History & Mission


The Southern Lit Alliance (formerly the Arts & Education Council) celebrates Southern writers and readers through community education and innovative literary arts experiences.   A non-profit organization that began in 1952 as the Adult Education Council, the Southern Lit Alliance was one of 12 pilot agencies founded by a Ford Foundation grant.  The Southern Lit Alliance is the only organization of the 12 still in existence.

The Southern Lit Alliance's Celebration of Southern Literature and Education Enrichment programs for students — the Young Southern Student Writers, Writers in Classrooms (residencies), Creative Writing Workshops for Teachers and Dramas for Youth — are the cornerstone of the Alliance's mission.  

The Southern Lit Alliance receives support from ArtsBuild, the Tennessee Arts Commission, local and regional foundations, corporations, community and individual contributors.