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 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 2017/18 alone, over 29,000 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 2017/18, over 7,100 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.

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

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

Writers in the Schools Program Associate

2019/20

The Writers in the Schools (WITS) Program Associate works with the WITS Program Director to implement all WITS and Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) programming, empowering young people to discover their authentic writing and performance voices in WITS classrooms, publications, and on SAL stages.

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Writers in the Schools Internship

Winter 2020

We are looking for interns to be part of the team that implements our arts education program in public schools throughout the Puget Sound Region! Writers in the Schools (WITS) is a literary arts education program that places professional local writers in 27 public schools and in five school districts, as well as Seattle Children’s. The mission of WITS is to inspire student and teacher excellence in literacy and the literary arts, and to establish the foundation for a life-long commitment to reading, writing, and creative expression.

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SAL Volunteer

2019/20

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

In her haunting memoir, Carmen Maria Machado tackles abuse in queer relationships—The Seattle Times

January 9, 2020

“If you need this book,” Carmen Maria Machado writes on the dedication page of her new memoir, “In the Dream House,” “it is for you.” For Machado, author of the acclaimed 2017 short-story collection, “Her Body and Other Parties,” the “dream house” of the book was a nightmare: a nondescript home in Indiana where she lived for a time with the woman she loved, in a psychologically abusive relationship. It’s a book full of gorgeous writing — summer heat is described as “an animal that won’t climb off” — and harrowing memories. Read more.

Student voices shine through Seattle Arts & Lectures program—KUOW

June 30, 2019

Since 1994, the Seattle Arts & Lectures Writers in the Schools (WITS) program has reached over 100,000 students. WITS brings professional writers into classrooms to help student writers find their voices and hone their skills. Each year, the program reaches thousands of students around Puget Sound. WITS Year-End Reading and Celebration took place at the Broadway Performance Hall on May 30. KUOW’s Sonya Harris recorded the readings. WITS Program Director Alicia Craven served as moderator. Read more.

Financials + Accountability

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.