Having scored a $38 million Robert W. Woodruff Foundation grant in December, the Woodruff Arts Center announced Tuesday that it has a received a $6.6 million grant from the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation. The grant from one of the Woodruff Foundation's family of foundations will support "Art From the Start," a new three-year program designed to better connect families and students with the arts center’s art and arts education offerings.
The Woodruff Arts Center plans to expand family-oriented programming, presenting festivals, art-making activities, drop-in acting classes and more on a weekly basis beginning later in 2015. Family days, with special access to the work of the Alliance Theatre and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and free admission to the High Museum of Art, also will be offered.
“We are proud to be Georgia’s largest arts educator today, but our aspiration is to become one of the state’s premier destinations for families,” Woodruff vice president of advancement Janine Musholt said in a statement. “We know that exposure to the arts benefits students in a variety of ways, from improved test scores to a better understanding of the world around them, and we want to offer those benefits to Atlanta, Georgia and the entire Southeast."
Examples of the family programming, according to an arts center release:
- Summer Artsplash: The High Museum will present an exhibit by children’s book author Mo Willems while the Alliance will produce a concurrent theatrical version of his book "Knuffle Bunny."
- Sunday Family Series: Every Sunday beginning in June, free programming will be made available with families in mind, including performances from the Alliance's Theatre for the Very Young, art-making activities, artist demonstrations, gallery games and tours, concerts on the art center's central plaza and interactive music experiences. Additional arts education programs will be provided by the Alliance, ASO and High.
- Toddler Takeover: The arts center will produce this annual three-day festival, involving performances, workshops and art activities designed for children 18 months to 5 years.
“This gift from the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation will allow us to make our art available to a much broader base of the community and will build upon our commitment to arts education,” arts center president and CEO Virginia Hepner said.