is among the most classically joked about modern grievances, air travel. Between flight cancellations, delays, lost baggage, increased prices, crammed planes, and the general downtrodden gloom that accompanies flying, there is plenty left to be desired when it comes to the quality of airline service. The truth is that bankruptcies and mergers ha…
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Starting in 1967, when fewer than 1% of women completed any education beyond four years of college, the Washington State University (WSU) Sociology Department dared to hire three female faculty members who became lifelong friends. Lois B. DeFleur, Sandra Ball-Rokeach, and Marilyn Ihinger-Tallman were role models for many women and paved the way for…
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Join us for a conversation between former Town Hall Seattle Writer-in-Residence Sarah Salcedo and Washington State Poet Laureate Arianne True. Together, they will discuss how they negotiate the intersections of neurodivergence, art, and artistic careers. After a discussion, there will be a reading of Arianne’s poems and a section from the in-progre…
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Have you ever wondered what your nurses’ lives are like outside of the hospital? In a new memoir, Journal of a Black Queer Nurse, Nurse Britney Daniels divulges the details of her day-to-day life. From braving the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic to giving her own clothes to a patient who was unhoused to transporting bodies to overflowing m…
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You’re invited to celebrate thirty years of homeless women organizing, writing, and creating change! In 1993, homeless and formerly homeless women in Seattle came together to create WHEEL (Women’s Housing, Equality, and Enhancement League) to organize for increased safety and shelter and advocate for changes to end homelessness. Now, in 2023, it’s …
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Take a moment to appreciate the humble but essential set of muscles we call the pelvic floor. When the pelvic floor is working well, our bladder, bowels, and sexual functioning are more likely to be trouble-free. If they aren’t working well, people can experience incontinence, constipation, pain, and a host of other troubles. Out of embarrassment o…
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For many people in the Emerald City, sports may be seen solely as entertainment. We watch the Kraken on the ice, climb the stands for the Seahawks and Sounders, and hold out hands out for a soaring Mariners ball. But what if something came along to challenge the idea of athletics as mere leisure? In his new book Heartbreak City: Seattle Sports and …
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When Stephanie Land set out to write her memoir, Maid, she never could have imagined what was to come. Handpicked by President Barack Obama as one of the best books of 2019 and later adapted into the hit Netflix series Maid, Stephanie’s escape out of poverty and abuse in search of a better life inspired millions. Maid was a story about a house clea…
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Schuyler Bailar didn’t set out to be an activist, his very public transition to the Harvard men’s swim team put him in the spotlight. His choice to be open about his transition and share his experience has touched people around the world. As Anti-transgender legislation is being introduced in state governments around the United States in record-bre…
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What exactly is art and why does it matter to us? Philosopher of the mind Alva Noë explores the answers to these questions, arguing that we need art and philosophy to fully understand human nature. After all, our modern way of life is permeated with the aesthetic––the arts are an integral part of every human culture on the planet. Our lives supply …
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Depending on who you overhear, conversations surrounding the controversial AI Chat Bot, Chat GPT, may be punctuated with terms like, “groundbreaking!” “paradigm-shifting!” “innovative!” or conversely might be filled with calls of “terrifying!” “mistake!” or “too far!” But peering through either lens, it is hard not to imagine that AI will diminish …
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Can leaders strive for more inclusivity in the workplace and improve outcomes in the process? Employers invest in and manage their key asset — talent — to be as high-performing as possible. Like a winning stock, it can be argued that successful diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) actions likewise pay back over time: that dividend is paid to the …
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Washington is leading the nation as a model for the transition to a climate-safe future. People, movements, and politicians across the state have been able to pass landmark policies that benefit local communities, as well as inspire other regions to follow suit. From Seattle’s commercial energy codes, to Whatcom County’s first-ever ban on new fossi…
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If you thought billionaire success stories all looked pretty similar, prepare to be surprised. From middle-class Midwestern beginnings, Sheila Johnson went from an accomplished violinist who married young to become one of the most accomplished businesswomen in America. A co-founder of the popular network Black Entertainment Television (BET) and the…
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Have you ever dreamed of being famous? Imagined what it would be like to have all your dreams come true? Recognition, adoration, basking in the limelight. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? But dig a little deeper and you’ll find that “The Road To Fame” is a prickly path, filled with twists & turns, backstabbing & betrayals. Experience a captivating jou…
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Why do women live longer than men? Why do women have menopause? Why do girls score better at every academic subject than boys until puberty, when suddenly their scores plummet? And does the female brain really exist? Considering the science and data collection methods we currently have, it is somewhat of a wonder that there is so little known about…
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Many parents struggle with the physicality of caring for children, but even more with the growing lack of autonomy new moms may feel in their personal and professional lives. Join us for an evening with Amanda Montei, author of Touched Out: Motherhood, Misogyny, Consent, and Control, and Kristi Coulter, author of Exit Interview: The Life and Death …
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From the artistic director of the Pacific Northwest Ballet and former principal dancer for the New York City Ballet comes a deeply personal memoir about one artist’s journey from boyhood to ballet. Peter Boal’s extensive background in ballet offers a unique glimpse into the world of dance with his diverse repertoire and artistic achievements, inclu…
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Although social media may not be a typical source of enlightenment, historian Heather Cox Richardson decided to become an exception to the rule. It all started during the 2019 impeachment when Richardson launched a daily Facebook essay providing historical background for the daily torrent of news. It soon morphed into a popular Substack newsletter,…
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Today’s information (and misinformation) overload is difficult and confusing to navigate. Post-truth politics and conspiracy theories abound. Science and scientists are under growing suspicion, causing even more confusion and unrest. At the same time, we need science to survive today’s biggest threats like pandemics and climate change. To bridge th…
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Have you ever wondered if there was another version of this country besides the one that was taught in schools? For many Americans, especially Black Americans, the answer is yes. The backstory that most of us were taught has been whitewashed and sugarcoated, its truths buried and untold, with many delivered halfway — if at all. Reality rewritten. I…
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