Seattle Arts & Lectures champions the literary arts by engaging and inspiring readers and writers of all generations in the greater Puget Sound region.


A future in which imaginative acts such as reading, writing, and creative thinking are indispensable to a curious, engaged, democratic society.


Seattle Arts & Lectures was founded in 1987 and launched its first season in 1988 with John Updike, Calvin Trillin, Donald Barthelme, Louise Erdrich and Michael Dorris, Isabel Allende, and Rosamond Bernier.

In 1994, SAL brought the nationally-recognized Writers in the Schools to Seattle—an educational program that places local professional writers in public school classrooms to develop skills and spark student interest in reading and writing. The Poetry Series, featuring such notables as Philip Levine and Anne Carson, debuted in 2000, as did Wednesday University/SAL U, an adult continuing education program co-presented by the University of Washington Alumni Association and taught by distinguished UW professors. Hinge, inaugurated in the 2014/15 season, presents new books by and for the next generation at accessible ticket prices. In the 2015/16 season, SAL introduced Women You Need to Know (WYNK), a three-part series designed to showcase cutting-edge, thought-provoking women. It opened with the graphic novelist and Tony Award winner, Alison Bechdel. Summer Book Bingo, also launched in 2015, is a partnership with the Seattle Public Library to present a free summer reading program for adults (Kids Book Bingo, a program of SAL alone, was launched in 2017). From 2016/17 to 2017/18, SAL presented Sherman Alexie Loves, a two-year series that was curated by Seattle author, Sherman Alexie. In the 2018/19 season, SAL is debuting a three-part Journalism Series in partnership with National Book Award-winning writer and correspondent Timothy Egan and renowned journalist Sam Howe Verhovek.

As Seattle has grown in size and sophistication, SAL has kept pace and helped engage, inspire, and connect our growing community.  In 2016/17 alone, over 25,000 SAL attendees had accessible, meaningful experiences with the foremost writers and thinkers of our time through SAL programming. Our Writers in the Schools program matches accomplished creative writers with local K-12 public schools and hospitals for year-long writing residencies. In 2016/17, over 7,800 students worked with a WITS Writer-in-Residence or attended a Spotlight Author Visit to discover their authentic voices, build community, and develop writing skills that will support them throughout their lives.


Amanda Carrubba

Finance & Operations Director

Alexandra Chase

Donor Relations Associate

Nichole Coates

WITS Program Associate

Alicia Craven

WITS Program Director

Ruth Dickey

Executive Director

Christina Gould

Patron Services Manager

Rebecca Hoogs

Associate Director

Amelia Peacock

Marketing Associate

Leanne Skooglund

Development Director

Alison Stagner

Events Associate & Content Editor


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Board of Directors

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Prowda Award

The Prowda Literary Champion Award is named for Sherry Prowda, SAL’s founder and first Executive Director. It was created to honor Prowda’s vision of a future in which imaginative acts such as reading, writing, and creative thinking are indispensable to a curious, engaged, democratic society, and her leadership as a champion of the literary arts.

Each year, the award, selected by a group of literary visionaries, celebrates the individuals and organizations that make Seattle an outstanding place for writers and readers.


SAL Volunteer


Behind the scenes at SAL is a corps of dedicated volunteers who contribute their time to ensure we meet our mission of sparking imaginations and bringing together people and ideas. We have a host of areas to get involved in, from ushering at our events, to assisting with mailings and other administrative tasks, to working on our annual fundraising events.

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Press + Media

Seattle Arts & Lectures Adds a Conversation with Lucy Kalanithi & John Duberstein

February 28, 2018

Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) is thrilled to announce the addition of a conversation with Lucy Kalanithi and John Duberstein on Friday, June 8 at 7:30pm in Seattle University’s Pigott Auditorium. Tickets will go on sale on Monday, February, 26 at 10am at

Lucy Kalanithi and John Duberstein are spouses of the posthumously bestselling authors Paul Kalanithi and Nina Riggs, respectively. Paul’s 2016 memoir, When Breath Becomes Air, chronicled his final years facing lung cancer at age 37. Nina’s 2017 memoir, The Bright Hour, followed her battle with breast cancer at age 39. The books quickly rose to the top of must-read lists and reviews often mentioned them together.

Madeleine Albright to Join Seattle Arts & Lectures’ 2017/18 Season

February 16, 2018

Seattle Arts & Lectures announces the addition of Madeleine Albright to its 2017/18 Season line-up. Albright will discuss her new book, Fascism: A Warning, in conversation with Mark Suzman of the Gates Foundation on Tuesday, April 24 at 7:30pm at The Paramount Theatre. All ticket packages include a copy of her new books. Tickets will go on sale on Friday, February, 16 at 10:00am at

Financials + Accountability

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