Town Hall Seattle Arts & Culture Series-logo

Town Hall Seattle Arts & Culture Series

Arts & Culture Podcasts

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.

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.


United States


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.








149. Leila Cobo with Agueda Pacheco Flores: An Oral History of Latin Music

Have you ever wanted to ask Enrique Iglesias, Descemer Bueno, and Gente De Zona about their 2014 hit “Bailando”? What’s the story behind that Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine hit “Conga,” the one you that makes it irresistible to move? How does Daddy Yankee feel about being the “King of Reggaeton,” and were he and Luis Fonsi surprised by the outcry when the “Despacito” lyrics were translated to English? Billboard’s VP of Latin music Leila Cobo joined us in conversation with local...


148. Claudio Lomnitz: The Intersections of Jewish and Latin American Culture

Tracing his grandparents’ exile from Eastern Europe to South America through to his own experiences, anthropologist Claudio Lomnitz joined us with a stunningly personal study of the intersections between Jewish and Latin American culture. Drawing on his memoir about his immigrant family, Nuestra America: My Family in the Vertigo of Translation, Lomnitz weaved a fascinating culture study. Beginning with his grandparents, he explored how they became involved in the Peruvian leftist...


147. Anna North and Alexis Coe: Rewriting History Through a Feminist Lens

A young woman outlaw in 1894 and a new look at the life of George Washington: what could these two stories have in common? Perhaps more than you’d think. Both introduce a new look at an often romanticized area of American history, seen through a feminist lens. Authors Anna North and Alexis Coe joined us in conversation about rewriting history in genres that are often dominated by men. With North’s novel Outlawed and Coe’s nonfiction You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George...


146. Ronald A. Crutcher with Dr. Quinton Morris: Navigating Race on the Road to Leadership

Born to two parents who never graduated high school, Dr. Ronald A. Crutcher grew up to become a leader at the highest levels of academia and the arts. As a child musician, he met with Coretta Scott King. As an adult educator, he sat at Maya Angelou’s holiday table. But it is Dr. Crutcher’s success as a Black intellectual steering through highly charged social issues that makes his story both unforgettable and urgently important, and he joined in conversation with Seattle University’s Dr....


145. Jeffrey Stewart with LaNesha DeBardelaben: Alain Locke, the Father of the Harlem Renaissance

A tiny, fastidiously dressed man emerged from Black Philadelphia around the turn of the century to mentor a generation of young artists including Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Jacob Lawrence and call them the New Negro — the creative African Americans whose art, literature, music, and drama would inspire Black people to greatness. Professor Jeffrey Stewart brought Alain Locke’s story to the forefront with his Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, The New Negro: The Life of Alain...


144. Colin Bryar and Bill Carr with Chris Devore: An Insider’s Look at Amazon’s Culture, Leadership, and More

Colin Bryar started at Amazon in 1998; Bill Carr joined in 1999. With twenty-seven years of Amazon experience between them, much of it in the early aughts—a period that brought products and services including Kindle, Amazon Prime, Amazon Studios, and Amazon Web Services to life—Bryar and Carr joined us, in conversation with Chris Devore, to offer unprecedented access to the Amazon way as it was refined, articulated, and proven to be repeatable, scalable, and adaptable. Bringing...


143. Victor L. Wooten with Wier Harman: The Healing Power and Humanity in Music

Grammy Award-winning bass player and author Victor L. Wooten invites us to imagine a world he has created in his book The Spirit of Music. This is a world where three musicians are mysteriously summoned to Nashville, the Music City, to join together with Victor himself to do battle against the “Phasers,” whose blinking “music-cancelling” headphones silence and destroy all musical sound. Perhaps that world sounds similar to ours, where the soundtrack of our lives plays in tiny earbuds while...


142. Lisa Iversen, June BlueSpruce, and Anne Hayden with Dr. Bonnie Duran: Whiteness Is Not An Ancestor

For over two decades, family constellations facilitator and therapist Lisa Iversen has been working with groups, including descendants of ancestors who have perpetrated harm or been victimized in circumstances of injustice. This work has led to a timely and thoughtful discussion about the intersection of gender and white privilege, a collection of essays that brings together twelve white women who explore the role of whiteness in collective moments of immigration, colonialism, slavery, and...


141. Catherine E. McKinley with Erika Massaquoi—The African Lookbook: A Visual History of 100 Years of African Women

Most of us grew up with images of African women that were purely anthropological–bright displays of exotica where the deeper personhood seemed tucked away. Or they were chronicles of war and “poverty porn.” But now, curator Catherine E. McKinley draws on her extensive collection of historical and contemporary photos to present a visual history spanning a hundred-year arc (1870–1970) of what is among the earliest photography on the continent. These images tell a different story of African...


140. Spirited Stone: Lessons from Kubota’s Garden

Fujitaro Kubota, whose unique gardens transformed Seattle’s landscape in the 20th century, immigrated to the US in the early 20th century, worked as a nurseryman, and eventually bought 20 acres of clear-cut forest in southern Seattle that he shaped into a beautiful and enduring Japanese garden. He also created a memorable garden in the Minidoka prison camp while he was incarcerated there during World War II; upon his return to Seattle, he focused on Kubota Garden, which had fallen into...


