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

Our programs include:

•  Literary Arts Series
•  Special Events: SAL Presents
•  Poetry Series
•  Women You Need to Know
•  Hinge
•  Writers in the Schools (WITS)
•  Sherman Alexie Loves

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

Our 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. 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, as did Wednesday University/SAL U, an adult continuing education program co-presented by the University of Washington Alumni Association and taught by distinguished UW professors. The 14/15 season was the last season for SAL U. Hinge, inaugurated in the 2014/15 season, features readings, lectures and other presentations by emerging and experimental writers in intimate settings. In the 15/16 season SAL introduced Women You Need to Know (WYNK), a three-part series designed to showcase cutting edge, thought provoking, and inspiring women. It opened with the graphic novelist and Tony award winner Alison Bechdel. In the 16/17 season SAL debuted Sherman Alexie Loves, a three-part series curated and hosted by Seattle legend, Sherman Alexie. 

As Seattle has grown in size and sophistication, SAL has kept pace and helped propel that achievement as more than 12,000 residents have had accessible meaningful experiences with the foremost writers and thinkers of our time. The Writers in the Schools program serves nearly 6,000 students annually in school districts throughout the Puget Sound area.


Naomi Shihab Nye
Poetry Series, Poet Naomi Shihab Nye signs books for young fans. Photo by Libby Lewis