Sunday, August 9, 2009

Woodruff Arts Center Receives $12 Million Award to Expand the Center's Pre-K through 12 Arts Education Programming

Grant Will Help Center Develop, Grow, and Expand Education Programming for Students and Teachers Throughout the State of Georgia

The Woodruff Arts Center today announced that it has been awarded a $12 million grant from The Goizueta Foundation over the next three years to expand the educational programs, resources, and services that it provides to pre-K through 12th grade students throughout Georgia. The grant will serve to enhance and increase participation in existing programs that already serve more than one million students annually, and will support the development of new initiatives.

“This is a groundbreaking gift that catapults the Woodruff Arts Center’s future development and our ability to serve the children of Georgia,” said Joseph R. Bankoff, the Center’s President and CEO. “The Goizueta Foundation’s generous gift will help us address increasing demand for arts education programs that help improve academic achievement across all disciplines. It is our hope that their generosity inspires other corporations, foundations, and individuals to join us in this vital mission.”

The Strategic Plan which the Woodruff Arts Center Board approved in May of 2008 calls for the center to play an even greater role in education in the coming decades. A focal point of this planning was to unify and build upon education programs being implemented by the Center’s constituent institutions: the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, High Museum of Art, and Young Audiences. The Center also recently developed a Master Plan to guide the future development of its campus, including new facilities for education programming. The campus-wide education initiatives, which will be funded by the grant, build upon the successful programs pioneered by each of the Center’s individual institutions. By sharing resources, pooling the talent and expertise of our best and brightest, and capitalizing on programming efficiencies, the Center will enrich the lives of more Georgians than ever before.

Emphasizing the breadth, depth, and creativity of programs already in place on campus, several of the initiatives that will be funded by the grant were individually prototyped by the constituent organizations. Among the initiatives to be supported are:

- The Georgia Center for Professional Learning in the Arts: An expanded professional development program which will train teaching artists to partner with classroom teachers to use the arts as a tool to stimulate learning in the core curriculum, sparking the imaginations of students, and enhancing academic achievement.

- Pre-K through 12 Arts Education for the 21st Century: A comprehensive approach to arts education that links the existing and future artistic and educational initiatives of the Center’s four divisions with each other and with Georgia Department of Education K-12 Performance standards through school curriculum development assembly programs, classroom residencies, in-school concerts and performances, and more.

- Out-of-School Programming Initiative for Middle and High School Students: The Center will provide critical opportunities for the cultural enrichment of youth through after-school, evening, and weekend programs; arts leadership programs; summer camps; and online courses.

- Engagement and Community-Access Programs: The Woodruff Arts Center believes that arts and education should be available and accessible to all citizens. The grant will help the Center continue its commitment to develop talent and encourage participation from all communities and offer opportunities for children to experience the arts that might not otherwise have the exposure.

- Expanded Programming for Families: Recognizing that families experience a variety of cultural activities together, the Center will expand its family-oriented programming campus-wide, across visual and performing arts disciplines.

The Woodruff Arts Center’s education programs and initiatives reflect the vision and commitment of the Board of Trustees’ Education Task Force, members of which include prominent educators Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, President of Spelman College; William Clarkson, President of The Westminster Schools; Dr. Elizabeth Kiss, President of Agnes Scott College; and Dr. James Wagner, President of Emory University. Other Education Task Force members from the Center’s Board include artist, philanthropist, and education advocate Usher Raymond IV; attorney Christopher Marquardt; and, philanthropists and community volunteers Carolyn C. McClatchey and Vicki Palmer. Allison Vulgamore, President & CEO of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Tony Kimbrell, Executive Director of Young Audiences, and Tara Perry, Vice President of Strategic Planning & Initiatives for the Center, represent the Woodruff Arts Center and its constituent institutions.
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