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. 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.


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


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Board of Directors


Writers in the Schools Program Associate


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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Press + Media

SAL Names Claudia Castro Luna and Hugo House as Sixth Annual Sherry Prowda Literary Champion Winners

February 11, 2019

Seattle, WA— February 11, 2019: At their annual Words Matter benefit gala on April 4, 2019, Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) will present the sixth annual Sherry Prowda Literary Champion Award to Claudia Castro Luna, Washington State Poet Laureate, and the literary arts organization Hugo House. SAL and the Prowda selection committee chose Castro Luna and Hugo House for demonstrating true commitment to our region’s community of readers and writers.

Tara Westover Joins Seattle Arts & Lectures’ 2018/19 Season

February 1, 2019

Seattle, WA—February 1, 2019: Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) announces the addition of Tara Westover to its 2018/19 Season line-up. Westover will appear on Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 7:30pm at the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium at Benaroya Hall as part of their “SAL Presents” series of special events. Tickets are on sale now at

Melinda Gates Joins Seattle Arts & Lectures’ 2018/19 Season

January 30, 2019

Seattle, WA— January 30, 2019: Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) announces Melinda Gates to its 2018/19 Season line-up. Gates will appear on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 7:30pm at the Susan Brotman Auditorium at McCaw Hall. Balcony and Student / Under 25 tickets are on sale now at

Financials + Accountability

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