Seattle Arts & Lectures 


Seattle Arts & Lectures champions the literary arts by engaging and inspiring readers and writers of all generations in the Pacific Northwest. SAL provides broad access to writers, promotes community participation, and offers arts education for students. SAL programs serve a broad constituency of Puget Sound readers, practicing writers, and the students who will form our future. Our programs raise awareness of the role writing plays in creating and presenting ideas in our culture.

Mission Statement
Seattle Arts & Lectures champions the literary arts by engaging and inspiring readers and writers of all generations in the Pacific Northwest.
Donate Now
Seattle Arts & Lectures
205 S Findlay St 
(206) 621-2230 

Ruth E. Dickey 
Executive Director 


Seattle Arts & Lectures Programs

SAL offers innovative programs by established and emerging authors to raise the understanding, appreciation, and visibility of the written and spoken word.             

Literary\Arts Series presents the world's finest contemporary writers and cultural thinkers. Speakers represent many genres and backgrounds and their work consistently impacts contemporary culture nationally and, through our series, locally. We hope that our diverse, culturally relevant, and topical programming inspires our community to think more, read more, write more, and engage in dialogue that will lead to the betterment of our society.                

Writers in the Schools (WITS) improves the reading, writing, and self-confidence of thousands of underserved K-12 youth each year while providing lasting professional development to their teachers. WITS matches public schools with local, professional creative writers who are also dynamic teachers. These writers-in-residence design innovative lesson plans that inspire students to explore creative writing and give them the skills to succeed as students and members of our global community.                

The Poetry Series presents nationally prominent poets—ranging from peak- career masters to up-and-coming artists—in readings and on-stage interviews. Poets are rarely, if ever, sent on tour by their publishers. SAL makes it possible for readers to connect with these writers. Poetry is an oral art. To hear it read by the author is a rare experience that provides insight into the author’s intentions.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

This year, SAL has clarified mission, corrected the financial course of the organization, and made sure that all programming reflects the mission. The 2012-13 fiscal year has ended without a deficit. SAL will end this fiscal year a stronger and renewed organization. SAL has entered a period of renewal and rejuvenation. In order to remain relevant and adapt to changing social and economic conditions, all programs will be rigorously tested against the core components of the new mission: engaging readers, inspiring all generations of readers and writers, and supporting writers. The number of programs offered by Seattle Arts & Lectures is being reduced to ensure close fit with the mission and provide deeper experiences for the community.

A significant challenge SAL faces is our commitment to offering an exceptionally diverse roster of artists, including writers who, while they may have critical acclaim, have less name recognition. SAL remains committed to providing engaging and inspiring programming that includes the best emerging authors, as well as the more established. We will balance this artistic risk by measuring each program against the mission and our investment in the community, and budgeting tightly by containing costs and seeking sponsorship for all of our programs.


Seattle Arts and Lectures (SAL) presents various programs with acclaimed writers to raise understanding, appreciation and visibility of the literary arts in our region. They bring national and international poets and authors to the region to discuss not only their work, but also the issues raised by the work.

SAL regularly partners with a host of organizations to cross-pollinate their programs, which aids all organizations involved by combining resources, reaching new audiences and/or deepening event or educational content. They maintain an ongoing partnership with Seattle Art Museum, presenting writers that complement SAM exhibits or strengthening their education program offerings with a SAM visit. Through its Writers in the Schools (WITS) program, SAL collaborates closely with individual schools and teachers in developing a customized curriculum that fits the school and classroom’s need.

Accessibility and Cultural Competency
SAL offers multicultural artists and diverse genres in each season and they are always working to diversify the writers working in its WITS program, to be more reflective of the students and schools it serves. Their educational programming is always heavily subsidized so that schools do not have to cover the entire cost, but they offer special low rates for those schools with more than half of their students receiving free and reduced school lunch.

Best Practices
SAL works to ensure that its WITS curricula are fully integrated with the schools they serve. Each curriculum is customized by the particular teaching writer and the school. SAL sits down with the writers, schools, and teachers to brainstorm about the school’s need before the writer develops a specific curriculum. The program is integrated during the teaching day to engage students with reading, complementing what is being done in the classroom.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

9/10/2012 $7,500.00support general operating expenses.
9/10/2011 $7,500.00support general operating expenses.
9/17/2008 $20,000.00support general operating expenses.
6/16/2005 $20,000.00support general operating expenses.


Similar Organizations

Give broadly to Arts & Culture
If broadening access and engagement with the arts, increasing arts education in public schools, and creating and preserving arts space is important to you, then make a difference by giving to the Grantmaking Program.
Questions or comments about this organization?
Contact us to learn more.