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*To view the animation ("Freedom to Know") pictured above plus our growing collection of ELA originals, visit us on instagram and/or YouTube

For over three decades, Pamela Sackett, ELA's founder, has been composing and producing arts-based learning tools—serving as narrative mentor for children, teens and adults— to untangle & voice tender facets of our interior landscape. 

Who are Emotion Literacy Advocates?

Emotion Literacy Advocates (ELA), the 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, was founded in January 2001, through a collaboration between Pamela and a small group of devoted artists and activists with backgrounds ranging from publishing, education, science, human services, information technology, and, of course, the arts. Since the organization began, the breadth of ELA learning tools and applications continue to expand. In collaboration with actors, singers, visual and technical artists and editors, Pamela's practice of employing language art, theatre and visual arts and music benefit an ever-widening range of individuals and groups, as they explore and fine-tune their communication capacities within and between.

Emotion Literacy Advocates' resources inspire individuals to:

  • Explore new ways of thinking to translate emotion and recognize needs.
  • Gain insight into how the use of language and expression are influenced by different parts of the brain.
  • Clarify a misunderstanding with a friend, co-worker or family member.
Pamela Sackett at Elliott Bay Books 'Booing Death' reading

Emotion Literacy Advocates, the idea, emerged in 1992 through one of Pamela's theatrical monologue workshops, alongside her self-revelatory first book of rhythmic prose...presenting both to special interest groups and universities. In late 1994, Seattle Repertory Theatre Company's outreach and education department's (then) head, Ted Sod, learned of Pamela's ideas, philosophy and methods and recruited her for a series of artist residencies in public and private schools, an adult prison and the King County Youth Detention facility. Pamela's work as a generative artist telling stories in poetic, musical and theatrical form to advocate for emotion literacy found its way further into academic and social service communities in the Northwest, Canada and Mexico. Pamela continues to serve as a teaching artist and guest author in high schools, universities and performance venues. Emotion Literacy Advocates, the organization, was formed to support and expand Pamela's reach and to foster collaboration with artists, community partners and social change educators.

Learn more about our resources...

Pamela Sackett is one of the most original thinkers I have ever encountered in my career as a teaching artist. She sees the big picture and understands the emotional needs of children, their parents, their teachers and the communities surrounding them – in short, she understands our humanity and lack thereof.
– Ted Sod
   Director, Education Dept. Dramaturge
   Roundabout Theatre, New York

Meet the ELA Board

Shelly Nicoletti ELA boad member

• Bachelor of Science, Neuroscience
Baylor University

• Business Development, Relationship Management & Project Management

Shelly Nicoletti is passionate about education and future generations.
"I am always open to new ways of seeing, doing, and implementing processes and concepts. I am a huge advocate of winning together. As we look around the world and take a moment to appreciate what we have, we are reminded of all the amazing things humans can do with shared values and drive. I am a big believer of practice-makes-perfect. Time really is a funny concept. What we do with our time now is what defines us today and what will be remembered tomorrow."

Daniel Sackett

Bachelor of Arts, Rhetoric & Communication and French
University of Oregon

IT generalist, sculptor, writer

Daniel Sackett has an eclectic career in publishing and the application of technology toward projects of artistic and social merit. His design work spans the gamut from books to databases, web sites to sculpture, "with a common thread throughout of the mastery of tools for the furthering of a high aesthetic and meaningful communication."

Jennifer Johnson

Masters in Marine Affairs
University of Washington

Visual artist, poet, performer, creativity coach

Jennifer Johnson works to protect marine resources. She performed her own work as well as acted in two educational theatre companies for seven years in the Pacific Northwest. Jennifer transitioned into a career in salmon recovery outreach and reporting, and also serves as Environmental Information Coordinator. Jennifer envisions "expanding applications of emotion literate communication in public policy and environmental awareness."

Mark Magill

Master of Fine Arts
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Seattle Art Institute Graphic Design Diploma

Visual artist, independent researcher, writer, teacher, learner

Mark H. Magill views himself as "an artistic visualist driven by an ever present creative force that has allowed me to not only develop a way of seeing the world, but also a way of seeing myself and how the two are united." Currently working as Learning and Development Specialist, Mark has designed and implemented instructional programs for businesses, non-profits and the Washington State Department of Corrections.

Emotion Literacy Advocates Sponsors

Here is a partial list of individuals, companies and organizations that have joined our campaign:



• Allied Arts
• Arts in Motion
• Bellevue Art Museum
• Graham Visitor Center
• Kutenai Art Therapy Institute Nelson, Canada
• Nelson District Arts Council (NDAC), Canada
• Seattle Children’s Museum
• Seattle Repertory Theatre
Outreach & Education

Theater & Entertainment

• Anacortes Cinemas
• Bainbridge Cinemas
• Banyen Books & Sound
Vancouver, BC
• Columbia City Cinema
• Educational Resource Street Fair
• Elliot Bay Book Company
• Northwest Film Forum’s 5th Annual Seattle Bike-In Event
• Oak Harbor Cinemas
• Ocean Shores Cinemas
• Olympic Cinemas
• Salish Sea Ecosystem Film Festival
Vancouver, BC
• Seattle Repertory Theatre Company
• Shelton Cinemas
• Skyline Drive-In
Shelton, WA
• Stanwood Cinemas
• The Historic Admiral Theater
• The Neptune Theater
Long Beach, WA
• Theatre For Young Audiences Today (ASSITEJ/USA)
• Vashon Theatre


