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.