Press RoomPress ReleasesThe Woodruff Arts Center Launches Transformational Campaign With $38 Million Grant From the Woodruff Foundation; Largest Gift in the Arts Center’s History

The Woodruff Arts Center Launches Transformational Campaign With $38 Million Grant From the Woodruff Foundation; Largest Gift in the Arts Center’s History

December 5, 2014

Funding To Support Alliance Theatre Renovation, Matching Grant For Core Artistic, Educational Programs and Positions for the Atlanta Symphony, High Museum of Art and Alliance Theatre

ATLANTA, Dec. 5, 2014 – The Woodruff Arts Center today announced that it has received a $38 million grant from the Woodruff Foundation as a lead gift to a new multi-faceted transformational fundraising campaign. The Woodruff grant will support a wide range of artistic, educational and capital needs on the campus of one of the world’s largest arts centers. It is the largest gift in the 46-year history of the Arts Center.

The largest portion of the grant is $25 million in endowment matching funds to support core artistic and educational programming, including funds to match gifts for musician positions with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Other endowment funding will support core educational and artistic programming at the High Museum of Art, the Alliance Theatre and the Arts Center.

The gift also provides support for a major renovation of the Alliance Theatre’s main performance and production support areas, the first major renovation in the theater’s history. In addition, rehearsal rooms and multi-purpose areas will be significantly improved with the funding. The physical improvements in the Alliance spaces are phase one of a long-term plan to improve the public and performance spaces of the Memorial Arts Building.

“We are so grateful to the Woodruff Foundation Trustees for this incredibly important investment to strengthen the Arts Center,” said Virginia Hepner, president and chief executive officer of The Woodruff Arts Center. “The Foundation’s generosity has been instrumental to our success for nearly 50 years, and this added support will help all of our arts partners continue to adapt and thrive for decades to come for the benefit of our community.”

“Our transformational campaign will help us build upon a legacy of providing best-in-class arts and education experiences and to continue them for future generations,” said Janine Musholt, vice president of Advancement for the Woodruff Arts Center. “The Woodruff Foundation grant gives us a tremendous start to our campaign.”

Woodruff Foundation Grant Support Summary

1. Endowment Funding
Total Woodruff Foundation Grant: $25 million

The $25 million in endowment matching funds will support core artistic and educational programming and positions. For example, funding could support the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players’ Endowment, community engagement programs at the High Museum of Art, the national graduate playwriting competition at the Alliance, the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and a variety of education capacity building initiatives, dependent on matching donor interests.

2. Capital Improvements
Total Woodruff Foundation Grant: $13 million

As the initial phase of a planned longer–‐term transformation of the entire Memorial Arts Building, including performance, education and public spaces, the Alliance Theatre will be completely renovated. The Alliance’s performance space, which has not materially changed since it was first opened in 1968, will be modified to make the space more intimate, bringing patrons closer to the stage. Sound and lighting equipment will be modernized, with greatly improved acoustics. New multi-purpose rehearsal and support spaces will be added in other parts of the Memorial Arts Building.

For the High and Memorial Arts Building, funding will support a variety of improvements including enhancements to patron services such as food and beverage, ticketing technology and investments in environmental sustainability for the entire campus.

The High Museum of Art
The High is the leading art museum in the Southeastern U.S. With more than 14,000 works of art in its Permanent Collection, the High has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography, folk art and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists. For more information visit

The Woodruff Arts Center
The Woodruff Arts Center is one of the largest arts centers in the world, home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art and Arts for Learning. Each year, these arts organizations play host to over 1.2 million patrons at the Woodruff Arts Center’s Midtown Atlanta location, one of the only arts centers in the U.S. to host both visual and performing arts on a single campus. Through its work with educators and schools, the Woodruff Arts Center serves over 300,000 students annually and is the largest arts educator in Georgia.

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Media contact:

Marci Tate
High Museum of Art
Tel: 404-733-4585| E-mail: