Atlanta Life and Culture

The AJC Features Team spotlights arts previews, reviews, profiles, news features and breaking news on Atlanta's cultural and life scene.

Woodruff Arts Center raises $13.4 million in '14-'15 Corporate Campaign; High has new board leader

Taking a new approach to its largest annual fund-raising drive, the Woodruff Arts Center has announced that it raised a record $13.4 million for its 2014-15 Annual Corporate Campaign.

It was the arts center's initial effort at conducting the campaign with an integrated development team, as opposed to prior years when the center and its divisions (Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and High Museum of Art) solicited potential corporate funders separately in its primary annual fund-raising effort..

The previous record for the Annual Corporate Campaign was $9.6 million, for 2013-14.

The previous record for annual corporate support across the campus was $11.2 million in 2013. The 2015 total exceeded that high by 20 percent.

“Integrating our Annual Corporate Campaign fund-raising into one coordinated effort that benefits all of our art and education work was welcomed by our corporate supporters,” Woodruff President and CEO Virginia Hepner said in the late Thursday announcement. “They appreciated the stewardship of unified requests that we believe helped us achieve record results, and at the same time we broadened the exposure for all donors across the campus.”

The campaign was chaired by Paul Garcia, former board chairman and CEO of Global Payments Inc.

“All of us associated with the Woodruff Arts Center and this year’s Campaign Cabinet are extraordinarily grateful to Atlanta’s corporations,” Garcia said in the announcement. “These companies recognize the importance of art and arts education to our community and they demonstrate that year after year.”

The Annual Corporate Campaign is a key component in the more than $30 million raised annually by the Woodruff administration and its divisional partners. Campaign funds support shared services such as finance and treasury operations, facility management, security, human resources and information technology.

Leading corporate supporters in 2014-15 (with donations of more than $250,000) included AT&T, Bank of America, Chick-fil-A, the Coca-Cola Company, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Cox, Deloitte, Delta Air Lines, Equifax, Ernst & Young, Georgia Power Foundation, the Home Depot, Invesco, King & Spalding, KPMG, PNC, PWC, SunTrust Bank, Turner Broadcasting System, UPS and Wells Fargo.

The campaign, as well as individual and foundation giving, was orchestrated simultaneous with a separate $100 million fund-raising Woodruff initiative – the multiyear Transformation Campaign.

When the arts center launched the public phase of fund-raising for that campaign in April, it said it already had commitments totaling $62 million. That included a $38 million lead gift from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation announced in December.

The Transformation Campaign is aimed at increasing endowments, renovating the Alliance Theatre and Memorial Arts Building, and providing greater arts access for families.

Abney is High Museum's new board leader

The High Museum of Art recently announced the appointment of Charles L. Abney III as chairman of its board of directors.

A director, portfolio manager and member of the Investment Policy Committee with ZWJ Investment Counsel, Abney has served on the High’s board for eight years. His board roles have included chair elect, vice chair of the finance and operations committee, treasurer and nominating committee member.

Abney is a volunteer for the High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction and serves on the Woodruff Arts Center's governing board. He is a board member of Atlanta Celebrates Photography, a graduate of the 2004 Leadership Midtown program, and a member of the Midtown Alliance.

He succeeds board chairwoman Louise Sams, who has held the role since 2011.

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The AJC Features Team spotlights arts previews, reviews, profiles, news features and breaking news on Atlanta's cultural and life scene.