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, 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.

Read our statement on the Black Lives Matter movement here.

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

Internship and volunteer opportunities are currently closed as we’re working virtually; we look forward to opening them again once we’re back in the office!

Press + Media

Seattle Arts & Lectures Names Ijeoma Oluo and Jack Straw Cultural Center as 8th Annual Prowda Literary Champions

March 25, 2021

Seattle, WA—March 25, 2021: Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) announced today the winners of the eighth annual Prowda Literary Champion Awards: Ijeoma Oluo, for her work on the Seattle Artist Relief Fund, and Jack Straw Cultural Center.

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. Each year, the award celebrates the individuals and organizations that make Seattle an outstanding place for writers and readers.

 

Seattle Arts & Lectures Announces Ibram X. Kendi, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Mary Roach, & Ocean Vuong Will Be Live at 6 PM (PDT) & Online Only

March 5, 2021

Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) announces their events for April, May, and June, previously scheduled to be in-person and online, will stream online only. Events will be streamed digitally at lectures.org, at the same date of each event. Ibram X. Kendi, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Mary Roach, and Ocean Vuong will now start at 6 PM (PDT), the other events will remain at previously scheduled time of 7:30 PM (PDT). 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.

Seattle Arts & Lectures Announces Ibram X. Kendi Event Changes

February 18, 2021

Seattle, WA—FEBRUARY 18, 2021: Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) announced yesterday that their Literary Arts Series event with Ibram X. Kendi will now be held online only, on the originally scheduled date of Wednesday, April 7, 2021, with a new start time of 6:00 PM (PDT). The format for the event will be a live conversation, moderated by Dr. Edward Taylor, vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs at the University of Washington.

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.