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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 Puget Sound.

Our programs include:

•  Literary Arts Series
•  Special Events: SAL Presents
•  Poetry Series
•  SAL U
•  Writers in the Schools (WITS)

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 (now called SAL U), an adult continuing education program co-presented by the University of Washington Alumni Association and taught by distinguished UW professors

As Seattle has grown in size and sophistication, SAL has kept pace and helped propel that achievement. Town Hall Seattle is the home of the Literary Arts Series and the Poetry Series is held at Chihuly Garden & Glass. SAL U courses take place on the University of Washington’s Seattle campus. The Writers in the Schools program serves nearly 5,000 students annually in school districts throughout the Puget Sound area.


John Updike
Literary\Arts Series, Literary legend John Updike discusses his work with fellow writer David Guterson and Seattle Art Museum Curator of American Art Patricia Junker. Photo by Libby Lewis