• Americorps
• Big Brothers Big Sisters
• Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Lane County
• California Academy of Sciences
• Children’s Cancer Association
• Helping Hand House
• International Human Learning Resources Network (Mexico)
• Make a Wish Foundation
• National Association for Women in Psychology
• North Rehabilitation Facility Seattle
• Powerful Schools
• Safeplace Women’s Shelter Services, Inc.
• Seattle Aubdubon
• Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department
• The Matt Talbot Center
• The Northwest Boychoir
• The Richard Hugo House
• The Seattle Counselor’s Association
• UW Women’s Center
• Windermere Foundation

Radio & Press

• CFRO FM 100.5
• Co-op Radio’s World Poetry Cafe
Vancouver, BC
• IPIPP (syndicated Pacific NW public affairs radio)
• KAOS Radio
Olympia, WA
• KBOO FM Radio's Pathways: "Conversations with Leaders in Personal and Cultural Transformation, featuring Pamela Sackett"
Portland, Oregon
• KCMU Radio
Tacoma, WA
• KISW, 99.9 FM, The Rock
• KKNW 1150 AM, Teen Talk
• KKWF100.7, The Wolf
• KMTT 103.7, The Mountain
• KNDD 107.7, The End
• KUOW 94.9, The Beat
Seattle, WA
• Metroscope Public Affairs Radio
• North Seattle Herald-Outlook
• Northwest Exposure
• Permanente Journal
Winter Vol 8 No.1
• Portland Community Media:
"A Humanist Hour with Pamela Sackett"
• Prologue Publication of Seattle Repertory Theatre
• South Seattle Beacon


• Academy Press
• Alphagraphics
• Art Institute of Seattle
• Canva Graphic Design Company (Australia)
• Casey Family Programs
• Catchafire (New York)
• Clatter and Din
• Dandelion Botanical Company
• Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, Inc., Los Angeles
• Dick & John Spady
• EFilm Digital Laboratories
Los Angeles
• ELA's Board of Directors
• Fastrax Audio
• Forum Foundation
• Google, Inc.
• Kamakani Schiess
• Logic General
• Mark Magill
• Michelex Industrial Group
• Micosoft
• Mills Music
• Move the Chain 
• New England Motor Freight
• Oak Harbor Freight Company
• Office Max
• Perkins Coie
• Postal Express
• Puget Sound Automobile Dealers Association
• Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs
• Spicers Paper
• Sue Ellen Katz
• Triple Disc


"What we looked at here is extremely relevant to my work. Every teacher should be asked (required) to take this course on emotion literacy." 

Connie Thomas, Seattle public school teacher


Jody, parent
Powerful Schools workshop

…another thing that the class impressed upon me as being of real importance…the whole idea of language and talking and how certain words have certain meanings to some and different meanings to others.

Workshop participant
University of Washington event

I have never heard of emotion literacy before. I am thankful that you have come up with a way to deal and work through emotions. Thank you for helping me discover a way that I can help myself—I no longer feel stuck with emotions I don’t know how to work through...

Ted Sod
Seattle Repertory Theatre Company
Outreach and Education

Pamela Sackett’s Emotion Literacy Program allows participants to confront their anger, abuse, hurt, love, and fear in a structured, unintimidating way that yields remarkable results. Pamela is an exceptional, resourceful and creative midwife whose talent lies in encouraging people to give their feelings a voice.


...when I realized what the I Can book was saying, I gave it my deep attention...there is so much here...perfect for me and for thousands of others.

Sue Rogge
Family Support Partnership Program 
Tacoma/Pierce County WA State Health Department

I gave out The Full Spectrum Birthday Song CDs to most of my families last month. This month I am asking if the children enjoyed listening to the CD. This song is a hit with the children. They want to listen to it several times over. This CD is introducing vocabulary and is building self esteem—both child and parent listen to the CD together, this also gives the parent tools for talking to their child. Thank you for sharing your CD with so many families of young children..

John F. Williams 

The Ducks & Us Songbook Movie is a marriage between music, literature, animation, and motion pictures. But as amazing as its form is, its content shines as well...a well written story about people and their interaction with the environment...the artistry of the creators shines through the technology used to bring it to the audience...charming.

Psychology student
Seattle University

The (stream of consciousness) exercise was almost astonishing. You said it would surprise us, it really did…I can’t recall any other moments I could let words come to me so spontaneously.

Glenn, parent
Powerful Schools workshop

I wish all men would look at their past and see how it influences them now—that’s the key to being effective—I’m still learning. Please call us when you do another class.

Connie Thomas
Seattle Public School Teacher

What we looked at here is extremely relevant to my work. Every teacher should be asked (required) to take your course on emotion literacy.

James R. Hammond, Jr.
Former Executive Director, PSADA

Connecting our emotions with our feelings has a great deal to do with successful communication…not only is (ELSOTA!’s ) road rage vignette important for students to be exposed to, but the other vignettes, which deal with life-impacting issues, are of equal benefit to students.

Emotion Literacy Advocates