Woodruff Center Receives Transformative $38 Million Grant

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Atlanta's Alliance TheatreThe 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.

  1. 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.