Rick Steves: In-Person & Online

Courtesy of Rick Steves

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SAL Presents

Rick Steves: In-Person & Online

Past Event: Thursday, November 10, 2022

At Town Hall Seattle—The Great Hall

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In Person & Online

Hometown hero Rick Steves is a public television host, a best-selling guidebook author, and an outspoken activist who encourages Americans to broaden their perspectives through travel.

Steves has dedicated his career to providing accessible information, helping Americans to have the most stress-free, cost effective, and enlightening travel experiences possible. Steves is a big proponent of “Travel as a Political Act,” the subject of his SAL talk.

Q&A with journalist Enrique Cerna.

In 1976, Steves began his business, Rick Steves’ Europe, headquartered in Edmonds, Washington. There, he produces his iconic best-selling guidebook series, including Europe Through the Backdoor. A big proponent of public access, Steves also produces a public television show as well as a weekly public radio show. Free travel information is made available from his travel center in Edmonds, and from his website, ricksteves.com.

Steves also runs a small-group tour program taking 30,000 travelers to Europe annually. In line with Steves’ dedication to natural and social betterment, the company contributes annually to a portfolio of climate-smart nonprofits, essentially paying a self-imposed carbon tax.

Steves works closely with several advocacy groups and makes regular financial contributions to more than 170 organizations, including annual contributions to Bread for the World. All of the royalties for his updated copy of Travel as a Political Act are donated to this same charity. Additionally, Steves is a board member of NORML, an advocacy group which seeks to reform laws around marijuana.

Though Steves is known most for his travel excursions across Europe, in his 2009 book, Travel as a Political Act, Steves reorients his focus towards countries such as The Former Yugoslavia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Turkey, Morocco, and Israel. Steves looks closely at what America could stand to learn regarding issues of democracy, health care, taxes, attitudes towards drugs, sex work, and globalization. Steves believes that being a patriot is to be critical of one’s own country, continually seeking to improve the lives of its citizens.

Enrique Cerna, our Q&A moderator for the evening, is a journalist who has worked in Seattle media for nearly forty-seven years. Cerna worked for twenty-three years at Cascade Public Media’s KCTS 9 and retired in February 2018 from his role as senior correspondent. Prior to joining KCTS in 1995, he worked as a reporter, producer, and host for KOMO Radio and Television and KING Television. At KCTS 9, Cerna produced and hosted award-winning current affairs programs and documentaries. He reported stories for national PBS programs, provided election analysis for the PBS NewsHour, and moderated U.S. Senate, Congressional, Gubernatorial, and Mayoral debates. In addition, he produced and reported documentaries covering critical social justice issues, the environment, and immigration. In addition, he documented the history and contributions of Latinos in Washington State. Cerna has earned ten Northwest regional Emmy awards. In 2013, he was inducted into the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences Northwest Chapter’s Silver Circle for his contributions to the television industry. Cerna grew up in the central Washington community of Wapato. He is a graduate of Washington State University. In March 2020, he was appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to the Washington State University Board of Regents.

Event Details

Town Hall Seattle—The Great Hall

1119 8th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

View directions.

Know Before You Go

COVID-19 Policies

The safety of our patrons, artists, community partners, staff, and volunteers continues to be important to us. At this time, facial masks are encouraged but not required for entry, and proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test is no longer required. However, health and safety protocols are subject to change. Before attending events, please check your pre-event email for the most up-to-date information.

Can't find your tickets?

All tickets have been emailed for this event, so be sure to check your inbox for an email from boxoffice@lectures.org. Call us at 206-621-2230 x10 if you can’t find them.

For in-person attendance: Your e-tickets come attached in a PDF with your ticket order confirmation email. Present on your mobile device or bring your printed ticket to the venue the night of the event. Check your pre-event email for details on COVID safety precautions.

For online attendance:  If you purchased a digital pass for an event, SAL will send you a pre-event reminder email with instructions to  log in and access the online stream two days before your event. The night of your        event, return to lectures.org/event/rick-steves and enter the password where prompted. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. (PT) and will be available for viewing for a week after the event.

SAL will also send an email the day of the event, containing the same information. If you have opted out of receiving SAL emails, you will miss this important information—please email us at boxoffice@lectures.org and we will assist you.

Have a question for the speaker?

Want to ask the author something? Send your question to SAL at sal@lectures.org—it might be asked onstage!


Our partner bookstore, Queen Anne Book Company, will have books available for purchase at their table in the lobby and on their website.

Patrons & Grand Patrons, Have a Drink on SAL!

Patron & Grand Patron seating includes a pre-event drink ticket! Check your pre-event email for details.

Transportation & Parking

Town Hall Seattle is centrally located at 1119 8th Ave, on the corner of 8th and Seneca. Their venue is served by frequent bus routes, is near access to light rail stations, and close to a number of parking options nearby. Please see their website for more details.


Open Captioning is an option for people who have hearing losses, where a captioning screen displaying the words that are spoken or sung is placed on stage. To make a request for open captioning, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10. Please note: for in-person events at Town Hall Seattle, we appreciate a two-week advance notice to allow us time to secure captioning services. 

Closed Captioning is an option for people who have hearing loss, where captioning displays the words that are spoken or sung at the bottom of the video for online events. Captioning is available for all online events; click the “CC” button to view captions during the event.

Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) are devices that people with hearing loss use in conjunction with their hearing device (hearing aids or cochlear implants). Town Hall Seattle has a hearing loop system, so you can switch your T-coil hearing aid to telecoil to have the stage’s microphones transmitted directly to your hearing aids. To pick up a headset, check in with any Town Hall usher when you arrive.

Sign Language Interpretation is available upon request for Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing individuals. To make a request for interpretation, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10, or select “Sign Language Interpretation” from the Accessibility section during your ticket checkout process and we will contact you to confirm details. Please note: we appreciate a two-week advance notice to allow us time to secure interpretation.

Wheelchair Accessible Seating and Accessible Restrooms are available in all sections at Town Hall Seattle, which is fully accessible to ticket holders with physical mobility concerns. Town Hall Seattle recommends that visitors use the 8th Avenue Entrance for events in the Great Hall, and elevators with Braille signage go to all levels within the Hall. The venue has all-gender, ADA-accessible restrooms on the lobby and Forum level. To reserve seating for a specific mobility concern, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10, or select “Wheelchair Accessible or Alternative Seating Options” during ticket checkout, and we will contact you to confirm details. For more details on accessibility features at Town Hall, click here.

Guide and service dogs are welcome.

All-gender restrooms are available.

We are pleased to offer these accessibility services at our venues, and they are provided at no additional cost to ticket holders. Please contact us with any questions and feedback about how we can be more accessible and inclusive. Our Patron Services Manager is available at boxoffice@lectures.org, or Tuesday-Friday, from 12 noon–5 p.m., at 206.621.2230×10.

For more accessibility information, please head to lectures.org/accessibility. If you would like to make accessibility arrangements you do not see listed here, please contact our box office or select “Other Accommodations” from the Accessibility section during your ticket checkout process, and we will contact you to confirm details.