Woodruff Arts Center receives historic $38-million grant

It’s the largest grant ever received by the arts organization


Christmas has come early for the Woodruff Arts Center. The Atlanta-based arts organization, which includes the High Museum of Art, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and Alliance Theatre, today received a $38-million grant from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation.

The Woodruff Foundation grant is the largest financial gift in the WAC’s 46-year history. It will help provide financial and capital improvements for the arts organization’s campus and launch a fundraising campaign of more than $80 million that will largely seek to boost endowment.

WAC will use a substantial portion of the gift, $25 million to be exact, to support its core artistic and educational programming. These funds will also be distributed among the WAC’s partners such as the High Museum of Art. The financial boost could lead to new community engagement programs and other initiatives dependent on donor interests.

The grant is also good news for musical positions. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is another partner likely to gain from the grant with funding supporting the ASO Players’ Endowment.

The remaining $13 million of the grant is intended to go toward renovating spaces used for performance and educational purposes. As part of that effort, the Alliance Theatre will be completely refurbished with new acoustics and a modified layout that brings patrons closer to the stage.

For the recipients, the $38 million grant funding the continued development of the WAC’s campus and other partners facilities is expected to have a more positive effect on visitors and their experience.

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