Woodruff Arts Center 50th Anniversary

On October 5, 1968, the Woodruff Arts Center’s Memorial Arts Building opened for the first time, becoming a vibrant home to music, theater and visual arts as well as a tribute to more than 100 arts-loving Atlantans who had died in an airplane crash in Paris in 1962.


This fall, the Woodruff Arts Center is commemorating its 50th Anniversary with a series of special events and activities designed to highlight the great successes of the last 5 decades and to look ahead to a vibrant and exciting future.


“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. 


Thus far in 2018, the Arts Center has hosted a special event for descendants of the families who lost loved ones in the Paris crash, debuted a series of brief films on Georgia Public Broadcasting television and produced a special publication in the Atlanta Business Chronicle to celebrate and commemorate the last 50 years. 


Please come back to see updates in the future.


Woodruff Arts Center 50th Anniversary Publication, Atlanta Business Chronicle, November 9, 2018



Woodruff Arts Center at 50


Growing up in Newnan, Ga., Mary Mann wanted to go to faraway places, but the farthest away place her parents let her go was to Agnes Scott College, 40 miles away in Decatur.


“She waited a long time to go to Europe,” said her daughter, Ann Rhea. Mary Mann Boon finally made that trip in 1962 when she was already a grandmother twice over, traveling to Europe for a three-week trip with her husband…

Robert Spano

Fifty years ago, the Woodruff Arts Center opened its doors to Atlanta. In celebration, The Woodruff is partnering with Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) to bring you a behind-the-scenes with Music Director Robert Spano as he prepares to leave the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra after the 2020-2021.

Joshua Williams

Joshua’s talents were honed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Talent Development Program. He received $1.6 million in scholarship offers from colleges and conservatories around the country, and he is now pursuing his bachelor’s degree at Juilliard Conservatory with a full ride scholarship.

Nick's Flamingo Grill

Two friends, ex-WWII GI’s turned jazz musicians, have had great success performing in Paris nightclubs for the past 10 years. Convinced that their mixed-race act will also be a hit in the U.S., they decide to return home. To 1950s Georgia. Inspired by the true story of the first integrated nightclub in Atlanta and featuring ten original jazz songs in the style of the era, Nick’s Flamingo Grill is a story of hope and brotherly love.

Sol LeWitt

It took months of dedicated work to install Wall Drawing #729, Irregular Color Bands by Sol LeWitt inside the Robinson Atrium of the High Museum.