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Town Hall Seattle: Arts & Culture Series

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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Highlighting big ideas from both recent and soon-to-come events. A rolling Town Hall timeline, with you at the center. Every two weeks, hosts Steve Scher and Jini Palmer rewind through the recent past and fast-forward to the near future, catching you up on events you may have missed and offering a glimpse into the weeks ahead.

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Town Hall is a gathering place where ideas are planted and movements grow. It’s where we come together as a community to listen and be heard—to ask and answer the big questions facing our city and our world. Annually, we present hundreds of artists and scholars, and collaborate with more than 150 grassroots groups in our self-produced programs. Rooted in the belief that we all deserve a voice, our programming reflects—and inspires—our region's best impulses: creativity, empathy, and innovation. With our podcast series, we take one more step towards making our programming accessible to all. 

Apr 5, 2018

Known for the warmth, humor, clarity, and depth of his teachings, Zen teacher Peter Levitt is also the author of fourteen books of poetry and prose. Legendary poet Robert Creeley wrote that Peter Levitt’s poetry “sounds the honor of our common dance.” Town Hall is thrilled to welcome Peter to the stage for an evening sharing his recent works of poetry that explores our connection to the natural world and sing the sacred in the everyday. After the readings, he was joined in conversation with poet Shin Yu Pai, Town Hall’s Inside/Out Neighborhood Resident representing Phinney/Greenwood. Sit in with Peter and Shin Yu for an intimate discussion of the complexities of human relationships and the notion of coming home to ourselves—to who and what we naturally and truly are.

Peter Levitt began his Zen practice in the late sixties in San Francisco, and he received lay entrustment from Zoketsu Norman Fischer, which authorized him to teach in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki-Roshi. He is the founder and guiding teacher of the Salt Spring Zen Circle on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. Peter edited Thich Nhat Hanh’s classic, The Heart of Understanding, and he served as Associate and Translation Editor of Treasury of the True Dharma Eye: Zen Master Dogen’s Shobo Genzo, edited by Kazuaki Tanahashi. His ten poetry books include Within Within, One Hundred Butterflies, and Bright Root, Dark Root. In addition, he published Fingerpainting on the Moon: Writing and Creativity as a Path to Freedom. His publishing career includes fiction, journalism and literary translations from Chinese, Japanese and Spanish. In 1989, Peter received the prestigious Lannan Foundation Award in Poetry.

Shin Yu Pai is Town Hall Seattle’s 2018 Inside/Out Resident representing the Phinney Greenwood neighborhoods. Shin Yu is a poet, cross-media artist, and curator for the collaborative global exploration project Atlas Obscura. Her poetic origins inform an artistic style that has grown beyond the written word—manifesting in photography, installation and public art, cross-disciplinary collaborations, and sound. She encourages us to reflect upon the essential questions of our own lives, and to explore how we see that interrogation expressed or mirrored around us.

Recorded live at Phinney Center by Town Hall Seattle on Thursday, March 22, 2018.