A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Faces of SAL: Nicoline Miller

We are so grateful for our mighty team of dedicated volunteers that do a whole range of jobs in and out of the office. But some of those volunteers you may never see, as they work behind the scenes. Nicoline Miller writes superb program bios for our events—here, she reveals some great books to read right now and the SAL event that made her laugh until she cried. And, to entertain your holiday guests, you may want to learn how to do her hidden talent!

What’s been your favorite SAL event?

When first moving to Seattle a couple of years ago, I was thrilled to discover that such a thing as SAL existed, giving me the opportunity to not only meet some of my favorite authors of all time, but also to discover new ones! I’ve loved every one of the events I have attended, but the one that surprised me the most was Isabel Allende, who struck me as a highly intelligent and incredibly funny person—she had me in tears (of laughter) for most of her talk. I was also seriously awed by Van Jones, whose bio I wrote—the amount of stuff this guy has already accomplished blows my mind—his bio on Wikipedia is 18 pages long!!

Why did you decide to volunteer for SAL?

I started volunteering with SAL right before the Words Matter Gala in 2018, mainly because I was doing a certificate program at the University of Washington in nonprofit management and wanted some inside experience from a nonprofit that I already knew a little about. So, I started out stuffing envelopes with some of SAL’s amazing board members in preparation for the auction, and later progressed to writing bios, which I really enjoy.

What are you reading right now?

I just finished Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn about turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide, which my daughter asked me to read with her as an assignment for her high school English class. It is incredible! Although the subject is tough and deals with issues such as sex trafficking, maternal mortality, and the disproportionate lack of education for girls in some countries around the world, it is brilliantly written and reads almost like a suspense novel. I’m also reading Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk About Race and Jonathan Franzen’s latest essay collection, The End of the End of the Earth: Essays. I don’t usually read more than one book at a time, and normally gravitate more towards novels, but for some reason I find myself reading multiple volumes of non-fiction right now. Maybe that’s what these times call for. 😊

What’s your hidden talent?

I can do a pretty good imitation of a turkey gobble, although you have to know me really well to convince me to do that for you. And I’ll only do it once.




Posted in SAL Volunteers