139. Tyler Stovall with ChrisTiana ObeySumner: The Intertwined Histories of Racism and Freedom

The era of the Enlightenment, which gave rise to our modern conceptions of freedom and democracy, was also the height of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. How were those conceptions impacted by the coinciding racism? History professor Tyler Stovall believes they are intricately intertwined, and argues that being free has long meant being white. In this conversation with local activist ChrisTiana ObeySumner, Stovall joined us to explore the complex relationship between racism and freedom in...


138. Jeffrey Jackson:The Artists Who Risked Their Lives Using Art to Defy the Nazis

Amidst the danger of Nazi-occupied Island of Jersey in the British Channel, two French women, Lucy Schwob and Suzanne Malherbe, drew on their skills as Parisian avant-garde artists to write and distribute “paper bullets”—wicked insults against Hitler, calls to rebel, and subversive fictional dialogues designed to demoralize Nazi troops. History professor Jeffrey Jackson joined us with the history of the audacious anti-Nazi campaign undertaken by this unlikely pair. In this presentation,...


137. André Gregory and Todd London: Reflections on a Life Lived for Art

Art is fundamental. While in some places and times, it may be deemed nonessential or decorative, the reality is that it is a fundamental expression from one human to another, of curiosity, of perspective, of connection. Now an icon of theatre and film, Andre Gregory, joined us to share stories from a life lived for art. With his co-writer Todd London, Gregory pulled from his non-linear not-memoir This Is Not My Memoir to look back at his life in this livestreamed presentation. Gregory told...


136. Roger Rosenblatt with Paul Muldoon: On Life, Love, and Responsibility

The Cold Moon occurs in late December, auguring the arrival of the winter solstice. Approaching the winter solstice of his own life, author Roger Rosenblatt embarked upon writing Cold Moon: On Life, Love, and Responsibility, dedicated to the three most important lessons he has learned over his many years. In this conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winner Paul Muldoon, Rosenblatt delved into those three lessons: an appreciation of being alive, a recognition of the gift and power of love, and...


135. Alone Together Book Club Discussion with Jennifer Haupt, Amber Flame, Claudia Castro Luna, and Lidia Yuknavitch

The COVID-19 crisis has led to a moment of grief, isolation, and uncertainty that is nearly unprecedented in recent memory. How are we changing as a result, both as individuals and a society? In response to the pandemic, author and editor Jennifer Haupt rallied 90 authors, her publisher, and other business partners to explore the impact in Alone Together: Love, Grief, and Comfort in the Time of COVID-19, all proceeds of which benefit the Book Industry Charitable Fund. Haupt joined us in...


134. Ebo Barton with Tara Hardy: Insubordinate, a Poetry Collection

“Ebo Barton is the queer echo to the first whisper of revolution.” This is what author Tara Hardy had to say about spoken word poet Ebo Barton’s first collection of poetry, Insubordinate, which explores Barton’s discovery of themselves, acknowledging their history, and navigating a world not ready for their existence. Barton invited us to hear selections from their collection, and join in conversation with Hardy about the work and generally about being in a body in the world. A leader in...


133. Alan Mikhail with Resat Kasaba: Sultan Selim and the Making of the Modern World

Long neglected in world history, the Ottoman Empire was a hub of intellectual fervor, geopolitical power, and enlightened pluralistic rule. Yet, despite its towering influence and centrality to the rise of our modern world, the Ottoman Empire’s history has for centuries been distorted, misrepresented, and even suppressed in the West, historian Alan Mikhail believes—and he joined us to present a vitally needed recasting of Ottoman history. Mikhail was joined in conversation with history and...


132. Caty Borum Chattoo with Marcia Smith: How Documentaries Empower People and Inspire Social Change

Only a few years after the 2013 Sundance Film Festival premiere of Blackfish—an independent documentary film that critiqued the treatment of orcas in captivity—visits to SeaWorld declined, major corporate sponsors pulled their support, and performing acts cancelled appearances. And that was just the beginning of the impact of documentary films. Producer and scholar Caty Borum Chattoo joined us in conversation with producer Marcia Smith to examine the role of social-issue documentaries in...


131. Stuart Getty with Max Delsohn: How to They/Them

Ever wondered what nonbinary and gender nonconforming really mean? Genderqueer writer Stuart Getty joined us with a charming guide that answers that question and many more. In this livestreamed presentation, Stuart Getty unpacks all your burning questions in a fun, visual way, in conversation with local comedian Max Delsohn. With clips from their short documentary, and insight from their book How to They/Them, Getty introduced a gender-friendly primer that emphasizes that it’s about more...


130. Michael Ian Black with Mike Birbiglia: How To Be A Better Man

Comedian, actor, and father Michael Ian Black wants to get (mostly) serious about the trouble with masculinity. He shared a heartfelt letter to his college-bound son—which also happens to be his book A Better Man: A (Mostly Serious) Letter to My Son—to offer a poignant look at boyhood, reveal his own complicated relationship with his father, and explore the damage caused by the expectations placed on boys to “man up.” Black searches for the best way to help his son be part of the solution,...