Season of Celebration: The Woodruff Arts Center Will Say ‘Thank You Atlanta’ To Celebrate Its 50th Anniversary in 2018

ATLANTA – On October 5, 1968, the Woodruff Arts Center’s Memorial Arts Building opened as a tribute to more than 100 arts-loving Atlantans who had died in an airplane crash in Paris in 1962. As Atlanta has grown, the building has thrived as a vibrant creative home to music, theater and visual arts.

This fall, the Woodruff Arts Center will celebrate its 50th Anniversary over three months, highlighted by the unveilings of an entirely new Alliance Theatre main stage—The Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre— a new installation of the High Museum’s permanent collection, Opening Weekend of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Delta Classical Series, a ‘Thank You’ weekend for Woodruff patrons, media partner Georgia Public Broadcasting airing a series of behind-the-scenes videos and an array of other special activities and events.

“Our 50th Anniversary gives us the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to all of the people in our community – past and present – who have made it possible for the Woodruff Arts Center to provide great art and arts education to Atlanta and our entire region,” said Doug Shipman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Woodruff Arts Center.  “It’s astonishing to realize that our entire campus—from the original Memorial Arts Building to the new Alliance Theatre—was built almost entirely from private donations.

“That is an incredible tribute to Atlanta’s generosity and to its belief in the importance of the arts.  It’s certainly fitting that we say ‘thank you’ to the community that has made it possible for us to thrive over the decades.”

The 50th Anniversary Season of Celebration will kick off September 20 when the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra opens its season with a performance of Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto.

In October, the High Museum of Art will introduce a dynamic new way to experience its art when it unveils a major reinstallation of its collection galleries. This project marks the first comprehensive revision of the galleries since the High’s transformative expansion in 2005.
The reinstallation will involve all seven of the High’s curatorial departments and highlight the collection’s growth and core strengths to create engaging experiences for visitors and improve accessibility in the High’s facilities.

On November 3rd, the Alliance Theatre will begin a series of open houses to unveil The Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre. While on-stage productions in the new space won’t begin until January 2019, patrons will be able to preview the state-of-the-art proscenium theater that offers significant enhancements, including an intimate, inclusive, comfortable and sound sensitive environment.

The renovated theater is part of a larger project that includes a complete transformation of the building’s rehearsal spaces, education spaces, and artist support spaces. The remodel of the Alliance Theatre will provide significant enhancements to patron experience, technology, and infrastructure.

In addition to these special moments, the Woodruff will pay tribute to the families who lost loved ones in the Orly Field airplane tragedy in 1962 with an event on the Arts Center’s campus; will celebrate how art is made and the impact of arts education through a series of videos airing thanks to media partner Georgia Public Broadcasting; and will say thank you to the Atlanta community with a weekend of free art and activities in November.