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

Vision

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

History

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. See our full archive of past events here.

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. 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). In the 2018/19 season, SAL debuted 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 2019/20 alone, over 29,000 SAL attendees had accessible, meaningful experiences with the foremost writers and thinkers of our time through SAL programming. 13% of SAL tickets were provided at very low or no cost to community members who otherwise cannot afford to purchase tickets. In the 2020/21 season SAL launched $10 tickets at most events as well as digital access for all events in response to COVID-19.

Our Writers in the Schools program matches accomplished creative writers with local K-12 public schools and hospitals for year-long writing residencies. In 2019/20, nearly 5,000 students worked with a WITS Writer-in-Residence in 180 classrooms at 32 schools and via 2 programs at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Staff

Woogee Bae

Donor Relations Associate

Sarah Burns

Event & Corporate Giving Manager

Letitia Cain

Marketing Coordinator

Amanda Carrubba

Finance & Operations Director

Alicia Craven

Director of Education

Piper Daugharty

WITS Program Associate

Ruth Dickey

Executive Director

Bre’Anna Girdy

WITS Program Coordinator

Christina Gould

Patron Services Manager

Rebecca Hoogs

Associate Director

Leanne Skooglund

Development Director

Alison Stagner

Communications Manager

Lannan

SAL Mascot

Board of Directors

Opportunities

SAL Volunteer

2020/21

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

Bill Gates Joins Seattle Arts & Lectures’ 2020/21 Season

January 5, 2021

Seattle, WA—January 5, 2021: Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) announced today the addition of Bill Gates to its 2020/21 Season line-up. Gates will be in conversation for an online-only event on Thursday, February 18, 2021, at 7:30 PM (PST), as part of their SAL Presents series of special events. Digital Passes are on sale now, and all tickets (except Student/25 & Under and complimentary tickets) include a copy of Gates’ book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need. Books will be mailed to ticket holders by these local independent bookstores: Book Larder, Elliott Bay Book Company, Island Books, Phinney Books, Queen Anne Book Company, Secret Garden Books, Third Place Books, and University Book Store. The moderator for this event will be announced soon.

‘Black Futures’: A Timeless Capture of What it Means to be Black and Alive—South Seattle Emerald

December 3, 2020

by M. Anthony Davis

Last night, Seattle Arts & Lectures in partnership with the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas hosted a virtual lecture with Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham to promote their co-edited new book Black Futures.

The lecture itself was a robust conversation about the writers’ journey curating this eclectic anthology and their experiences stepping into the realm of being editors for the first time. As a writer myself, it was especially interesting to hear about the dynamics of being on the opposite side of pressing due dates and having to tackle tasks like heavy cuts to pieces submitted by contributors. Read more.

Seattle Arts & Lectures Announces Winter Events Will Be Online-Only

December 1, 2020

Seattle, WA—DECEMBER 1, 2020: Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) announces their events for January, February, and March, previously scheduled to be in-person and online, will stream online only. Events included are Maggie Smith, Madeline Miller, Gabrielle Hamilton, Lawrence Wright, Bill Bryson, Toi Derricotte, Maira Kalman, & Douglas Kearney. Events will be streamed digitally at lectures.org, on the same date and time of each event. Events will also be available to watch online for one week afterwards. Digital Passes are available for each event with Pay-What-You-Can Pricing that starts at $10 at lectures.org.

Contact SAL

We welcome your questions and comments. If you would like to learn more, or wish to share something with us, please contact us.